5 Reasons Why You Should Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer
Making Hand Sanitizer At Home Has Real Benefits
Commercial hand sanitizers have their place for sure, but I personally have always been a little leery of the alcohol content in them. Plus, the fragrances contain chemicals in their fragrances that companies aren’t required to disclose.
I came across a dish soap called Biokleen and learned that it was biodegradable, and has many natural ingredients, such as grapefruit seed extract that are kind to your skin and to the planet.
The label on the side says that you can use it for bubble baths, to wash pets, and you can use it as a hand soap.
That got me thinking. If this stuff is gentle on the environment and gentle on my skin, yet still gets stuff clean, then a homemade hand sanitizer could work wonders.
Will You Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer?
5 Great Reasons To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
Once I made the hand sanitizer, I kept finding reasons to use it. Never again will I buy the commercial stuff: I’ve found too many reasons to make it myself.
1. You can wash vegetables with it. Have you ever heard of those citrus cleaners that will wash veggies and help get any pesticides or residues off? The ingredients in biodegradable dish soap are similar, especially with regard to citrus. Now, I wash my veggies with my homemade hand sanitizer.
2. When you need to freshen up, say going from work to an evening event, I have found that spritzing my face and hair with my hand sanitizer really works to clean my face gently and freshens my hair.
3. You can help prevent stains from setting and clean them on the “spot.” Homemade hand sanitizer is gentle, so it might not do really tough work on stains, but you can still use it to help keep stains from drying and setting.
4. You can use it to clean your glasses. Spray a little bit on each lens and use a paper towel to wipe away.
5. It comes in handy when you’re camping. This is really when I figured out I’d always make my own hand sanitizer. On a recent camping trip, it became a general-purpose cleaner.
Plus I loved the fact that I was helping to not bring toxic chemicals into the natural environment.
- You can use it to spot-clean dishes. On a camping trip, you sometimes find that you missed a spot on an otherwise clean dish. I just squirted some sanitizer on it, wiped it off and the dish was clean.
- Sanitize dish rags. You can use this trick whether you’re camping or not. After cleaning a batch of dishes, the dishrag often has small food particles in it, inviting bacteria growth. You can spritz the dishrag to help sanitize it.
- This is a more random use of hand sanitizer. I recently read an article about how you have no idea where bottles and cans have been, and that it’s a good idea to wipe them down before you drink from them. I wanted to put some bottles in a cooler with ice, but I was thinking that I also wanted to save water. I didn’t want the unclean bottles in the ice. So, I sprayed them with my hand sanitizer, wiped them down and placed them in the ice. Later, when the ice melted, I knew I was able to save water and do dishes or wash my hands because it was clean.
- When birds flew by and left their messes (yes, their poop) on the tent or tarp, I sprayed the spots with hand sanitizer. It was easy to wipe the icky white spots away.
I’m sure there are a number of uses that I have not thought of, but these are definitely new uses for hand sanitizer for me. I love the fact that I’m not using harmful ingredients. I can clean things knowing that I’m not going to poison myself with toxic chemicals.
How to Make Your Own Sanitizer
1. At your local health food store, go to the soaps and detergents section. You’ll find biodegradable dish soap such as Biokleen, Ecover and 7th Generation. Any of those will do. You’re basically looking for a natural soap that is friendly to humans as well as the planet.
2. Get a little spray bottle. The ideal type is a small hand-size bottle that allows you to spray its contents easily.
3. Add about ¼ to ½ capful of the dish soap to the bottle. Be aware that if it’s concentrated, a little goes a long way.
4. Fill the rest of the bottle with water.
5. Shake to mix.
6. Use wherever you go.
A list of the ingredients in Biokleen:
The list of ingredients is pretty short. Biokleen has surfactants that are like conditioners.
They're made from coconuts and corn. It also contains citrus products.
Grapefruit and orange peel extracts are known to be kind to the skin.
They also clean well. Aloe and vitamin E are two other ingredients, as well as sulfonates which are like more surfactants.
A list of the ingredients in Ecover:
The list of ingredients for Ecover is a little different, but I found similarities. It has anionic and non-ionic surfactants, aloe vera, wheat proteins, citric acid, salt, lemon fragrance, and biodegradable preservative and of course water.
The fact that I can read these ingredients and know basically what they are, puts me at ease. I know aloe vera is good for skin, wheat (think oatmeal) is also good for the skin. Citric acid (like the grapefruit and orange extracts in the Biokleen) acts as a cleaning agent, as does the salt. The surfactants are conditioners.
I am not sure what exactly is in the fragrance and the biodegradable preservative, but the bottle - and their website - says it is plant-based.
It is also safe for septic tanks.
It has minimum impact on aquatic life.
The bottle the soap comes in is 100% plant-based plastic.
I am satisfied that both of these products are safe for the environment and safe to use in other applications besides just dish washing. I think I'll always be making my own biodegradable, non-toxic and versatile hand sanitizer.
I make this for my own homemade use only.
I do not claim that my homemade sanitizer, in fact, kills as much bacteria as regular hand sanitizer, nor do I claim to know everything about its effectiveness or its safety.
I only can say - from my experience - that I like what I see, I like that it cleans, I like the scent, and I like the fact that I know what the ingredients are.
I do put my faith in the ability of citric acid to clean and soothe the skin. I have referenced websites and my sources in this hub and I've read in different places over the years about cleaning with lemon juice and/or citric acid.
© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun