I am not a fan of commercial hand sanitizers that contain drying alcohol and often contain antibacterial ingredients that may contribute to resistant strains of bacteria.
Now, please hear me out. I’m not talking about smothering our bodies in buckets of dirt and rubbing our hands on every public grocery cart in the store. Please don’t do that! Instead, let’s avoid the constant urge to sanitize our living conditions with millions of toxins in a state of paranoia. Cleaning is good, very good! But a little bit of healthy dirt (allowing our kids to run around outside, garden, and get dirty every now and then) is wonderful for the immune system. Also if you’ve been reading recent reports about how unhealthy the use of hand sanitizers can be, keep in mind that the danger exists in the chemicals used in commercial sanitizers.
This hand sanitizer recipe uses NONE of those harmful chemicals, and relies on pure essential oils to kill germs. One of the unique qualities of essential oils is that they do not cause bacterial resistance like antibacterial chemicals do, and are actually effective in killing strains of bacteria that have become resistant to our man-made medicines and chemicals.
However, sometimes it’s nice to have a hand sanitizer available for emergencies. In these cases, this gentle homemade formula is one of the best alternatives to commercial hand sanitizers. Another benefit to this aromatherapy hand sanitizer gel is that it doesn’t dry the skin and is actually nourishing because of the aloe vera.
You will need…
-25 drops of tea tree oil
-9 drops of lavender oil
-9 drops of clove oil
-1 tablespoon of witch hazel (optional)
-16 tablespoons organic aloe vera gel
-A small container
In a glass or ceramic bowl place all your drops of essential oils. Stir these together and allow to infuse for at least 10 minutes. Add 16 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and 1 tablespoon of witch hazel (if you are using it.) Blend everything together and then fill into pump style bottles. If you find that it is too thick for your liking, then you can always add distilled water or colloidal silver too thin to desired consistency.
Why lavender oil: Lavender has been used to cleanse wounds for centuries. It wasn’t until recently that actual studies have begun to show that lavender does indeed wipe out some forms of bacteria, and it is particularly effective against fungus. A UK based study found that lavender oil consistently inhibited the growth of MSSA and MRSA, which means it stopped the growth of the microbes that cause staph infections that have become resistant to current day medicine.
Why tea tree oil: The antiseptic action of tea tree is thought to be one hundred times more powerful than carbolic acid – and yet it is non-poisonous to humans! It is well recognized for its ability to kill several forms of bacteria, viruses, and fungi upon contact, thanks to its main antimicrobial component, Terpinen-4-ol.
Why clove oil: Clove oil has strong antiseptic properties making it good at preventing colds and influenza whilst also killing off bad germs and bacteria.
Why witch hazel (optional): Witch hazel can work as an antiseptic, and the reason it does so is because it contains alcohol, which disrupts the cell membrane of the bacteria, denatures its proteins, ultimately kills it. While witch hazel does not contain the 70% concentration of alcohol that would be needed to match store-bought hand sanitizers (60%-70% is usually the baseline suggested for making a true dent in killing germs) the added essential oils are what we rely on to kill a lot of the illness causing germs and bacteria. It does add a boost to the recipe, but isn’t necessary if you want to avoid alcohol all together.
Why Organic Aloe vera gel: This lovely substance has its own special antibacterial and antifungal properties, and it also does double duty as a moisturizer, keeping your hands soft and safe from getting dried out. In this recipe it functions as our carrier substance as well to dilute the essential oils.
Making your own hand sanitizer isn’t as easy as grabbing a bottle at the store, nor will it wipe out 99.9999% of germs and bacteria, but in spite of all of that I have to say I am quite fond of this little concoction (and that’s saying something, given my above rant against hand sanitizers.) We have been using this hand sanitizer for nearly a year now and have found that It has a shelf-life of around 3 – 6 months.
Tip for using essential oils: Essential oils are potent plant extracts and people do experience allergic reactions to them. If you are unsure about using any of the above oils, mix a few drops with a tablespoon of grapeseed or olive oil and rub right below the crook of your elbow. Cover and let it sit for 24 hours to make sure you’re good to go. Enjoy!