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  • Writer's pictureMatt Suprunowicz

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer At Home

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

How can we use our own resources to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?


This Lesson Plan is part the Crafts and Miscellaneous modules of SustainEd Farms' virtual programming.

Learning Objectives: Making your Own hand sanitizer

Students will be able to…

  • Create their own hand sanitizer using common household items

  • Help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (illness resulting from coronavirus) and other viral pathogens

Academic Vocabulary

virus /ˈvīrəs/ noun. - usually a non-living infectious agent that can duplicate within the living cells of a host, causing illness


1. Gather your materials. You will need a clean mixing bowl, a clean mixing utensil, ¾ cup of rubbing alcohol (preferably around 99% alcohol content), ¼ cup of aloe vera extract/gel (or an aloe plant cutting, for which you will also need scissors, a cutting board, and a spoon), and 10 drops of essential oils or lemon juice (optional). You should also think about a suitable container for holding your hand sanitizer-- a spray bottle, old spice jar, or any other clean, sealable container should work.

💭Be careful… when creating your own homemade hand sanitizer. You want it to be safe to use while also being certain that it will get the job done!

  • In order to kill most germs, the alcohol content of the solution needs to be around 60% of the total volume. To obtain this ratio, try to be precise with your measurements!

  • Having too high of an alcohol content in your final mixture may actually make it less effective. Be sure to have plenty of emollient (something that helps soothe the skin) -- in this case, aloe and essential oils.

  • Similarly, you can have an alcohol content that is too low. Many people believe that common liquors, like vodka, can be successfully used to make hand sanitizer. However, vodka is only about 40% alcohol by volume, making it a poor choice for your hand sanitizer.

2. Watch the following YouTube video to see our demonstration of how to create your own hand sanitizer. Then, proceed along with the lesson by following the directions below.

3. If you are using an aloe vera plant to create your extract, read on (if you already have the extract, skip to the next step). Take a cutting of your aloe vera plant that is at least 8 inches in length. If this is not enough to make ¼ cup of extract, you may need to make another cutting. To extract the aloe vera juices from the plant, use scissors to cut along the length of the plant on just one side (do not cut it in half). On a cutting board, extract the juices from aloe vera plant by using a spoon to scrape the insides out. Fill a ¼ cup measuring cup with the extract.

4. Pour the rubbing alcohol, the aloe vera extract, and the essential oils or lemon juice (optional) into the mixing bowl, and mix using a clean whisk or other mixing utensil. Mix thoroughly!

5. Find a clean container to store your hand sanitizer. A spray bottle may work great, especially for applying the sanitizer.

6. If warm water and hand soap is unavailable to you, use your homemade sanitizer to clean your hands frequently throughout the day. Use the sanitizer before leaving your home for any reason, and use it immediately when you return. Use it before touching your face (avoid doing this at all, if possible). Use the sanitizer before and after touching doorknobs, sink handles, and other commonly touched surfaces. Use it after coughing or sneezing. As everyone continues to practice proper social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, it will become increasingly important that we keep our hands clean to limit the spread of the virus. Thank you for being socially responsible!

Additional Resources:

Download the PDF version of this lesson plan:

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer At Home
Download PDF • 419KB

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