Hand sanitizers’ general purpose is to disinfect the hand from bacteria’s and infectious elements. It’s commercially sold in the market in liquid, foam, or gel form. Since it’s an alcohol-based product, most healthcare experts believed that it’ll effectively eliminate microorganisms comparing to soap and water. However, if you prefer it, you can go for a homemade hand sanitizer, too.
Some alcohol-based products contain. glycerol which makes it more tolerable for the skin because it keeps the skin moisture. Beyond the healthcare setting, however, there’s no other scientific evidence to conclusively back up their claims that hand sanitizers are more effective than traditional hand washing. In the case of contaminations and after toilet use, it’s still advisable to wash your hands with water and soap. Other terms used for hand sanitizer includes hand disinfectant and hand antiseptic.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer contains a mixture of ethyl alcohol (ethanol), n-propanol, and isopropyl alcohol. Healthcare experts suggest that the most effective hand sanitizers contain at least sixty to ninety-five percent of alcohol substances. Because alcohol-based disinfectants are widely regarded as effective and safe, it is currently enlisted in the World Organization’s Essential Medicine.
However, alcohol is a highly-inflammable compound that proper precautionary measures must be observed when using them. Though alcohol disinfectants are touted by healthcare communities as more effective than traditional hand washing, it may not completely eliminate spores—in which case, traditional hand washing is preferable.
There are also non-alcohol based hand sanitizers in the market but it’s not generally recommended. It mostly contains triclosan, povidone-iodine, and/or benzalkonium chloride. These products are usually recommended for children and people with sensitive skin. A study made by the University of California where twenty participants were given alcohol-free hand sanitizers to be applied in their skin ten times for several hours. At the end of the study, all of the participants didn’t experience any signs of irritation and redness of the skin.
Hand Sanitizer Benefits
We can’t go to the sink and wash with soap and water anytime we need to disinfect our hands. On the other hand, hand sanitizers are often sold in small bottles you can carry anywhere and disinfect our hands anytime.
Reduce the risk of disease or infections
Hand sanitizers may come in handy during flu seasons or close contact with people with a highly contagious disease. Influenza causing diseases are airborne and can infect you just by mere contact with infected individuals. Disinfecting your hands after close contact with infected individuals reduces risks of catching flu or any contagious diseases.
The primary purpose of hand sanitizers is to kill germs. Numerous studies and advertisements claim that alcohol-based disinfectants eliminate about 99.9% bacteria’s. And they further suggest that it works better than traditional soap and water disinfection.
Today, most alcohol and non-alcohol based hand sanitizers (gel or foam) contain a compound called glycerol, which maintains moisture in our hands. It is also to be noted that not all alcohol-based disinfectants may not have glycerol contents, so be sure to check contents before purchase.
Homemade Alcohol Sanitizers
If you’re doubtful of alcohol-based products, you can always opt for DIY hand sanitizers. They are easy to make and you can use them anytime without worrying about anything.
Benefits of making your own hand sanitizers:
Most hand sanitizer products are sold on small bottles and if you frequently use them, it may be out before you know it.
Making your own hand sanitizer and reusing the bottle allows you to lessen expenditure on a new one.
We can’t be sure on the quality of ingredients use in most hand sanitizing products. In this case, a homemade hand disinfectant enables us to control what compound goes into it. You can also add aloe vera extracts to act as a moisturizing agent.
Essential oils are normally added to it and you can customize scent to your preferred taste.
Some alcohol-based products cause skin irritations or trigger allergic reactions. Homemade disinfectant lessens the likelihood of these events.
We may wonder how a homemade hand sanitizer could kill germs as effectively as disinfectants made mostly of alcohol compounds. Commercial hand sanitizer uses triclosan compounds to eliminate bacteria’s, while essential oils present in homemade home sanitizers contain a certain substance that fights off bacteria’s naturally.
Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe
DIY disinfectants normally contain essential oils, which can be as potent as commercially sold disinfectants but much safer. It’s to be noted that alcohol will still be part of the recipe but only small amounts will be added and it’ll still be generally safer than the commercial versions.
- 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol (either ethyl or isopropyl)
- 8 to 10 drops of essential oil of your choice (cinnamon, lavender, peppermint, vanilla, etc.)
- 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel
- Used hand sanitizer bottles
- Spoon and bowl
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl then gently mix them for a few seconds. Pour them inside the bottle using a funnel then put the cap on. That’s it! As simple as that!
- You may also need to choose carefully which essential oil to use because not all essential oils are the same and some may cause rashes, skin irritation, or trigger allergies. It’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional before you use any kind of hand sanitizers.
- Essential oil compounds and alcohol are the active ingredients in this recipe. Also, chemicals present in essential oils makes them a better alternative for disinfecting cuts and wounds. In addition to the pleasant scent and protection against germs, it also helps you save money and reduce waste.