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Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer (Over 60% Alcohol) [Recipe] [UPDATED 5/4/20]

Make your own hand sanitizer using ethyl alcohol - Culinary Solvent

Updated 5/4/20

When it comes to your family's health and safety, only the best will do.

Not all sanitizers and disinfectants are created equal, and not all are safe to use across all applications and on all surfaces.  When it comes to killing germs and viruses, including flu viruses, it's important to keep our home and environment as safe and as nontoxic as possible.  Eliminate harmful toxic chemicals from your home, office, or nursery when disinfecting surfaces, areas, tools, toys....everything, by using only pure food grade ethyl alcohol (ethanol) whenever possible.  Culinary Solvent is pure ethyl alcohol, nondenatured (non-toxic) and delivered to your door direct from the distillery in Northern Maine.  

Does ethyl alcohol kill germs, viruses, and bacteria on surfaces?

Answer: Yes, so long as the concentration and contact time minimum requirements are met.  For a detailed answer with links to authoritative sources, visit Does Ethyl Alcohol Kill Germs, Viruses, and Bacteria

2 Step Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe, 66% Alcohol

Yield: 12 fl oz hand sanitizer

Final Concentration After Mixing: 66%

Heads Up! It is important to measure your ingredients when making this recipe, if you dilute the alcohol too much (below 60%) you will be spreading germs not killing them! When in doubt, use more alcohol to ensure the effective killing of germs and viruses. 


  • 8 fl oz, of 200 Proof (100%) Ethyl Alcohol. (Buy 200 Proof Alcohol Here)
  • 4 fl oz aloe gel (or any other moisturizing gel/lotion/cream/water)

Step 1 - In a glass bowl, combine the alcohol with the moisturizing gel/lotion/cream using the ratios provided above.  Mix well with a whisk until combined thoroughly.  If you shake to mix, allow time for the air bubbles to dissipate out of the foam created when shaking. This will improve the feel greatly.

Step 2 - Store your new homemade hand sanitizer in a bottle or container with a tight fitting lid.  Plastic or glass is preferable over metal containers.

Your homemade hand sanitizer is finished and ready to kill some germs and viruses. Good work!


Can I add lotions, scents, essential oils, or other ingredients to my hand sanitizer recipe?

Answer:  Yes! Adding other ingredients like moisturizing lotions, essential oils, vitamins, or aromatherapy scents is a great way to further customize your hand sanitizer recipe just for you and your family's specific needs.  When adding other ingredients, subtract the volume added from the gel/cream component, never reduce the alcohol contained in the final mix.  Always maintain an ABV at or above 60% to ensure your hand sanitizer remains effective.

Tip: Re-purpose old empty hand sanitizer bottles, shampoo bottles, hand soap dispensers, or even used food condiment bottles, which all offer easy storage with built in dispensing. 

Remember: Never reuse containers that once contained bleach or ammonia.

Where do I buy alcohol to make my own hand sanitizer?

Answer: Use these links to browse alcohol for sale by the ABV or by the container size. Quarts  |  Gallons  |  Organic  |  100% Alcohol (200 Proof)  |  95% Alcohol (190 Proof)  |  All Items  |  How to tell ABV of your alcohol for hand sanitizer.

Does Culinary Solvent offer a certified organic option for making organic hand sanitizer recipes?

Answer: Yes. Buy organic food grade ethanol here for making your own organic hand sanitizer.  Culinary Solvent's Organic food grade alcohol is available in quarts, gallons, 5 gallon jugs, bulk quantities, and 55 gallon drums. Culinary Solvent organic ethanol is available in 190 proof and 200 proof concentrations. All organic Culinary Solvent is distilled from 100% organic corn and certified organic by the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association ( 

Where do I buy organic aloe vera gel for my hand sanitizer recipe (UPDATED 3/19/20)?

Answer: Supplies of pure aloe vera gel have been run dry on demand with recent news events.  At this time we are not aware of any suppliers who have pure organic aloe vera gel for sale.  

I used aloe vera gel to make my hand sanitizer and a weird clump formed, what is it (UPDATED 4/19/20)?

Answer: We have heard reports of this happening with folks who have sourced some aloe vera "gel" online and upon mixing with ethanol, the results are a clumpy white glob that precipitates out.   This glob is a result of the various thickening agents used by manufacturers of aloe, most commonly of which is xanthum gum.  The glob is not harmful.  Whisking the mixture extra or slowly adding the alcohol to the aloe gel have both been reported as successful in eliminating the white glob.  

Is aloe vera gel a required ingredient for hand sanitizer recipes?

Answer: No, aloe vera gel is not a required ingredient for hand sanitizer recipes.   Aloe vera gel is useful in moisturizing the skin, and therefore is commonly included in most recipes for hand sanitizer. Alternatively, you can substitute aloe vera gel for your favorite lotion or cream.  Substituting aloe vera gel for your own lotion is an effective way to customize your hand sanitizer for maximum comfort and benefit. When substituting lotion for aloe vera gel, do not adjust the amount of alcohol used to ensure the antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties of your hand sanitizer are maintained.

Does homemade hand sanitizer expire?

Answer: The technical answer is no.  Hand sanitizer doesn't really expire, it becomes less effective over time.  If you've recently made a fresh batch of homemade hand sanitizer following the recipe on this page, you can expect it to last for at least 1 year, if stored in a tightly sealed bottle away from heat and sunlight. 

Can homemade hand sanitizer be used to disinfect surfaces (doorknobs, counter tops, electronics)?

Answer: No, recipes for homemade hand sanitizer containing less than 70% alcohol by volume are not recommended for use as a surface disinfectant.  Using product intended for sanitizing hands on a surface can result in germs spreading not dying.  

View our complete catalog of surface disinfectant recipes, customized to your specific starting alcohol (100%/95% Ethyl, 99%/91%/70% Isopropyl) .



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  • Can glycerin replace aloe vera gel for moisture and emollient see? I have extremely dry skin.

    Ms Cherry
  • I have purchased your 200 proof ethanol to make hand sanitizer. Can I use coconut oil instead of aloe?

    Alan Totka
  • May we substitute 200 proof for 190? If so, what would be the difference in recipe? This is what I currently have. Thank you kindly. Be safe.

    Anna V
  • I only have 91% isopropyl alcohol will this be effective for hand sanitizer

    Velda Morris
  • The following is from one Aloe Vera product supplier (NaturSense ‘Organic Aloe Vera Gel’, 12 oz., UPC: 784672951128) in response to a customers’ concern about clumping;
    Manufacturer Response: Claire, Franklin-Abbey Customer Support
    Our product is 99.75% organic aloe vera juice and contains a tiny amount of Xanthan, a plant-based thickener. It gives our product a silky texture. Without it, it would be like water and difficult to apply to skin and hair. The situation you mentioned (clumping) is the Xanthan reacting with the alcohol, but there’s an easy solution that works well—DEFINITELY USE A BLENDER, AND DON’T ADD ALL THE ALCOHOL AT ONCE. Add the alcohol in small amounts, blending after each addition, until blended to a smooth consistency. Pour the mixture into 2-ounce spray bottles. Non-spray travel bottles are fine, too. Give it a shake before using.


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