DIY: Natural Hand Sanitizer Spray (alcohol free)

If our hands could talk!
Just think about everything we touch on the course of one day, and all the germs we are exposed to…excuse me while I go wash my hands…
Although it is a good idea to keep our hands clean to prevent the spread of disease, commercial sanitizing gels may not be a good solution:
  • The main ingredient is alcohol or triclosan (read about the dangers of triclosan here
  • They contain other yucky, not-good-for-you chemicals
  • Clinical studies show they are not any more effective than plain old water and soap*
  • They kill beneficial bacteria*
  • They strip our hands or natural oils*
Just read the label on yours and you’ll see what I’m talking about

Yet, these little suckers are everywhere, even in hospitals which seem counter-intuitive. I get it, it’s convenient to carry one of these bottles, I am a mother of a busy toddler I know about mess and about convenience.
So what’s one to do? Why, make a natural hand sanitizer spray, of course!
This recipe took me 30 seconds to make, no nasty chemicals, and I used an empty bottle of natural sanitizer spray I had previously purchased, which was fine and dandy until I ran out and couldn’t find it in the store anymore, and at almost $4 for 2 oz. I decided to make my own. The problem with many DIY recipes I found online is that they are alcohol based, and I didn’t want that on my toddler’s hands. So this recipe is a combination of a couple other recipes I found and I customized it to what I had at home and to the proportions I needed.

Homemade Natural Sanitizer Spray

– 2 tbs pure aloe vera. Gel or liquid, but make sure it is 100% pure
– 2 tbs witch hazel. Commercially prepared is OK just try to find without alcohol
– 1 tsp of apple cider  vinegar. I used Bragg’s raw and organic
– 15 drops or 100% pure lavender essential oil
– 5 drops of 100% pure tea tree essential oil

Mix all ingredients together and with a small funnel transfer into a small spray bottle. Shake well, and you’re done!

Note and tips:

  • Tea tree oil although highly effective an antibacterial agent, the smell is very strong and not many like it. Just the lavender essential oil will do, but you can add any other you like, or not.
  • If you are wondering if you hands will smell like vinegar, don’t worry, the lavender essential oil will mask the smell.
  • If you have pure vitamin E, you could add a few drops. It will act as an moisturizing agent and as a natural preservative.
  • These proportions resulted in about 1.5 oz. increase evenly as needed.
  • If you prefer a gel, just buy aloe vera gel and and a 1:5 gel to witch hazel ratio for the consistency to remain.
  • You could get the spray bottle at the trail size isle at any story.

*Based on a clinical study done by Perdu University.

This post was proudly shared at: Small Footprint Friday, Farmgirl Friday, Show Off Friday.
Thank You Body Thursday, Natural Living Link-up

About Stephanie

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom to her curly-haired two year old son, a nursing student, dog lover, and yoga enthusiast. She loves to share her tips on making green and healthy living attainable to families getting
started in the wonderful world of eco-consciousness. She believes in
real food and living as natural as possible…and why not, leaving behind a
better planet for our children.


  1. very cool! I might try this. But I dont use hand sanitizer for those reasons! My mom does and I decline it anytime she offers!

  2. My mom uses it all the time, too! That bottle on the picture is hers lol! Let me know if you liked it!

  3. WebMD says tea tree oil may not be good for young boys. Thanks for letting me know I can just use the lavender. 🙂

  4. Thanks for letting me know I can just use the lavender instead of the tea tree oil. WebMD says it might not be good for young boys and I have two! 🙂

  5. Lori, thank you for mentioning that! In fact both lavender and tea tree essential oils, some believe, can mimic estrogen in the body. This usually when exposed to large amount in different body/personal care products. I have a toddler boy too, and I personally feel comfortable with this spray since nothing else my son is exposed to contains any of these essential oil and all his personal care products are unscented. But, yes, it is something to take into consideration if you have boys.

  6. What is the shelf life on this?

    • Rachel, since I make such a small amount each time it lasts me about 3-4 months. I would discard after 6 month just to be on the safe side, although the vinegar is already acting as a preservative. If you want it to last longer you can add vitamin E to maintain the essential oils stable longer, and the added benefit it might make your hands softer!

  7. Have you ever had a problem with it making your hands sticky? wondering if it was just me.

  8. Have you ever had a problem with it making your hands sticky? Wondering if it is just me.

    • Naturally Mindful says:

      That happened to me when I was trying to fine-tune the proportions; I believe it was the apple cider vinegar, maybe you added a bit more?

  9. Does the spray bottle need to be glass, since you’re using essential oils? Or are they dilute enough to be able to use plastic? I’m flying during cold/flu season and want to take some with me, but don’t feel comfortable taking a glass bottle.

    • Stevi, in my opinion glass is always better, but I use a plastic bottle personally only because it’s what I had at hand. The amount of EO is so small I am not worried about the plastic. Hope that helps!

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