Homemade hand sanitizer with mask

DIY Homemade Hand Sanitizer Spray at Home on the Cheap

With the current coronavirus / COV-19 outbreak sweeping the news, it’s no surprise supplies are flying off the shelves. Among them, hand sanitizer is one of, if not THE heaviest hit product. Luckily, you can make your own homemade hand sanitizer spray at home quickly and easily, and with ingredients you likely already have in your medicine cabinet!

CVS Sanitizer Shortage

Hand Sanitizer Shortage

Hand sanitizer usage is certainly up based on the current cov-19-fueled sanitizer shortage. So far, I have yet to find any hand sanitizer for sale in local stores. I saw empty shelves in CVS with a sign indicating no supply is currently available.


I found the Michael’s craft store in Pottstown absolutely gouging customers on hand soap — not even sanitizer! — more than tripling the price. (And cleverly leaving the original price tag underneath. SMDH)

Michaels Gouging Customers on Hand Soap

Do we really need all this hand sanitizer stockpiled up? Who knows… I am trying not to obsess over this health crisis, as my inner hypochondriac needs no outside encouragement. Still, it seemed like a fun idea to “make potions” with my kids today, so that’s what we did. We made homemade hand sanitizer.

Making Homemade Hand Sanitizer

According to the CDC, hand sanitizer is your next best option when washing with soap and water is not possible. Just make sure your concoction is at least 60% alcohol to be effective. The best way to do this is to use the high potency 91 and 99 percent isopropyl alcohol.

If you want some hand sanitizer but can’t find any without cashing in your retirement savings, look no further. Here is a very easy DIY hand sanitizer recipe you can make with common ingredients at home. And, according to the CDC, hand sanitizer in this ratio will be effective against those bad germs. (Still, the best recommendation is always to wash hands in warm water with soap for 20 seconds at a time – about how long it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.)

DIY Homemade Hand Sanitizer

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe


2/3 cup 91% isopropyl alcohol

1/3 cup aloe vera gel

Several drops of essential oils (we chose sweet orange oil and it worked well!)

Measuring cup (We found a 4-cup capacity at Dollar tree)

Mini spray bottles from Dollar Tree, other store, or Amazon

Spoon to mix (we reused a frozen yogurt spoon)

DIY Sanitizer Supplies

* Check your local dollar store or discount store for most of these materials. Amazon is absolutely gouging on medical supplies like isopropyl alcohol right now. (If you’re curious…)

Homemade Hand Sanitizer Instructions

  1. Measure 2/3 cup of 91% rubbing alcohol. We used a measuring cup we don’t intend to use for food, just crafting.
  2. Add 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel.
  3. Add several drops of your desired essential oil (for therapeutic use, not aromatherapy use). We chose sweet orange essential oil and it helped to mask the strong alcohol smell.
  4. Mix together and pour carefully into one or more small spray bottles. Use a funnel if necessary.

DIY Sanitizer Recipe

Cost to Make Homemade Sanitizer

We bought all the supplies to make our homemade hand sanitizer locally. We shopped at Big Lots, and Dollar Tree, and Walmart.

Dollar Tree:

  • Measuring cup, 4 cup capacity
  • Aloe Vera Gel, green
  • Set of plastic travel bottles, including a spray bottle
  • Set of 3 funnels (we actually didn’t need these)

Big Lots:

  • 91% isopropyl alcohol, 32-ounce bottle, reasonably priced at $2.60
  • Mini travel bottle set with tiny funnel, on sale for $1.50


  • Essential oils set for therapeutic use – $14.99

If you have oils already at home, you’ll be all set! Also, you don’t have to use oils for fragrance, but it does improve the scent dramatically!

We used a spoon we already had from Kiwi Yogurt to mix everything.

Just to get your first batch (with extra supplies for future batches), you could spend:

  • $3 at Dollar Tree (aloe, bottles, measuring cup)
  • $2.60 at Big Lots

Just a little over $5 for a large personal supply of homemade hand sanitizer!

homemade hand sanitizer

Affordable Defense Against Coronavirus

We made two batches of homemade hand sanitizer and still have enough ingredients leftover to make quite a few more batches. We actually need more spray bottles more than anything, as the homemade sanitizer was quite liquidy.

I’ve also heard you can make homemade hand sanitizer with vodka, but according to Newsweek, it’s not effective enough. (If you must make some craft hand sanitizer, you’ll need 180 proof alcohol to try.) Not only that, but we only have Stoli in our house right now, so that would be pretty darn close to just buying the astronomical sanitizer on Amazon. 🙂

Hope you all enjoy this super simple project and sanitizing solution. Feel free to share this post with your friends and family. Drop us a comment below if you try it or have any other tips to add!

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