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Homemade UNscented hand sanitizer recipe ideas?

 
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I'm looking for a hand cleaning liquid and use like a sanitizer without water.  I don't really need it to be antibacterial, but to keep my hands as clean as washing for 40 seconds (20 seconds soaping, 20 seconds rinsing) with soap and water.  

Hand washing is supposed to be one of the biggest ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season, but I don't always have access to a sink.  Antibacterial sanitizers make my skin blister.  I can't stand strong smells like essential oils.  

What are some recipe ideas for making my own sanitizer?  
 
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I have been researching this a bit for the obvious reasons, and one thing I have learned is that for killing cold and flu virus, the gold standard is alcohol, at very high concentrations (70-90 percent).  It doesn't need to be ethanol (expensive and taxed, or "denatured" with random toxins); it can be isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) which is cheap and even more effective, although often sold at concentrations too low to be useful.  Wikipedia has a lot of useful info and cites.

With such high alcohol percentages, you're not usually looking at a gel; most preparations sold into the medical system are referred to as "alcohol rubs".  But from a preparation standpoint, you've got 10 to 30 percent to play with of "what do I mix with this alcohol to make it easier to use and to repair my hands"?  My first thought would be aloe vera gel or something to help restore skin oils -- perhaps lanolin or a vegetable oil, an emulsifier, perhaps a tiny bit of water to help with the emulsification.  But that's as far as my thinking has gotten.    
 
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As Dan says, plain old 70 percent isopropyl alcohol is our go to (if and when we remember) when we feel we need to wipe down doorknobs and 'things'.  I often use it for chigger bites, just splashed on my ankles and much less rarely use a little to 'wash' my hands.  I don't have any reaction or sensitivities to it though and some folks might.  It does not seem as drying to my skin as I thought it might be.  I used to use it often as an underarm 'deodorant'.


If you are not looking for antibacterial though how about a jar with small squares of cloth covered in a lesser percentage of alcohol with some water? Pull out one at a time and hang to dry and wash them later.  I've always intended to do something like that to keep in the car.  A wide mouth quart would hold several.
 
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Maybe the other option would be to consider bringing along whatever you would need to wash your hands, with the soap you best tolerate, where you might not have sink access. If you can go outside and drip on a lawn, maybe just bringing a squirt bottle and washing your hands outside might be a better idea (and maybe using the ends of a scarf, gloves, etc to open doors and touch random things on your way back in. You're still in the winter, so it's easier. In the summer I also tend to be wearing a scarf and if I'm in a place that is ridiculously germy I will use an end to touch things, and I try to do whatever I can without touching.)
These 70+% alcohol solutions do a job on your hands.

(this isn't really part of your question but lately everyplace I go people comment on it and it seems surprising that more people don't do it: bring your own pen!! I am NOT going to use that pen in the post office or, heaven forbid, on the counter at the doctor's office or pharmacy. I always have a pen on me.)
 
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Hi Raven,

I get a bunch of paper towels, the half width ones and stack them in a single layer in a freezer quality gallon size zip lock bag. Then in a large container I mix a good quality aloe vera gel, 90% etoh, a few drops of a biodegradable soap to break surface tension but not soapy. Mix well and pour it over the paper towels in the zip lock bag. (Yes pachamama, I'm sorry I know I am using plastic and I use the same ones for a decade.) Not too wet but saturated.

The paper towels give you a surface to wipe/scrub with, alcohol cleans, disinfects, aloe vera is gentle on skin and the few drops of soap break the surface tension. I keep them in the car, the apiary, the fields. Tuck them away in the shade in a protected place. Keep well sealed so they don't dry out.

Hope this works for you too.
 
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Some great ideas here.

The biggest challenge is going to be to change my behaviour pattern.  To remember to use this sanitizer.  This means I have to find something that is as convenient as possible and fits with established behaviour patterns.  

One of the reasons why wet wipes don't work is that I have to find a place to dispose of them.  Same with washable damp cloths - I have to remember them when I get home and put the old ones to dry/wash and replenish the supply.  

Since I always carry at least one small piece of dry cloth for hand drying and other things, I think something that I can put in a mini spray or pump bottle would work best for training myself into using it.  

I avoid aloe as it's one of those things that causes nasty pussy blisters on my skin.  

But please keep the ideas coming.  I'm a difficult case, but other people might be inspired by the suggestions.
 
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I only use hand sanitizer when I am not at home.  At home it is best to wash my hands  Actually, I do use it at home as I use it for a deodorant.

Here is a recipe for using glycerin.  If you are not familiar with glycerin, it used to be sold in office supply stores or drug stores.  I don't know what people use it for now days. It may be called glycerol.  The article says it can be bought in gallon on the internet.  I don't know if the two are the same though they might be.

This recipe is for a spray.  I am not sure that just mixing glycerin and alcohol would make a product like the hand sanitizer sold in stores because it would not have the "gel" effect like you get from aloe vera.

The article also has a recipe for the aloe vera gel kind.

https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-make-hand-sanitizer/

The Better (Spray) Recipe

   Isopropyl alcohol (also here)
   Glycerol or glycerin
   Hydrogen peroxide
   Distilled water
   Spray bottle

The aloe mixture gets the job done, but aloe also leaves your skin annoyingly sticky. So, here's a recipe that's less sticky and more potent, based on the mix recommended by the WHO.

Mix 12 fluid ounces of alcohol with 2 teaspoons of glycerol. You can buy jugs of glycerol online, and it's an important ingredient because it keeps the alcohol from drying out your hands. If you can't find glycerol, proceed with the rest of the recipe anyway and just remember to moisturize your hands after applying the sanitizer.

Mix in 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, then 3 fluid ounces of distilled or boiled (then cooled) water. (If you're working with a lower-concentration solution of rubbing alcohol, use far less water; remember, at least ¾ of your final mixture has to be alcohol.)
   

Load the solution into spray bottles—this isn't a gel, it's a spray. You can wet a paper towel with it as well and use that as a wipe.

If you must, you can add in a splash of essential oil to your concoction to make it smell nice. Just don’t use lavender. Everyone else uses lavender, and your sanitizer is superior.


 
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Take this with a grain of salt, but if you are willing to venture outside the realm of using things as they were intended I have a bit of a secret to share on finding 99.9998% Isopropyl Alcohol.

ISO-Heet


BE ADVISED: THIS ONLY APPLIES TO THE RED BOTTLE ISO-HEET. The yellow bottles are totally different.

I ran across this while working on a different issue and found it to be quite a handy bit of knowledge. This can be used with lanolin to make a lubricant for resizing things made from brass.

The SDS for this, Section 3, states the ingredients as 99.9998% Isopropyl alcohol and 0.0002% Xylene.

While the Xylene gave me pause at first I did recognize that it is 0.0002% or 2 ppm. Borderline trace amounts. Considering that of the 3 SDS sheets I looked at for standard 70% rubbing alcohol only one even listed water and the others didn't even list the % of alcohol in it, I personally am not that bothered by it considering the amount that you could be exposed to. But that's me.

Educate yourself and use at your own risk.

 
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Everclear grain alcohol in the 151, 189, and 190 U.S. proof (75.5%, 94.5% and 95% alcohol by volume, respectively) can be mixed with aloe Vera gel in proportions that keep the alcohol content 70% or above is said to be effective hand cleaner and has almost zero odor. Note the 120 proof (60% alcohol by volume) version is NOT strong enough.
 
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I have a bottle of unscented foaming hand santizer I am quite pleased with. I looked in to how to make more when I run out, and the recipe was quite simple - a small amount of liquid soap, the remainder rubbing alcohol. You just need a foaming hand soap dispenser, or a foaming dish soap dispenser + soap + 70% alcohol.

My father has been carrying around a cloth in a ziplock bag saturated in bleach-water solution and is using it to sterilize his hands and surfaces, but I personally wouldn't recommend it for hand cleaning!
 
Judith Browning
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Judith Browning wrote:As Dan says, plain old 70 percent isopropyl alcohol is our go to (if and when we remember) when we feel we need to wipe down doorknobs and 'things'.  I often use it for chigger bites, just splashed on my ankles and much less rarely use a little to 'wash' my hands.  I don't have any reaction or sensitivities to it though and some folks might.  It does not seem as drying to my skin as I thought it might be.  I used to use it often as an underarm 'deodorant'.


If you are not looking for antibacterial though how about a jar with small squares of cloth covered in a lesser percentage of alcohol with some water? Pull out one at a time and hang to dry and wash them later.  I've always intended to do something like that to keep in the car.  A wide mouth quart would hold several.



haha...I've taken my own advice here and have been using ten inch square pieces of muslin, folded small and stacked in a widemouth half pint...pour rubbing alcohol over them to saturate and put on the lid.  I use one before and after the grocery store on my hands and doors, etc and then hang over the edge of the car trash basket to dry...eventually they all get brought in the house and washed, dried and used over again.  I have no way of knowing if it's working...assuming it's better than nothing.  I don't like many scents and smelly things so this suits me fine....and doesn't seem to be bothering my skin?
 
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Judith Browning wrote:

Judith Browning wrote:As Dan says, plain old 70 percent isopropyl alcohol is our go to (if and when we remember) when we feel we need to wipe down doorknobs and 'things'.  I often use it for chigger bites, just splashed on my ankles and much less rarely use a little to 'wash' my hands.  I don't have any reaction or sensitivities to it though and some folks might.  


If you are not looking for antibacterial though how about a jar with small squares of cloth covered in a lesser percentage of alcohol with some water? Pull out one at a time and hang to dry and wash them later.  I've always intended to do something like that to keep in the car.  A wide mouth quart would hold several.



Excellent Idea to use in the care!

I saw a you tube video yesterday on how to make a hand santizer with 70% or 90% isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera.  I'm going to give it a try. I've got aloe coming out of my ears! LOL.


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