Hand sanitizer is quick, portable, convenient and toxic, It's why I've created a simple DIY Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer (that actually works) and is good for the planet too.
UPDATE: APRIL 1ST, 2020 COVID UPADATE
This hand sanitizer is not a substitute for proper handwashing. And while this home remedy contains commonly-accepted natural antiviral ingredients, it has never been tested in a lab to determine its efficacy against viruses such as the coronavirus.
The only version of this hand sanitizer recipe that includes the 60%+ alcohol content that the CDC and other health organizations recommend for hand sanitizer to properly kill coronavirus is the version using 190 proof grain alcohol —and this version has still not been tested for efficacy against coronavirus.
A tested recipe that contains the proper level of alcohol can be found through the World Health Organization.
Why make your own DIY Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer?
Sanitizers contain an antibiotic compound called triclosan or triclocarban, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that triclosan could carry unnecessary risks and recent studies have raised questions about whether triclosan might be hazardous to human health.
Triclosan and triclocarban are suspected hormone disruptors and have been linked to cancer and reproductive health problems. Their wide use of antimicrobial agents in products may have also contributed to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Triclosan was declared toxic to the environment by the Canadian government in 2012 but has yet to restrict its use in personal care products. Hundreds of products that Canadians use daily continue to may contain triclosan or triclocarban. UGH!!
Back in September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a ban on antimicrobial chemicals triclosan and triclocarban in over-the-counter hand and body washes (this ingredient can also be found in soaps and even toothpaste. These products are often labelled antibacterial, antimicrobial, or antiseptic soaps).
Manufacturers in the U.S. will now have one year to remove or reformulate products that contain triclosan and triclocarban. The Canadian government has to mirror the ban quickly to avoid Canada becoming a dumping ground for products containing harmful ingredients.
These chemicals continue to put the health and environment of Canadians at risk and offer no apparent hygienic benefits for consumers. Washing your hands with warm water and regular soap has been shown to be equally effective.
DIY Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer, ingredients matter
There are times, however, when you are out and don't have access to soap and water and need a little spritz, so here is my fabulous (if I do say so myself) kid-friendly hand-sanitizer. A little about this recipe, I chose to add coconut oil to my DIY non-toxic hand sanitizer because of its moisturizing properties. After a few trials, I find this is the most effective one I have made. I also love that this is a homemade hand sanitizer spray without alcohol, which can be so drying to the skin.
I also use essential oils in this recipe and no matter what DIY recipe you are making choosing the right oils is key.
earthYard is one of my favourite essential oil companies. I was first introduced to them a few years ago while visiting my Dad, who lives in Aussie. As someone who uses essential oils in most of my DIY recipes, it's so important for me to choose companies that are souring them ethically and that take sustainability into account at all levels of their business.
earthYard's products are "single-origin" which means that are grown within a single known geographic origin. This could be a single farm or cooperative in a single region. This allows for full transparency of the product or the ingredient you are buying.
A major benefit to single-origin is that it really celebrates and honours the farmer. A single beautiful quality product is produced in its entirety from one location.
All of their essential oils are 100% pure and natural and you can tell! When you smell them you can absolutely tell the difference.
Tea Tree essential oil is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antiviral. earthYard's tea tree oil is grown in Australia and has also undergone extensive testing to make sure it's the highest quality. Tea tree oil can be very over-powering, but this one has a fresh herbaceous smell. It can be used for cleaning, skin irritations and more.
Lavender essential oil is anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial. You can buy this oil from earthYard and it comes from two regions, Australia and Bulgaria. The Australian one has a more herbal aroma. It's so beautiful and lavender is a must-have in and DIY diva's kit. It's also priced so well at $20. You are getting so much for that price.
Lemon essential oil has anti-infection, astringent, antiseptic, disinfectant, and antifungal properties.
earthYard works directly with farmers in Australia and around the world. There is no middle man, this ensures that the farmers are being paid ethically for the products they are producing.
Many essential oils (especially cheap ones) contain a lot of fillers and synthetic ingredients that are added at different times of manufacturing. You simply will not have that issue with these essential oils. To take this one step further earthYard is working on an in-house testing facility to make sure that every oil they bring in is free from chemical residue and as pure and clean as possible.
earthYard carries a wide range of products, not just essential oils, find hydrosols, floral waters, extracts and more.
They also have a program for customers to return some of the packaging:
"As part of our REfill, REimagine, REstore, REthink initiative we've launched a free REturns option for our customers where you can safely send back your used plastic and aluminum packaging (sorry no glass) and we'll put it to REuse."
They are also one of Australia's carbon-neutral partners. Carbon Neutral is a carbon solution and Australia's largest biodiverse reforestation offset developer. They work with organizations to measure, reduce and offset carbon emission!
I've also added Witch Hazel which is a really great astringent, that is rich in antioxidant phenols and tannins.
Aloe Vera is found in hundreds of beauty products, its know for its cooling effects and helps to repair and heal the skin. It's very soothing and it acts as an antiseptic which is why I added it to this recipe.
Coconut oil is one of the most nourishing and moisturizing ingredients you can find naturally. It's great for all skin types and will help to soothe and soften. It absorbs quickly and the fatty acids help to prevent fungal and bacterial infections. I use it and love it in my skincare regime. And the smell...well it's like the beach!
Vitamin E will moisturize and heal the skin and it's packed with antioxidants.
DIY hand sanitizer recipe:
1 oz Coconut oil
12 drops Lavender essential oil
4 drops Lemon essential oil
12 drops Tea tree essential oil
1/4 tsp Vitamin e oil
6 oz Aloe vera
1 oz Witch hazel
1 Small spray bottle
Mix all the ingredients into the small spray bottle, shake before use.
If you are using essential oils, always do a patch test, you can put 1-2 drops into a tablespoon of any carrier oil (coconut, jojoba etc.) and test it on a small area of your skin.
If you made this recipe and love it, make sure to check out my recipe for these amazing DIY Reusable Disinfecting Wipes!
Final thoughts on how to make a DIY non-toxic hand sanitizer
The essential oil industry has an impact on the planet, there is no doubt about that. In many cases, farmers are not paid well, and employees sometimes work in very deplorable conditions. Not to mention the harm the extraction can have on the natural world. Picking ethical companies ensure that none of this happens. I have strict criteria when it comes to the brands that I work with here in the eco hub, especially related to the beauty industry. Take a look at my ethical criteria and let me know what you think in the comments below.
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The DIY recipes shared on this website haven’t been tested in a lab. Information about my products or recipes hasn’t been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a doctor or specialist for specific concerns about any skincare issues, cleaning products, or dietary needs. Please use your discretion, based on your own research, when making homemade products.