Here’s how to make your own hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer covered here is a gel type containing 62% ethanol. These are common items in hospitals, restaurants, and homes, and are easily available at pharmacies and online shopping malls.
However, these common hand sanitizers are very difficult to obtain in the aftermath of Wuhan pneumonia (COVID-19). Not only is it very difficult to buy, it is ridiculously expensive even if you can.
So I’m releasing a standard recipe for hand sanitizers that can be easily made and used at home with basic ingredients readily available in pharmacies or marts. This method requires only transparent bottles and pens in addition to ingredients, eliminating the need for volumetric instruments such as graduated beakers. I am a surgeon and a father raising my daughter, so I have thoroughly reviewed and organized them.
- Empty bottle
- 1 ~ 2L glass bottles or plastic bottles are recommended.
- Prepare the transparent ones with good visibility inside.
- 83% Ethanol (Rubbing alcohol)
- You need 75% of the total amount of hand sanitizer you want to make. For example, if you make 1 liter of hand sanitizer, prepare at least 750 mL of 83% ethanol.
- Distilled water
- You need 12.5% of the total amount of hand sanitizer you want to make. For example, if you make 1 liter of hand sanitizer, prepare at least 125 mL of distilled water.
- You need 12.5% of the total amount of hand sanitizer you want to make. For example, if you make 1 liter of hand sanitizer, prepare at least 125 mL of glycerin.
- Subdivision container
- Choose a container with a pumped lid that is not sprayed. Spray type is used for perfumes and fragrances, and pump type is used for shampoos and lotions. (See figure)
- It is recommended around 200mL for portable and 500mL for mounting.
How to make
- Rinse empty bottles thoroughly and dry.
- Mark outside the empty bottle for the total amount of hand sanitizer required. (① in the figure)
- Mark at 1/2 position between bottom of container and ①. (② in the figure)
- Mark at 1/2 position between ① and ②. (③ in the figure)
- Mark at 1/2 position between ① and ③. (④ in the figure)
- Fill with 83% ethanol to ③.
- Fill with distilled water from ③ to ④.
- Fill with glycerin from ④ to ①.
- After filling the empty bottles with all the ingredients, close the lid and shake well.
- Divide into subdivision containers for your purpose.
- Commercially available rubbing ethanol is 83% aqueous solution, not 100%.
- Diluting 83% ethanol with distilled water and glycerin according to the combination above gives a final concentration of 62.25%. This is exactly the same concentration of gel type hand sanitizer on the market. For reference, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that hand sanitizers contain at least 60% alcohol.1
- Glycerin is added for a moisturizing effect.
- 83% ethanol, distilled water and glycerin are available at pharmacies or online stores.
- According to CDC, isopropyl alcohol or n-propanol can be used as a substitute if ethanol is not available. Whatever type of alcohol is used, hand sanitizers should contain 60% to 95% alcohol.2
- The expiration date is based on the shortest expiration date indicated on the materials. (Example: If the expiration date of 83% ethanol is June 1, 2021, and glycerin is December 1, 2021, the expiration date of the hand sanitizer is June 1, 2021.)
As you already know, I am not a native English speaker. Nevertheless, I wrote in English that was not perfect because I thought that health was a common concern for people all over the world. I want to share my little knowledge with those who needed it. Please leave additional questions or comments below. You are welcome to report any errors.