DIY Hand Sanitiser (as seen on TV)

Blog Post

There was a fair bit of interest following our Facebook video about how to make your own hand sanitiser. So much so, that I (Dr Rob) appeared on Today Extra (morning TV) to do it all live to air. You can watch that video to see how it is all done, and check out the notes below.


The basic recipe is pretty simple and is drawn from WHO guidelines, and contrary to the TV byline, was not invented by me. But you only really need 2 ingredients, with a third being optional.

  • Alcohol (Methylated Spirits was used here, it contains over 90% ethanol, but you could use rubbing alcohol or isopropanol)
  • Moisturiser (Aloe Vera gel, or Glycerol/Glycerine)
  • Essential Oil for fragrance (optional)

The key is to ensure the final product has over 70% alcohol, so we used 1 part Aloe Vera gel, scraped from the plant, to 3 parts Methylated Spirits. Be sure to store it in a well labelled bottle.

The Science behind it all…
The alcohol at this concentration is great at breaking up the viral envelope. Once that happens the bits of the virus just kind of fall apart and are no longer a problem. It does the same to the outside layer of bacteria. But even better than this is….washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Not only does soap help break up the outsides of the nasties, but it also washes everything off our hands and down the sink. So it turns out your mother was right after all.

If you are after more Experiments and science activities like this, why not sign up for a free trial on Experimentary? Go on…

– Dr Rob

Published April 22, 2020

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