In the past few months, there has been a lot of talk about the safety and effectiveness of hand sanitizers. In fact earlier this year the FDA began a three-month investigation to determine the long-term effects of the usage to hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps. Their findings? Hand sanitizer products, unlike anti-bacterial soaps, provide a convenient alternative to hand when washing with plain soap and water is unavailable.
To this, I also have a slight confession to make- I’m not an outright fan of hand sanitizers. Don’t get me wrong, I know hand sanitizers have value. But I am also a firm believer in the idea that humanity needs germs, and killing every last little microbe one is an ever losing battle that lands many of us with weakened immune systems and possibly resistant strains of bacteria taking up residence unnecessarily in our gastrointestinal tracts.
In addition to this, Americans spend on average $175 million a year on hand sanitizers- despite the national averages of most Americans getting two boughs of the Rhino Virus, or as it’s better know, the Common Cold, per year. So for me, I’ve always felt that unlike hospitals, our homes, our sanctuaries do not need to be subjected to round after round of alcohol-ish stuff. I mean, there’s a difference between being clean and being sterile, between being practical and being paranoid. The latter is not necessary for everyday use in the home. Physicians offices, yes, my home, no.
With that said, you’re probably second guessing as to why I am posting a hand sanitizer if it irks me to no end. Well, the truth of the matter is that for lives on-the-go the best method of getting hands clean is hand sanitizer, and in making your own you can avoid the harsher chemical-laden hand sanitizers, make your own varieties for a tenth of the costs of commercial brands, and customize the scent to your liking.
And for anyone familiar with this blog will know, I love simple, clean supply lists. So what am I using? My ingredients: Tea tree oil, lavender oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, witch hazel, and aloe vera gel. You will also know that I am over the moon for anything fall scented. So this hand sanitizer is a win-win for me!
So now a little breakdown for my ingredient list:
Lavender oil: Lavender’s botanical name, Lavandula, which comes from the Latin word lavare, which means “to wash,” and this miracle of nature has been helping to keep wounds clean for a millennium. Recent studies have also shown that lander also helps to wipe out fungus and helps to inhibit the growth of MSSA and MRSA (methicillin-sensitive and resistant Staphylococcus aureus.)
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is well recognized for its ability to kill several forms of bacteria, viruses, and fungi upon contact, thanks to its main antimicrobial component, Terpinen-4-ol. In vitro testing, in either a test tube or petri dish, which has shown that it can is effective against germs ranging from Staph to E. coli. Tea tree oil is also antifungal, antiviral, immuno-stimulant that helps with healing infectious wounds, insect bites, warts, acne, is anti-fungal, clears dandruff, reduces eczema, psoriasis, and inflammatory skin conditions, promotes burn healing, and reduces itching and inflammation.
Clove oil: Clove oil is famous for being a natural remedy for toothaches, the chemical Eugenol. It also contains natural, unprocessed vasoconstrictive properties that restrict blood vessel tension, which causes blood vessels to narrow and restrict blood flow, aiding in head pain relief within minutes. Clove oil is also, as you may have guessed, anti-microbial in nature.
Cinnamon Oil: Cinnamon oil helps promotes circulation, both internally, and when applied to the skin. As well, this fall favorite helps lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar levels, relieve migraines, helps maintains a healthy immune system, promotes good oral health when applied to the gums, helps alleviate sore muscles and joints when applied topically, and can kill microbes as well.
Witch hazel: Witch hazel is a natural, mild antiseptic that disrupts the cell membrane of the bacteria, denatures its proteins, ultimately kills it, while not drying out delicate skin.
Aloe vera gel: As most everyone knows, Aloe Vera, a succulent plant, hosts its own special antibacterial and antifungal properties, and also works as a moisturizer, too!
Please note: I am not brand loyal currently to any brand of essential oils. Please use whichever brands of essential oils you are most comfortable utilizing for this blend.
- 30 drops of Tea Tree Oil
- 10 drops of Lavender Oil
- 10 drops of Clove Oil
- 20 drops of Cinnamon Oil
- 16 ounces Organic Aloe Vera Gel
- 1 tablespoon Organic Witch Hazel
- Glass Measuring cup
- Glass storage containers
- Spoon or honey stick
- In a bowl, place all essential oils, witch hazel, and aloe vera. Stir to combine.
- Transfer to your portable container of choice.
- Let hand sanitizer sit and meld for one hour to let oils fully combine.
- Store out of direct sunlight in a cool place for up to a month.
- Please note that because this hand sanitizer does not have the same level of alcohol as it’s commercial counterparts, therefore its shelf life is not indefinite.
So, folks, that’s it! This blend is not only very easy to make, it’s also an awesome way to promote a sense of self-care for yourself this season in a way that is healthy, economical, time-saving, and frankly feels like you are pampering yourself as well. If you all try this blend or have other great fall DIY projects for the home this season, I’d love to hear about them all below.
Here’s to your health,