How to Make Your Own Homemade Hand Sanitiser

With the madness of panic buying that has been seen across the world, which started with the clearing of soap and hand sanitiser from shops and quickly led to the fighting over packs of toilet roll and dried pasta, some people have suggested making your own sanitiser.

Some public health officials have recommended against it on the grounds that the public “is unlikely to be able to get a formula correct at home”. 

However, if you’re left with the choice between that or nothing, making your own is likely better.

So from research, reliable sources state that you need sanitiser that is at least 60% alcohol. If health officials are concerned that an average Joe won’t get that right, perhaps it’s prudent to aim for a higher number…say 70-80%.

Ingredients for Homemade Hand Sanitiser

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Tea tree oil

The magic ingredient of hand sanitiser is alcohol, it will remove many bacteria and viruses from surfaces and it’s used to clean things like cuts and grazes, as well as paint brushes.

So, thanks to price gouging and profiteers prices of rubbing alcohol (or surgical spirit) have shot up on sites like Amazon. 

I’d ordered a 500ml bottle before the madness started, just to see if it was possible to make your own hand sanitiser. However, the seller didn’t ship it (either because they’d run out of stock, or because they wanted to keep their stock to sell at 10 times the price). Bottles that had previously cost around £3-5 are now selling for £30-60….which is just ridiculous.

So I sourced it from another site, and bought 2 litres instead. It arrived a few days later.

Using a high concentration of alcohol is necessary in making your own hand sanitiser. One of the best options is surgical spirit.

The other ingredients I used were aloe vera gel which I already had but you can buy from Boots or other similar shops and a few drops of tea tree oil which I picked up from Poundland.

Method for Making Hand Sanitiser at Home

Making hand sanitiser at home was quick and easy.

I used a 200ml bottle to make it, so you may need to change your quantities.

  1. Empty out 140ml of aloe Vera gel from the bottle (leaving 60ml in)
  2. Measure out 140ml of rubbing alcohol
  3. Pour the alcohol into the bottle with a funnel
  4. Add a few drops of tea tree oil
  5. Put the lid back on the bottle and shake until it’s mixed

And that’s it, it took not much longer than 5 minutes to do.

Note: I added a few drops of tea tree oil (just to make it smell nice, essential oils will not protect you from viruses). 

Cost of Homemade Hand Sanitiser

For this exercise I don’t think it has been cheaper to make hand sanitiser at home than it would have been to buy it from the shop.

This is mostly due to the increased cost of the rubbing alcohol. The shop I bought it from actually sold it at a reasonable price (£6ish for 2 litres), but it had £8.49 shipping because they usually sell in bulk.

A 200ml bottle of aloe vera gel is around £2.50 and the tea tree oil was £1. This brings the total cost to £18. 

A 50ml bottle of sanitiser can usually be bought for around 50p from Aldi, so there’s no saving here.

However, I have a lot more rubbing alcohol left which I can use for other things too.

In normal times, it may be slightly cheaper if you’re getting the rubbing alcohol for £3ish for 500ml. 

Does Homemade Hand Sanitiser Work?

Reliable sources claim that sanitiser needs to be 60% alcohol to work. Based on this, my recipe for making your own hand sanitiser should work.

My rubbing alcohol is around 99% alcohol and I mixed it with a ratio of 70% alcohol, 30% aloe vera gel. Therefore, the mixture should be 69.3% alcohol, so there’s lots of room to cover any margin of error.

Having tried it on my hands, it smells nice and seems to work just as well. It left my hands a bit wetter than off the shelf products, but I might just be using too much.

When health is concerned, cutting corners is not advised. However, with no other alternatives, this homemade hand sanitiser recipe may be the next best option.

That said, you should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water instead if that is available. 

Disclaimer: this was a recipe that we used but we accept no responsibility if you choose to follow it. This is only a guide for research purposes only. You should always complete a test patch before using any products.

A Quick Spring Clean to Make a Smartphone Last Longer

How and Why to Factory Reset Android to Make it Last Longer

Mobile phones are devices that have consumed our lives. Having now had a smartphone for a decade, I have come to realise that it is not just time and attention they consume, my phone is also a big consumer of money.

Originally, I’d bought iPhones, first the 3S, then the 4S, followed by the 5S. I was on two-year contracts, usually being offered an early upgrade a couple of months before the contract ended.

Once I reached the end of the iPhone 5S’ contract though, I had had enough.

The iPhone 6, although a different shape did not provide me with new features that I could justify the added cost. So I kept hold of the trusty iPhone 5S, doubling the previous lifespan to 4 years.

Shortly after the 4-year anniversary of my purchase though, it began to slow down and not hold its battery. It required charging multiple times a day to cope with my daily Google Maps powered commute and office music listening.

Making the Jump to Android from iPhone

Having already switched to a SIM only contract two years prior, I was debating whether to get a new iPhone or make the jump to Android. After speaking to a few people and a bit of Googling, I bit the bullet and made the switch.

I opted for the OnePlus 5T. This was a phone with an almost cult-like following. The brand had been a small underdog start-up in an industry dominated by giants like Apple and Samsung. Although, by the time the 5T was launched, OnePlus was a well-established brand.

Choosing Android Because it’s Cheaper

Nonetheless, the phone was fantastic. Fast, easy to use, and practical. Most importantly though, it was about half the price of the latest iPhone (which I think was the iPhone 8 at the time).

My calculation had been that the phone would need to last me at least 2 years to justify switching from Apple. It could not break, have a huge drop in performance, or see the battery life get sucked out of it like juice from a Capri Sun.

This shouldn’t have been a problem at all. I planned to keep it longer than 2 years, I was hoping for at least another 4.

Problem: Phone is Slowing Down Over Time

With 5 months to go before the magic 2-year date though…disaster. Not a sudden disaster like dropping it in a puddle or leaving it on a park bench.

A slow disaster. One that started with the battery draining slightly faster and then with it beginning to slow down. Opening an email in the Gmail app suddenly took several seconds, instead of being instant.

While that is certainly a first world problem, it made it difficult to use as it was hard to tell whether I had just not pressed a button or if it was thinking about completing the action.

I checked the RAM usage. Fine, the phone had 8GB in total and never went above 80% used. I cleared cache. I uninstalled apps. I deleted files I no longer needed. But to no avail.

After some Googling, I couldn’t find others that were having problems at the same time. This is always a good one to check in case a recent update is having the same effects on others. After hoping it wouldn’t come to this, I realised I would have to undertake factory reset.

The factory reset is relatively easy to do. It’s just that it is time consuming to install all your apps afterwards if they are not backed up and restored.

Thankfully OnePlus phones are fitted with an app called OnePlus Switch that does all the hard work for you. After running this, I reset the phone to factory settings.

How to Reset Your Android Phone to Factory Settings

Resetting your Android phone is quick and easy.

  1. Open your “Settings” app
  2. Scroll down and tap on “System”
  3. Tap “Reset Options”
  4. Tap “Erase all data (factory reset)”
  5. Decide whether you want to also “Erase internal storage” with the toggle button (WARNING: doing this will delete all of your photos, videos, etc)
  6. Tap “Reset Phone”

And that’s it. After waiting a while for it to be complete, the phone was fast again. Lightening fast. It looks like that magic 2 year mark should be a doddle and my financial gamble with Android will pay off.