If you’ve been to the grocery store in the U.S. in the past few days, you may have noticed that the shelves where Disinfectants, First Aid, and Hand Sanitizer are completely empty. People are in a panic from the COVID-19 (aka Novel Coronavirus) and are stockpiling common disinfectants. Even worse, some people are price gouging and inflating the price to resell these items. It’s pretty horrible. Maybe you should create your own DIY Hand Sanitizer? Let’s talk about COVID-19 Prep.
So… We have a solution for you! We are going to show you how to make your own DIY Hand Sanitizer that contains the recommended 60% alcohol content. It works great, is very moisturizing, and you can make a LOT of it pretty easily. Not only that, but all of the materials (right now) are still available. With that said, how do you make your own Hand Sanitizer that is 60% alcohol?
The best way to make your own DIY hand sanitizer during the coronavirus panic it to buy Everclear at the liquor store. You will have to be of legal age to do this. Everclear is 95% food grade ethanol sold in a bottle as a drink. In a clean container or plastic bottle, mix the Everclear into a water-based household lotion. If you use an oil-based lotion (i.e mineral oil), it will not mix correctly. Just as oil and water don’t mix, oil and ethanol will not mix properly. Watch this YouTube video for detailed steps:
Step 1: Gather Your Container, Water-Based Lotion, and Everclear
During the Coronavirus Panic, specifically on Friday, March 13, 2020, I purchased a few small travel containers at a local Walmart. If the stores run out of small, plastic containers, you can always reuse something from around the house. If you do, be sure to wash it out really well with Soap and Water so that there are no weird chemical reactions when you make your DIY Hand Sanitizer. Worst case scenario, you can empty out two thirds of the lotion from the lotion bottle, then fill it up with Everclear.
If you already have a water-based lotion around the house, feel free to use it. There are, however, thicker lotions you can buy that work better. Most lotions will create a thin hand sanitizer, which will work well, but might be a little “watery” if you will. I purchased an off brand thick lotion that’s similar to the Gold Bond brand that advertises as “Restoring” or for “Diabetes” patients.
Furthermore, you will need the Everclear. Keep in mind that Everclear is 95% ethanol. It is very potent and powerful stuff. You could use it to remove nail polish, paint, or varnish from items. You could probably rub some paint off your car with it. Also, high purity ethanol such as Everclear is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE! So be careful.
I think it’s important to note that most “Alcohol” sold in disinfectants is Isopropyl Alcohol, or Isopropynol. However, most chemistry and biology labs use Ethyl Alcohol, or Ethanol. For many reasons. Ethanol works really well for sterilization and sanitation. Most labs use 70% to 97% depending on what it’s used for. Remember, Everclear is 95% ethanol.
Step 2: Mix Your Everclear and Lotion at a 3:1 Ratio
To be honest, you can “eyeball” this measurement if you feel comfortable with it. However, if you are one to measure things out, feel free to. Depending on the size of your container, the measurements would vary. Just be sure to have about a 3 to 1 ratio by volume of Everclear to Lotion. This should make a DIY hand sanitizer that’s around 70% alcohol by volume.
IMPORTANT: Leave enough space at the top (large air bubble) of your container for shaking/mixing. If you fill it to the top, it probably won’t mix very well. When I made mine, I left about one third or so at the top empty for mixing.
Before you ask, I’m not going to perform any calculations or use the dilution formula to demonstrate how we get the percentages. I will leave that to your creative mind (or watch the video above) since I don’t know what size of container you are using. Also, I think you have enough resources to figure it out.
Step 3: Shake Well to Mix the DIY Hand Sanitizer Together
After combining the Everclear and lotion, close the container and shake it vigorously for a minute. Open the container and put a little on your finger. If it needs more mixing, shake it vigorously again for another minute.
If you see any small bits or bubbles that seem separated from the homogenized mixture, don’t worry too much about it. It’s just a little bit of lotion that didn’t mix together well. Your DIY hand sanitizer will still work.
Conclusion: DIY Hand Sanitizer – Empty Shelves – Covid-19 Prep
Buying Everclear from the liquor store is a great way to obtain access to 95% ethyl alcohol, which is the type of alcohol that chemistry and microbiology labs use for all kinds of reaction, extraction, and sterilization purposes. It’s pretty incredible stuff. With the right “Home Science” skills, you can easily create disinfectant and sanitation products that are better than many products sold in the stores.
If you have any questions, input, or general comments… Feel free to leave me a comment below!