We get it, you’ve been trawling the shops for weeks and you still haven’t been able to find the old Dettol sanny back in stock, so you’re thinking about going down the DIY hand sanitiser route?
Well, let us stop you right there and remind you, as per instructions from our friendly GP, that the very best thing you can do is wash your hands with good ol’ fashioned soap and water; the soap doesn’t even need to be antibacterial to be effective. Oh, and stop touching your damn face.
But if you’re out and about a lot (for one of these ‘reasonable excuses’) or your work requires you to be in contact with others, you might want to give this DIY hand sanitiser a go. It’s been approved by our local GP and it’s the same recipe they are having their pharmacist whip up to use in the practice while they try to source more hand sanitiser.
- 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 per cent alcohol)
- 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel
- 10 drops of essential oil, or you can use lemon juice in a pinch
- Combine all ingredients in a (sparkling clean) bowl
- Mix together and then beat with a (clean) whisk to turn the mixture into a gel
- Pour into a (clean) empty bottle
- In case you missed our subtle hints, it’s super important that your workspace and tools are all clean before you start.
- You’ll want to avoid touching the alcohol with your hands until it’s mixed into the gel as it can be pretty harsh.
- You can play around with the amount to make smaller or larger quantities, just make sure you use a 2:1 ratio of alcohol to aloe vera gel to maintain that minimum 60% alcohol required to kill germs.
A Note On The Effectiveness Of Hand Sanitiser
Now that you’ve made your own hand sanitiser and you haven’t given yourself dermatitis in the process, there are a few things you need to know to make sure it’s actually effective.
Everyone seems to be aware that we need to wash our hands with soap for 20 seconds, but for some reason, they still think you can just splash some hand sanitiser on your palm and call it a day.
For hand sanitiser to be effective you need to rub it in until it’s completely dry (30-60 seconds) and, just like when you wash your hands, you need to make sure it’s spread evenly across your entire hand; thumbs and in-between your fingers included.
Hand sanitiser is also less effective if your hands are greasy or visibly dirty, so in that case, it’s really in your best interest to track down a sink and some soap.
You also need to remember that hand sanitisers cannot kill all germs. This one—provided it’s made as per the instructions—will be effective against SARS-CoV-2 but there are some pathogens it just can’t kill such as norovirus (a common form of gastroenteritis).
Can't be bothered? Here are our favourite hand sanitisers from Australian distilleries.
Image credit: Social Cut