Super Quick and Easy Homemade Hand Sanitizer

During cold and flu season, it’s important to wash your hands often. That’s truly the best way to prevent sickness. However, there are times when it’s just not possible to wash your hands, yet you still need to get rid of germs. For this reason, I always carry a little bottle of my favorite homemade hand sanitizer to use when I don’t have access to soap and water. In fact, I keep a small bottle in my purse and another in my car. I often end up giving away one of my spare bottles to somebody else who needs it, and this way I still have one for myself!

The great thing about homemade sanitizer is that it is super quick and easy to mix up. It literally only takes a few minutes to mix up, and doing so doesn’t mess up the whole kitchen! And you don’t need any special equipment, either. I do like to use my glass measuring cups and stainless steel measuring spoons, just because I don’t want essential oils to leech into plastic cups and spoons. However, you can use plastic ones if that’s all you have. Just give them a good cleaning with hot water and dish soap before you use them again.

If you have Thieves essential oil, you can use it to make this recipe. If not, you’ll want to get the individual essential oils to use instead. I’ve made it both ways. I do love Thieves EO, and I try to keep some handy. I also like to keep the individual oils for different uses, though, so I usually have them at home too.

You’ll also need: pure witch hazel, aloe vera gel (or liquid), and vitamin E oil (as a natural preservative). We use our hand sanitizer up pretty quickly, so I don’t bother adding the vitamin E if I don’t have any. And of course you’ll need some small spray bottles or squeeze bottles to put your hand sanitizer in so you can carry it with you and use it!

If you have small glass spray bottles, those are great for long-term storage. If not, you can use plastic (squeeze or spray) bottles. Plastic doesn’t hold up well long-term against essential oils, but they’ll be fine as long as you use the contents within a few weeks or even months. I love these amber glass spray bottles, but these plastic bottles will work too.

homemade hand sanitizer


Note: This recipe makes 8 ounces of hand sanitizer.

  • 1/3 cup witch hazel
  • 2/3 cup aloe gel or liquid
  • 15 drops Thieves EO if you have it.
  • OR (If you don’t have Thieves), use 5 drops clove EO, 4 drops lemon EO, 3 drops cinnamon EO, 2 drops eucalyptus EO, and 1 drop rosemary EO)
  • 1 capsule of vitamin E oil
  • 3 (3-ounces each) bottles for storing and dispensing


Mix together all ingredients in a glass measuring cup. I use a fork to mix mine, but you can also use a tiny whisk if you have one. Then simply pour your mixture into individual spray or squeeze bottles. Use a funnel if you have one! I’ve used both depending on what I can find, and I’ve found that either works well.

Why not just use store-bought, alcohol-based hand sanitizer?

That’s a great question! First, I don’t use store-bought hand sanitizers because many of them contain dangerous and toxic chemicals that I don’t want on my skin or in my body (or in the bodies of my children). Secondly, some studies show that using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer does kill the germs that are on your hands, but it also makes your hands 70-80% more likely (over at least the next hour or so) to absorb germs and toxins from the environment than would have otherwise been the case. I don’t feel like that’s a good trade off! I don’t want to kill my current germs and, at the same time, greatly increase my chances of absorbing more germs.

Yes, the best way to avoid germs and stay healthy is by washing your hands well and often (with soap and water). But if you’re traveling or out and about in your local area and you aren’t able to wash your hands, this super quick and easy homemade hand sanitizer really is a great alternative! It’s not only a great way to kill germs, but the ingredients are actually good for your hands. I’ve found that this mixture leaves my hands soft and not greasy or dry at all! And because it’s so easy to make, there’s no reason not to give it a try. I think you’ll love it!

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  1. Can you please share with us your support for the claims that alcohol based hand sanitizers cause increase risk of toxin absorption? I have not heard this before. Which studies show this? Thanks!

    1. Sure! Here are two of the articles (with studies noted and linked) that I referenced concerning this topic. There are more, but these are a couple of the ones that were easiest to read for us non-scientists. 🙂 As I noted in the article, it’s best to wash your hands with soap and water if possible, but if not, hand sanitizer is a good option. I realize that some people prefer to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Of course each parent must choose what he or she feels is best for his/her own family. If you, like me, don’t want to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, this one is a good option.

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