Face Masks & Home-made Sanitizers
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Cloth Face Masks and Home-made Sanitizers & Disinfectants

Face Masks & Making Your Own:
Cloth Masks: What to Know
6 Essentials for an Effective Face Mask
Make Your Own Face Mask
          Make No-sew Sock Masks (click on instructions on the right)

Home-made Sanitizers & Disinfectant:
     Gel Hand Sanitizer for On-the-Go
          The Spray Recipe
Disinfecting Spray for Your Home
          How Long Do Coronaviruses Live on Surfaces? (Click on chart on the right.)

Home-made Sanitizers & Disinfectant

Gel Hand Sanitizer for On-the-Go

Having trouble finding hand sanitizers or disinfecting cleaners on store shelves? Here are some formulas that you can make at home.

Nothing beats hand washing thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds, but if you will be going out, Healthline.com has provided a formula for making your own gel hand sanitizer.

If making it at home, they recommend:

  • Make the hand sanitizer in a clean space. Wipe down counter tops with a diluted bleach solution beforehand.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before making the hand sanitizer.
  • To mix, use a clean spoon and whisk. Wash these items thoroughly before using them.
  • Make sure the alcohol used for the hand sanitizer is not diluted.
  • Mix all the ingredients thoroughly until they are well blended.
  • Do not touch the mixture with your hands until it is ready for use.

You'll need:

  • 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent)
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel, purchased or from an aloe vera plant (to help keep your hands smooth and to counteract the harshness of alcohol, or  glycerol or glycerin)
  • 10 drops of essential oil, like tea tree oil (or another antibacterial essential oil e.g., lavender, lemon grass, or eucalyptus)

The key to making an effective, germ-busting hand sanitizer is to stick to a 2:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera or glycerin. This keeps the alcohol content around 60 percent. This is the minimum amount needed to kill most germs, according to the CDCTrusted Source.


  1. Pour all ingredients into a bowl, ideally one with a pouring spout like a glass measuring container.
  2. Mix with a spoon and then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel.
  3. Pour the ingredients into an empty, leak-proof bottle for easy use, and label it "hand sanitizer."

For a larger batch of hand sanitizer, the World Health Organization (WHO) Trusted Source has a formula for a hand sanitizer that uses:

  • isopropyl alcohol or ethanol
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • glycerol
  • sterile distilled or boiled cold water

You’re going to need some alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your sanitizer mix must be at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective. But it's better to get way above that—aim for a minimum of 75 percent. A bottle of 99 percent isopropyl alcohol is the best thing to use. Your regular vodka and whiskey are too wimpy and won’t cut it.

The Quick (Gel) Recipe
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Tea tree oil

Mix 3 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to give it a pleasant scent.

The Spray Recipe

This recipe is from wired.com. If you don't have the ingredients in your house or at the store, you can hopefully order them online. The aloe mixture gets the job done, but aloe also leaves your skin annoyingly sticky. So, here's a recipe that's less sticky and more potent, based on the mix recommended by the WHO.

  • Isopropyl alcohol (99 or 91 percent — potency matters)
  • Glycerol or glycerin
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Distilled or boiled (then cooled) water
  • Spray bottle


  1. Mix 12 fluid ounces of alcohol with 2 teaspoons of glycerol. You can buy jugs of glycerol online, and it's an important ingredient because it keeps the alcohol from drying out your hands. If you can't find glycerol, proceed with the rest of the recipe anyway, but moisturize your hands after applying the sanitizer.
  2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide, then 3 fluid ounces of distilled or boiled (then cooled) water. (If you're working with a lower-concentration solution of rubbing alcohol, use far less water; remember, at least ¾ of your final mixture has to be alcohol.)
  3. Load the solution into spray bottles — this isn't a gel, it's a spray.

You can also wet a paper towel (or a clean cloth) with it and use that as a wipe.

Disinfecting Spray for Your Home

Wired.com has published How to Clean and Disinfect Yourself, Your Home, and Your Stuff about keeping yourself and everything else clean and virus-free. If you can't find store-bought disinfectants, they provide a formula for making your own disinfectant spray.

  • 4 teaspoons disinfectant (or household bleach)
  • 1 quart water

Bleach is excessive in most cases. Never ever mix bleach solution with any other cleaning chemical; it's likely to damage or discolor sensitive surfaces. Use bleach as a last resort if you can't find any other kind of disinfectant and wear gloves, open your windows, and be careful.


  1. Pour disinfectant and water into a one quart spray bottle, and shake vigorously.
  2. Spray on surface and let it sit for 10 minutes to disinfect.
  3. Wipe away with a wet cloth.

Hopefully, we will all get through these shortages safe and sound.

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