DIY hand sanitizer: if you can't buy it, make it to prevent Coronavirus spread

With the stockpiling that's been going on, it's no surprise that DIY hand sanitizer might be your best option. This WHO-backed recipe will ward off germs when you're out and about

people using DIY hand sanitizer
(Image credit: Elizaveta Galitckaia, Shutterstock)

Can't get your hands on hand sanitizer? Try this DIY hand sanitizer recipe instead.

Global concerns over the spread of Coronavirus have lead to hand sanitizer shortages and soaring prices at online retailers like Amazon and eBay. 

But you shouldn't have to tap into your savings to fight COVID-19. Instead, we found an effective DIY hand sanitizer recipe that's been recommended by the World Health Organization for more than 10 years.

Read on for the full how-to, and check out our cleaning pages for more effective DIY cleaning remedies.

DIY hand sanitizer recipe

The World Health Organization (WHO) has used this hand sanitizer recipe for more than a decade, and calls alcohol-based hand sanitizers like this one, "the only known means for rapidly and effectively inactivating a wide array of potentially harmful microorganisms on hands."

DIY hand sanitizer: ingredients

Because the WHO hand sanitizer recipe is for 10L, we suggest dividing the ingredient measurements by 10.  We've shown quantities for both large and small batches below. 

  • Ethanol 96% or isopropyl alcohol 99.8%: 8,333ml / 833ml if dividing 
  • Hydrogen peroxide 3%: 417ml / 41ml if dividing
  • Glycerol 98%: 145ml / 14.5ml if dividing

DIY hand sanitizer: supplies

  • Glass or stainless steel tanks or lidded jugs. 
  • Wooden or metal spoons for mixing 
  • Measuring cups
  • Plastic or metal funnel
  • An alcoholometer: the temperature scale is at the bottom and the ethanol concentration (percentage v/v) at the top
  • Glass pump bottles in varying sizes for storage and travel.

DIY hand sanitizer: steps

1. Pour alcohol for the recipe into tank or bottle.

2. Use funnel to add hydrogen peroxide.

3. Rinse funnel with cold water. While funnel is still wet, pour glycerin through funnel into mixture (the water helps prevent glycerin from sticking to the funnel).

4. Top tank or bottle to 10L mark (or to 1L mark if dividing) with sterilized water.

5. Quickly cap jug or bottle to prevent alcohol evaporation.

6. Shake or stir to combine ingredients.

7. Immediately pour into storage bottles.

8. Let the mixture sit for 72 hours to kill any spores present in alcohol or storage tank.

9. Use alcoholmeter to measure alcohol content in hand sanitizer if desired (hand sanitizer should have at least 60% alcohol content to be effective). 

Want to buy hand sanitizer? These products are in stock

Carex Complete Aloe Vera Hand Wash 250ml | £19.99 for six packs from Amazon
It's pretty hard to find an antibacterial handwash that doesn't come in a large pack right now, especially if you don't fancy spending a tenner on one bottle. Buy six bottles of this handwash for £19.99 – that's just over £3 a pop – for peace of mind that your hands are germ-free. It kills 99.9 per cent of bacteria...View Deal

Petansy 2 Pack Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer, £11.32
Yes it is still in stock on Amazon. Keep one in your bag for when you leave home, but dot them around your house too and keep one by each sink. View Deal

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice.

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