Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Posted in Germ Fighting Life, Germ Fighting Products, Healthy Alternatives, MRSA, Public Places on Jul 20, 2018

For the past six months I have been working in a medical office where there are a lot of germ-contaminated sick people. I use hand sanitizer constantly. Fortunately, I will be leaving that job soon. I also worked in retail while I was getting my college degree and used a lot of hand sanitizer combined with handling receipt tape that has BPA in it. It has kept me from catching colds or the flu, but that’s a lot of alcohol on my skin and a lot of exposure to BPA.

Here’s what the NTP (National Toxicology Program has to say about BPA (Bisphenol A is a chemical widely used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins):

“The NTP has “some concern“ for BPA’s effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current exposure levels. The NTP has “minimal concern“ for effects on the mammary gland and an earlier age for puberty in females, fetuses, infants, and children at current exposure levels.” Source: https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materials/bisphenol_a_bpa_508.pdf

A Newsweek article states “hand sanitizers (as well as other cosmetic products like hand lotions) contain chemicals the make the skin more permeable to various substances, including BPA, says study author and University of Missouri researcher Frederick vom Saal. The study found that hand sanitizers could increase the absorption of BPA into the body by a factor of 100 or more.” Source: https://www.newsweek.com/hand-sanitizer-speed-absorption-bpa-receipts-279232

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are generally considered safe. However, since alcohol is drying to the skin, most hand sanitizers include some type of moisturizer. Continuously using it like I do makes my hands feel sticky. I do wash my hands at the sink as much as possible but I can’t do that after every patient, transaction, or clipboard.

I have accepted an Americorps VISTA Public School Partnership position that I start next month. I will be working with kids in public schools. I anticipate using a lot of hand sanitizer during my year of service in this position, but I am also looking forward to getting some valuable experience in the education part of my bachelor’s degree.

The solution: Homemade hand sanitizer

I have found two recipes for hand sanitizer that have safe and effective ingredients which can easily be found at a local health food store or online.

The first one is a spray hand sanitizer that I found at https://wholefully.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/. The recipe is as follows:

  1. 2 ounce spray bottle
  2. 5 drops vitamin E oil (optional, this makes for soft hands!)
  3. 2 tablespoons witch hazel with aloe vera or vodka
  4. 5 drops lemon essential oil
  5. 5 drops orange essential oil
  6. 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  7. Distilled (or at least filtered, boiled, and cooled) water

I am currently on my third bottle of this in about three weeks. I went with witch hazel over vodka. The tea tree essential oil overpowers the citrus scent but it is also a powerful antiseptic. I use this at work and my hands aren’t sticky at all. I also spray it in my work space if a sick person comes around. I re-purposed an empty, dark-colored glass bottle that once had colloidal silver in it and it works perfectly! If you visit the link above, they also provide a printable label that can be put on the bottle.

The second hand sanitizer recipe can be found at https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/ and the recipe is:

  • 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 1 Tablespoon witch hazel extract or high-proof vodka
  • 8 ounces 100% pure aloe vera gel
  • ¼ teaspoon Vitamin E oil – a natural preservative to increase shelf life (It will also help soften hands!)

I have yet to try this recipe but I plan to! I like that both of these recipes use tea tree oil. It is my favorite essential oil because it kills MRSA.

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