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Guide: Make your own hand sanitiser

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Updated March 4, 2020

As a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which has been spreading quickly all over the world, hand sanitisers are in high demand. In this guide we'll outline the differences between different types of hand sanitisers and remind you that normal hand-washing with soap and water is still one of the best ways to protect yourself from various forms of viruses.

How does hand sanitiser work?

Keeping good hand hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly with water and soap is very effective. Avoiding touching the face frequently, the nose, mouth and eyes if you've recently come into contact with other people are all places to avoid touching if you've recently been around someone who displays symptoms of illness or after being in large crowds. If you find yourself out and about and aren't within arms reach of a tap and some soap, hand sanitisers are a great solution.

Hand sanitisers get their effect by containing an alcohol content of at least 60%, which in turn kills most forms of bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms by destroying their cell membranes.

How to make your own hand sanitiser

Making your own hand sanitiser is actually nothing new, and it's something you can easily do in the comfort of your own home. All the ingredients you need can be bought at your neighbourhood pharmacy and petrol station.

HAZ Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol First Aid Antiseptic 70% 500ml

Step 1

Rubbing alcohol is the first ingredient that is needed to create your own hand sanitiser. Follow the recipe below and mix rubbing alcohol with the correct amount of water.

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Step 3

To give your home-made hand sanitiser a long lifetime, it's important to store it in a well-sealed package. By all means use a pump-dispenser for easy distribution of your hand sanitiser.

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Hand sanitiser recipe

For a 50cl batch of sanitiser, perfect for your pocket or backpack, all you have to do is blend together the following ingredients:

  • 35cl of rubbing alcohol solution
  • 15cl of water
  • 1cl of aloe vera gel

For those looking to go big with their home-made hand sanitiser, the following recipe should give you 1 litres worth of sanitiser:

  • 8dl of rubbing alcohol solution
  • 2dl of water
  • 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel

What is hand sanitiser

Disinfectants, which is the clinical name for the type of products that hand sanitisers fall under are agents that used to kill micro-organisms like viruses and bacteria. There are different types of disinfectants, some of which can be grouped into biocides, clinical disinfectants (i.e. what is used in the cleansing of wounds), medical technology products (such as contact lens solution) and cosmetic products (i.e. both normal and antibacterial wet wipes).

The disinfectants that fall under the group of biocides can be split into two primary sub-groups:

  • Surface disinfectant: These are cleaning agents not designed to come in direct contact with human skin but can be used to disinfect large surfaces in the some like the floors, walls, door handles etc. which may be hotbeds for containing viruses and bacteria.

  • Hand sanitiser: These are agents specifically designed and made to be used directly on the skin or scalp, and act as hygiene products.

How to use hand sanitiser properly

  1. 3-4ml of sanitiser per use is recommended by most manufacturers of hand sanitiser.
  2. Rub the sanitiser thoroughly into your hands until they are completely wet
  3. Wait at least 30 seconds before touching anything after applying the sanitiser, as this is usually the time it takes for the sanitiser to work to best effect.
  4. Continue to rub your hands together until the sanitiser has completely dried.

More tips and advice on how to protect yourself from illness

In order to make it easier for you to find great content on the theme of protection from illnesses, we've created a collection page for all of the related stories and content we've made on this topic. The page is updated on an on-going basis and here we'll gather guides and tips we hope will be of use and helpful to you in these flu-ridden times.

Read more guides and tips

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