Hand Sanitiser - official World Health Organization formula

Hand Sanitiser - official World Health Organization formula

Hi everyone,

I hope you and your community are keeping well and safe.

In the past few days, many of you have been in contact with questions about homemade hand sanitiser recipes and the best essential oils to use. As a family, we’ve spent a few evenings creating recipes (yes that is how we roll in our house!). 

Because of the severity of the current situation with COVID-19, we have chosen to list a formula that is recommended by the World Health Organisation as opposed to a milder, more gentle formula. And remember that alcohol is the real ‘hero’ in the recipe. 

But first, as shared by many in recent weeks, washing your hands with a standard bar or liquid soap and water is the best way to clean your hands.  Hand sanitisers are good to use when you are on the go but excessive usage is not recommended.

And secondly, the commercial hand sanitisers that have vanished from shop shelves usually have a gel like texture.  You will not be able to replicate this as they usually require ingredients that are not available to the public. 

To make 80ml (1/3 cup) you will need

  • 4 tbsp (60ml) of rubbing alcohol (min 95% purity) - it might be labeled as Isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol
  • ¾ tsp (3.75ml) Hydrogen Peroxide - to protect the formula and only needed if making large quantities that you need to keep for months 
  • ¼ tsp = 1.25ml Glycerin - this works as the moisturiser
  • 1 tbsp = 15ml Distilled water - boiled water cooled down in a sterile glass jar will also do. As an alternative, you can also use the same amount of Witch Hazel or Aloe Vera Gel (my wife feels the Aloe Vera is kinder to the hands)


In addition to the WHO recipe, we have added 10 drops of essential oils.  Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary and Tea Tree all have well documented antimicrobial properties, but remember again - alcohol is the most important ingredient! 

An example of blend we have created is 4-5 drops lavender + 4-5 drops lemon + 2 drops rosemary


How to make it 

  1. Add all the ingredients above in a glass jar in that order
  2. Stir well
  3. Pour the liquid in a spray bottle – a funnel is really handy 
  4. Label clearly with a batch date. 

If you use Aloe Vera Gel, a small pump or a standard cap on the bottle works better. If you can’t find Glycerin, you can replace it with the equivalent amount of water, Witch Hazel or Aloe Vera.

Happy making, and mind you & yours. 


And here is a link to the WHO resource on this topic

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