Homemade Hand Sanitizer from Sun Valley, Idaho 

I don’t typically use a hand sanitizer cause I feel a little dirt never hurt anyone. But since my little brother and mom live in the Seattle area, I’m a little less cavalier about germs these days. 

Last Monday I make a trip to Atkinson’s market and was surprised to discover that the market didn’t have one ounce of hand sanitizer for sale and they couldn’t get any from their distributors. But since the internet is such a wealth of information, I quickly discovered a recipe for homemade hand sanitizer, which isn’t foolproof, but it’s better than nothing. (See below about washing your hands, your best option in dealing with coronavirus.) I also discovered a few quirks about the coronavirus. 

A Few Quirks About the Coronavirus

#1 Don’t be afraid to love up to your mutt. Or ornery cat.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Me and Rosie at Redfish Lake in November 2019

According to Guy Palmer, DVM, and senior director of global health at Washington State University Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, until there is any information otherwise, pet owners can feel confident that the virus isn’t spreading between pets, owners and other pets. 

According to WebMD, petting your cat or dog not only feels good, it can also lower your blood pressure, help your body release a relaxation hormone, and cut down on levels of a stress hormone. 

Lower blood pressure and less stress is a good thing in this fast moving news atmosphere.


Homemade Hand Sanitizer

WebMD and National Public Radio both recommend singing Happy Birthday to yourself twice while washing your hands to make sure you kill any germs you’ve come in contact with. In other words, wash your hands for about 20 seconds. 

Use soap and water or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands at least three times a day, especially before eating or cooking, after using the loo, and after your sneeze or cough. 

DO NOT touch your eyes, nose or mouth. If you have met someone who has the virus, touching your face can help the virus enter your body. 

#3 There is no link between Corona Beer and the Coronavirus. Thank goodness! Can you imagine?


#4 Don’t use Tito’s Vodka for Hand Sanitizer. Or Denatured Alcohol. 

Homemade Hand Sanitizer from Sun Valley, Idaho

For one thing, to be effective a hand sanitizer needs to at least 60% alcohol; Tito’s is only 40% alcohol. And if you get quarantined, I highly suspect you’ll really regret splashing Tito’s on your hands! 

Another warning: Denatured alcohol contains ethanol, so it can can be dangerous if absorbed through the skin and can also irritate your hands.

Recipe for Homemade Hand Sanitizer

2/3 cup 91 percent Isopropyl rubbing alcohol

1/3 cup aloe vera gel

A dash of essential oils for their cooling or calming properties

Directions: Pour the rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel into a clean bowl, and stir (with a very clean fork) until well blended. And then give it another whirl or two to make sure the gel and rubbing alcohol are fully incorporated. Add several drops of essential oil to mask the smell of the rubbing alcohol. Using a clean funnel, pour the mixture into two travel-size spray bottles.

Most Importantly: The Center for Disease Control advises reverting to Homemade Hand Sanitizer only if you can’t purchase a reliable brand and if you don’t have access to soap and water. 

YOUR BEST OPTION: Wash your hands at least three times a day for 20 seconds each time. And wash again if you are in a crowded room. Voila! 


This recipe is not foolproof because the calculation doesn’t take into account the interaction between a gel and a liquid, which can lead to the alcohol being improperly diluted in the final product.  

MORAL OF THE STORY? Keep washing your hands and know the facts! 

If you have any questions, visit the Center for Disease Control website. 

If you plan to travel, know before you go.

Visit the World Health Organization website.

To track the worldwide spread of coronavirus, visit the John Hopkins University website.