In a time of a global pandemic, people pay especially close attention to personal hygiene and disinfecting the areas around them. Of course, cold and flu viruses may strike at any time, so these practices always make sense. One of the rituals in the cleanliness and disinfecting category involves the use of hand sanitiser. But, during this time of worldwide vigilance, perhaps when you arrived at the apothecary you find empty spaces on the shelves that house the hand sanitiser,
Don’t panic! Making your own hand sanitiser represents an easy and cost-effective task. Additionally, what you make in your home will possess the same disinfecting qualities as commercial brands.
How effective is hand sanatiser, and how should I use it?
Hand sanitiser does kill microbes and some germs. It does not represent a substitute for washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Ideally, the application of hand sanitiser should come after you wash your hands. Hand sanitiser adds an extra layer of insurance in obtaining clean hands.
If you’re in a situation where you can’t immediately wash your hands, carrying a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you does represent a convenience. However, circumstances exist where you should not use hand sanitiser:
- Your hands contain visible dirt or grease
- Your hands already contain other chemical substances such as sunscreen or insect repellent.
- You should ask the advice of a physician if you already possess a contagious disease.
Applying hand sanitiser follows a similar procedure to that of proper handwashing:
- Place an appropriate dosage of the solution in the palm of your hand. You don’t need more than a dollop the size of a dime.
- Rub your hands thoroughly for a minimum 20 seconds. Make sure you reach all parts of the hand, especially between your fingers and under the nails. Keeping your nails short during an infectious time represents a good hygiene practice.
- Rub your hands until the solution evaporates.
How to make your own hand sanitiser:
Below we will give step by step instructions on how to make an effective hand sanitiser. And, why you’re at it, why not make some for friends and family as well.
Ingredients needed to make hand sanitiser:
- A glass or plastic container either for travel or personal use or with a pump for home use
- A funnel that coordinates with the size of the bottle
- A measuring device
- A mixing bowl
- A measuring spoon
- A large bottle of rubbing alcohol
- Pure aloe vera gel
- Essential oil represents an optional ingredient but one that may make the solution smell better and result in some added benefits. Peppermint or eucalyptus oil smells lovely and may spark an energetic feeling. Lavender oil promotes calmness. Rose oil reduces anxiety and encourages a sense of well-being.
- Soap and water
Procedures to make hand sanitiser:
Gather all the above ingredients.
Wash your hands with soap and water minimally for 20 seconds.
Clean and sterilise the bottles, mixing bowl, spoon, funnel, and measuring device.
Measure six to seven parts of the rubbing alcohol and place it in the mixing bowl. The solution needs to consist of at least 60% rubbing alcohol to disinfect properly. You may use up to 70% alcohol, but no more than that.
Measure four parts of the aloe vera gel and place that in the mixing bowl.
Add the essential oil if desired. The amount you add will depend on the size of your bottle and personal preference. Remember, with essential oils, a little goes a long way. For a three-ounce bottle, for instance, you only need a couple of drops.
Mix the solution thoroughly with your clean spoon.
Funnel the solution into the bottle or bottles.
Congratulations! You just made hand sanitiser!
The use of hand sanatiser does make a difference, especially in situations where a lot of people gather. But we need more research conducted. So, use your hand sanitiser appropriately, but also continue to practice other health regimens to avoid catching or spreading infectious diseases.