Hand sanitizers have their place in our lives, especially in the sick room where alcohol-based sanitizers rule. On the other hand, many hand sanitizers currently on the market deliver a chemical brew that results in a sticky, nasty mess along with ingredients such as triclosan and other anti-bacterial ingredients that are now suspected to contribute to the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Given that plant-based essential oils are some of the strongest antibacterial and anti-microbial substances around, I have chosen to make my own day-to-day hand sanitizer. I use this hand sanitizer to supplement good old fashioned hand washing with plenty of soap and water. This recipe uses 100% organic, cold-pressed Aloe vera gel, organic coconut oil, and a mix and match blend of essential oils.
Before sharing the recipe, let me point out that this is not an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is absolutely what you need when someone is sick or if you are in a nasty, germy environment. On the other hand, this is a wonderful, moisturizing gel that will not only clean your hands but will nourish them with the healing qualities of Aloe vera, and the coconut and essential oils.
Natural DIY Hand Sanitizer The Easy Way
Ingredients for 1 cup/8 ounces
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Organic Aloe Vera Gel
120 drops (total) Essential Oils (see suggestions below)
Blend everything together then put them in a squeeze bottle to carry around with you or a pump bottle to keep on the counter. Personally, I prefer small plastic squeeze bottles that I can keep in my pack, desk drawer or handbag but this is my own personal preference.
Be aware that if your home is on the cool side, your coconut oil will be semi-solid. To easily mix things, I warmed the coconut oil ever-so-slightly before adding the other ingredients. I found it easiest to mix everything in a large Pyrex cup.
I like to label things so the last step in this project is to label your freshly made hand sanitizer. They may not be pretty but I find using standard 3M painters tape and a Sharpie makes a great label.
When choosing essential oils, choose individual oils or blends that have strong antimicrobial properties. Here are some suggestions to get you started: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Oregano, Clove Bud, Rosemary, Peppermint, and Melaleuca/Tea Tree. This is by no means a complete list but it does include popu;lar, budget-friendly oils that many of us have in our kits.
My favorite blend? I use this powerful combination:
The latter is a thieves-like blend that includes Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary.
Note: This week Spark Naturals is offering huge discounts on all of the oils that were part of the 2016 Oil of the Month Club. What that means is that each of the 12 oils that were part of OOTM will be $15.99 for this week only. For those of you that are interested, I am listing the oils and their original price below in the Bargain Bin, but just as an example. Shield Protective Blend, normally $28.80, is only $15.99.
This is one of the most important oils in my collection and I keep six bottles on hand for SHTF purposes.
As always, you get a 10% discount on your Spark Naturals order using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL.
What is So Bad About Triclosan?
In a word, lots. Here is a quote from the Smithsonian Magazine article, Five Reasons Why You Should Probably Stop Using Antibacterial Soap.
About 75 percent of liquid antibacterial soaps and 30 percent of bars use a chemical called triclosan as an active ingredient. The drug, which was originally used strictly in hospital settings, was adopted by manufacturers of soaps and other home products during the 1990s, eventually ballooning into an industry that’s worth an estimated $1 billion. Apart from soap, we’ve begun putting the chemical in wipes, hand gels, cutting boards, mattress pads and all sorts of home items as we try our best to eradicate any trace of bacteria from our environment.
But triclosan’s use in home over-the-counter products was never fully evaluated by the FDA—incredibly, the agency was ordered to produce a set of guidelines for the use of triclosan in home products way back in 1972, but only published its final draft on December 16 of last year. Their report, the product of decades of research, notes that the costs of antibacterial soaps likely outweigh the benefits, and forces manufacturers to prove otherwise.
A Word About Aloe Vera Gel
I have been doing a ton of research on Aloe Vera lately and sadly, what you see is not always what you get. I was shocked to learn that some brands are either not 100% Aloe vera or, even worse, are a synthetic substitute. I even had some of the sticky, yucky type sitting in my cupboard. The texture was more like 50’s hair gel than the real thing.
Aloe Vera is a plant and if you are lucky enough to grow some, it works miracles when you experience a kitchen burn. Break off a piece of the plant and use the healing juice to calm the redness and set you on a path toward healing. As a matter of fact, the two-step punch of Aloe vera and lavender essential oil is my number one tip for soothing burns.
Getting back on topic, let me just say that there are plenty of quality Aloe Vera gels on the market. Because I shop online, I chose this Aloe vera from Amara Organics and I am thrilled with it. Look for this or something similar and you will not be disappointed.
The Final Word
This all natural, DIY hand sanitizer has saved the day on many occasions. Most recently, on one of our trips to the mountains, I found myself with the urgent need to take a potty break. This was the middle of nowhere and the TP was buried deep in the bottom of my Bug Out Bag. I will leave the rest to your imagination other than to say I was able to freshen up my hands after the fact with my homemade germ-fighting hand sanitizer.
On other occasions, I have used this at social functions where there is a lot of handshaking. It makes good sense to have clean hands going into such a situation but not everyone is with the program in that regards. Throughout the evening I apply my hand sanitizer which not only smells good but prevents me from acquiring someone else’s nasties.
Remember that washing hands with plenty of soap and water is always going to be your best bacteria-fighting solution. But for extra protection? Forget the hand lotion and use this nourishing hand sanitizer instead. It just makes sense.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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