A glass, with Hand sanitizer

Can’t Get Your Hands on Hand Sanitizer? Make Your Own

My mailbox has filled up the past couple of days with letters from readers who find themselves on the verge of Purell panic!

A glass, with Hand sanitizer and Purell

Purell is flying off the shelves as people are hoarding gel-based hand sanitizers (Purell is just one brand) in response to seasonal virus. My sources report that hand sanitizer has mostly disappeared from store shelves in the U.S. as individuals and businesses stock up on supplies.

Still, we’re being instructed by professionals everywhere that washing our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best proactive defense. And when soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer doesn’t kill all viruses, but it is effective against this new recent virus, says CBS News contributor Dr. David Agus.

So what’s a wise person to do when hand sanitizer is nowhere to be found? You can make it yourself following either of the recipes that follow. Both use ingredients you may have already or are available at any supermarket, drugstore or online.

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Hand Sanitizer #1

For this recipe, below, you will need:

Hand Sanitizer #2


A glass, with Hand sanitizer

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

When hand sanitizer is in short supply, don't panic. Instead, make this Purell copycat yourself using ingredients available at any supermarket, drugstore, or online.
4.05 from 21 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Make Your Own
Cuisine: Health and Beauty
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Cost: Varies


  • mixing bowl
  • spoon
  • funnel
  • small spray bottle, liquid soap container , other containers for dispensing


Hand Sanitizer #1

  • 2/3 cup isopropyl alcohol (70% by vol or greater) (see NOTE 1)
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel (see NOTE 2)
  • 5-10 drops essential oil optional

Hand Sanitizer #2

  • 4 cups isopropyl alcohol (70% by vol or greater) can substitute greater strengths; see NOTE 1
  • 3 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide (3% by vol) , see NOTE 3
  • 2 tablespoons glycerine , see NOTE 4


Hand Sanitizer #1

  • Pour the alcohol and aloe vera in a bowl and stir until blended.
  • Add several drops of essential oil and stir to help mask the smell of alcohol (optional)
  • Use the funnel to pour the 8-ounces of mixture into containers, then label to clearly identify the bottles' contents.

Hand Sanitizer #2

  • Pour the isopropyl alcohol into a clean container.
  • Add hydrogen peroxide.
  • Add glycerine.
  • Gently mix the ingredients together either by stirring or sealing and gently shaking the bottle.
  • Dispense the sanitizer into smaller individual bottles that have tight-fitting lids.


  1. Also known in the U.S. as rubbing alcohol, which comes in varying strenghts but you want at last 70% by vol., or "v/v." Find isopropyl alcohol in drugstores, supermarkets or online in varying strengths. 
  2. This comes in a bottle, and found in supermarkets, drugstores, and online.
  3. Make sure it's fresh.
  4. Find glycerine in drugstores, some supermarkets in the baking aisle.
  5. Hand Sanitizer #1 yield: 1 cup. Hand Sanitizer #2 yield; 4 cups.
Tried this recipe?Mention @EverydayCheapskate or tag #EverydayCheapskate!

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30 replies
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  1. deb in sc says:

    5 stars
    I think I must have done something wrong as my last comment didn’t make it. I finally got my hands on some SNIPER (thank you for recommending!!) and have made my wipes….but am also wondering if I can use it with glycerine to make hand sanitizer? Do I just replace the alcohol with SNIPER? Do I still need the hydrogen peroxide?

  2. deb in sc says:

    Mary, I finally got my hands on some SNIPER (THANK YOU!!!). I have made my sanitizing wipes and hubby and I carry them everywhere in zip lock bag. I am wondering if I can also make a hand santizer (gel) using glycerine and SNIPER….would the proportions be the same just substitue SNIPER for alcohol? Would I still need the hydrogen peroxide?

  3. Luisa says:

    Mary, I hate to sound like a broken record, but for many of us rubbing alcohol, bleach, and hand sanitizer have not been available since early this month. I see you and others saying that rubbing alcohol is easily available. Please tell us where. Thank you.

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