Today’s Solutions: March 03, 2024

By now you must surely be aware that washing your hands clean is necessary to keep you and others protected during the pandemic. You’ve also probably gone through a bottle or two of Purell, and feel a bit tired of buying more expensive hand sanitizers. The good news is you can make your own hand sanitizer with stuff you (maybe) already have at home. Without further ado, here are two recipes from WIRED for making a DIY hand sanitizer at home.

The quick (gel) recipe

For this recipe, all you need is aloe vera gel, Isopropyl alcohol, and tea tree oil. Mix 3 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel, and a few drops of tea tree oil to give it a pleasant scent.

The better (spray) recipe

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: Isopropyl alcohol, glycerol or glycerin, hydrogen peroxide, distilled water, and a spray bottle. 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 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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