If you’ve visited a pharmacy, grocery store or big box store recently, you might have noticed quite a few bare shelves. With the novel coronavirus officially taking hold in the United States, people throughout the country seem to be scrambling to take preparedness measures not just to protect themselves from the virus, but also to stock up their homes in case the need to self-quarantine arises. Some people are even concerned that so many people will get sick that many stores and utility companies will actually cease operations at some point. According to the CDC, most of this is unlikely, but people are scared. There have been widespread reports of many stores running out of things like toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, disinfectants and of course, hand sanitizer.
You Can Take Things Into Your Own Hands
Most medical professionals agree that you probably don’t need to stockpile any of these things and that while hand sanitizer is good to have, regular hand washing (at least 20 seconds) is the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep yourself healthy. Still, if you didn’t have any hand sanitizer before people started going crazy over it or you find yourself running low and can’t track any down in stores, you can actually make your own hand sanitizer at home with just a few ingredients.
“Homemade hand sanitizers are just as effective as what you buy as long as you use the right percentage of alcohol,” CBS News contributor Dr. David Agus told CBS MoneyWatch. “This is a good way to get around people price-gouging for Purell.”
You Just Need Three Ingredients
Making your own hand sanitizer is super-easy and affordable, but if you don’t use the right ingredients at the correct ratio, it won’t be effective. You’ll need a bottle of 99-percent isopropyl (better know as rubbing alcohol), some 100-percent pure aloe vera gel and essential oils if you want to scent your sanitizer. As far as tools, you’ll want some travel-size plastic bottles with lids or an empty hand soap dispenser, a bowl, a spoon and a funnel to make it easier to transfer the mixture into containers.
All You Have to Do Is Mix and Store
The important thing you MUST remember is that your homemade hand sanitizer should be composed of two parts alcohol to one part aloe vera gel. This will leave you with a product that is roughly 60-percent alcohol, which is the minimum needed for effectiveness against coronavirus. To make hand sanitizer just combine two-thirds of a cup of 99-percent rubbing alcohol with one-third of a cup of 100-percent pure aloe vera gel, along with a few drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance. Mix everything together in a bowl and pour into storage bottles with lids or pumps for convenience. We also recommend getting yourself some masking tape or adhesive labels to label the bottles.