Easy Homemade Essential Oil Hand Sanitizer

hand sanitizer

By Jonathan Parker

Working in the ER, I have to cleanse my hands (at a minimum) before and after each patient contact. If you work in any type of job with lots of interaction, you know what I mean.

Dry skin, sore hands, no matter how much lotion you use, you just wash it off 3 minutes later. And the commercial scents? Overpowering! Often literally sickening. Common anti-bacterial products kill all microbes, even friendly ones. They use triclosan – an environmental hazard and hormone disruptor that contributes to bacteria resistance.

Why not make your own chemical-free, unscented hand sanitizer using powerful essential oils and a few other ingredients. It’s really easy – no mixers, no heating, and no complicated ingredients!

Here is all you need:

  • 5-10 drops of Lavender essential oil

Lavender oil is highly regarded for skin care and is soothing for skin irritations. It has a fresh, gentle, flowery aroma. Other anti-bacterial oils such as sandalwood, rosemary or sage are great too. For a nice holiday scent you can also use peppermint, cinnamon, or clove.

  • 30 drops of Tea Tree oil

Clinical studies have shown Tea Tree oil to be anti-bacterial in concentrations of 0.5-1%, and supports your body’s immune system.

Vitamin E contains natural anti-oxidants which can help extend the shelf-life of your hand sanitizer. Vitamin E also adds to the sebum produced by your skin and helps keep skin hydrated. You can use other oils if you like, but the vitamin E is a great all natural preservative.

  • 1 tbsp of witch hazel (vodka can also be used, providing it is high-proof.)

Witch hazel, a gentle astringent, is well known for skin treatment and is also used in treatments for psoriasis and eczema.

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If you grow your own aloe plants, you can extract your own aloe, which will be a slightly thicker consistency than commercially available gel. Simply use slightly more witch hazel to keep a smoother mix as preferred.

Add all the oils together in a glass or bowl – can stir with toothpick or wooden spoon.
Add the witch hazel and continue hand-mixing. Combine this mixture with the aloe vera gel and mix well.

Use a small plastic or glass bottle with a lid, shake well before each use. These oils lose their effectiveness over time, so expect a shelf life of a few months with the added Vitamin E. Blue or brown glass bottles will protect the oils from deterioration caused by light exposure.

Note: Keep in mind that essential oils are very concentrated plant extracts, be aware if you or anyone in your family has any allergies/sensitivities and change your mix accordingly. Always use carrier oils when using EOs on skin. This hand sanitizer accomplishes that.
UPDATE: A word of caution, Tea Tree Oil has been shown to be fatal or even toxic to some pets, please store your supplies accordingly.

Come back soon if you’d like some wholesale essential oils to start your path toward toxin-free DIY frugal living.

Jonathan Parker is an EMT-Paramedic and Preparedness Instructor with a love for emergency medicine, self-sufficiency and homesteading. His goal is to empower people towards a natural and sustainable lifestyle.

Image by Kiado

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