DIY Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer (That Actually Works)

Hand sanitizer is quick, portable, convenient, and toxic. That's why I've created a simple DIY Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer (that actually works) and is good for the planet too.

Coronavirus Disclaimer

This hand sanitizer is not a substitute for proper handwashing. And while this home remedy contains commonly-accepted natural antiviral ingredients, it has never been tested in a lab to determine its efficacy against viruses such as the coronavirus.

The only version of this hand sanitizer recipe that includes the 60%+ alcohol content that the CDC and other health organizations recommend for hand sanitizer to properly kill coronavirus is the version using 190 proof grain alcohol — and this version has still not been tested for efficacy against coronavirus.

A tested recipe that contains the proper level of alcohol can be found through the World Health Organization.

Banner for an eco cleaning challenge.Pin

Why make your own DIY Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer?

Sanitizers contain an antibiotic compound called triclosan or triclocarban, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that triclosan could carry unnecessary risks and recent studies have raised questions about whether triclosan might be hazardous to human health.

Triclosan and triclocarban are suspected hormone disruptors and have been linked to cancer and reproductive health problems. Their wide use of antimicrobial agents in products may have also contributed to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Triclosan was declared toxic to the environment by the Canadian government in 2012 but has yet to restrict its use in personal care products. Hundreds of products that Canadians use daily continue to may contain triclosan or triclocarban. UGH!!

Back in September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a ban on antimicrobial chemicals triclosan and triclocarban in over-the-counter hand and body washes (this ingredient can also be found in soaps and even toothpaste. These products are often labeled antibacterial, antimicrobial, or antiseptic soaps).

Manufacturers in the U.S. will now have one year to remove or reformulate products that contain triclosan and triclocarban. The Canadian government has to mirror the ban quickly to avoid Canada becoming a dumping ground for products containing harmful ingredients.

These chemicals continue to put the health and environment of Canadians at risk and offer no apparent hygienic benefits for consumers. Washing your hands with warm water and regular soap has been shown to be equally effective.

DIY Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer — Ingredients Matter

There are times, however, when you are out and don't have access to soap and water and need a little spritz, so here is my fabulous (if I do say so myself) kid-friendly hand-sanitizer.  A little about this recipe, I chose to add coconut oil to my DIY non-toxic hand sanitizer because of its moisturizing properties. After a few trials, I find this is the most effective one I have made. I also love that this is a homemade hand sanitizer spray without alcohol, which can be so drying to the skin.

I also use essential oils in this recipe and no matter what DIY recipe you are making choosing the right oils is key.

3 bottles of essential oils on a table Pin

earthYard is one of my favorite essential oil companies. I was first introduced to them a few years ago while visiting my Dad, who lives in Aussie. As someone who uses essential oils in most of my DIY recipes, it's so important for me to choose companies that are souring them ethically and that take sustainability into account at all levels of their business.

earthYard's products are "single-origin" which means that are grown within a single known geographic origin. This could be a single farm or cooperative in a single region. This allows for full transparency of the product or the ingredient you are buying.

A major benefit to single-origin is that it really celebrates and honors the farmer. A single beautiful quality product is produced in its entirety from one location.

All of their essential oils are 100% pure and natural and you can tell! When you smell them you can absolutely tell the difference.

a woman making a DIY hand sanitizerPin

Tea Tree essential oil is antibacterial,  antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antiviral. earthYard's tea tree oil is grown in Australia and has also undergone extensive testing to make sure it's the highest quality. Tea tree oil can be very over-powering, but this one has a fresh herbaceous smell. It can be used for cleaning, skin irritations, and more.

Lavender essential oil is anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial. You can buy this oil from earthYard and it comes from two regions, Australia and Bulgaria. The Australian one has a more herbal aroma. It's so beautiful and lavender is a must-have in and DIY diva's kit. It's also priced so well at $20. You are getting so much for that price.

The lemon essential oil has anti-infection, astringent, antiseptic, disinfectant, and antifungal properties.

a flay lay of the ingredients used to make a diy hand sanitizer  Pin

earthYard works directly with farmers in Australia and around the world. There is no middle man, this ensures that the farmers are being paid ethically for the products they are producing.

Many essential oils (especially cheap ones) contain a lot of fillers and synthetic ingredients that are added at different times of manufacturing. You simply will not have that issue with these essential oils. To take this one step further earthYard is working on an in-house testing facility to make sure that every oil they bring in is free from chemical residue and as pure and clean as possible.

earthYard carries a wide range of products, not just essential oils, find hydrosols, floral waters, extracts, and more.

They also have a program for customers to return some of the packagings:

"As part of our REfill, REimagine, REstore, REthink initiative we've launched a free REturns option for our customers where you can safely send back your used plastic and aluminum packaging (sorry no glass) and we'll put it to REuse."

They are also one of Australia's carbon-neutral partners. Carbon Neutral is a carbon solution and Australia's largest biodiverse reforestation offset developer. They work with organizations to measure, reduce and offset carbon emissions!

a coconut next to a bottle of essential oilsPin

I've also added Witch Hazel which is a really great astringent, that is rich in antioxidant phenols and tannins.

Aloe Vera is found in hundreds of beauty products, its know for its cooling effects and helps to repair and heal the skin. It's very soothing and it acts as an antiseptic which is why I added it to this recipe.

Coconut oil is one of the most nourishing and moisturizing ingredients you can find naturally. It's great for all skin types and will help to soothe and soften. It absorbs quickly and the fatty acids help to prevent fungal and bacterial infections. I use it and love it in my skincare regime. And the smell... well it's like the beach!

Vitamin E will moisturize and heal the skin and it's packed with antioxidants.

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe


  • 1 oz Coconut oil
  • 12 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops of Lemon essential oil
  • 12 drops of Tea tree essential oil
  • ¼ tsp Vitamin e oil
  • 6 oz Aloe vera
  • 1 oz Witch hazel
  • 1 Small spray bottle


Mix all the ingredients into the small spray bottle, and shake before use.

a small brown bottle of diy hand sanitizer Pin

If you are using essential oils, always do a patch test, you can put 1-2 drops into a tablespoon of any carrier oil (coconut, jojoba, etc.) and test it on a small area of your skin.

If you made this recipe and love it, make sure to check out my recipe for these amazing DIY Reusable Disinfecting Wipes!

The DIY recipes shared on this website haven’t been tested in a lab. Information about my products or recipes hasn’t been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a doctor or specialist for specific concerns about any skincare issues, cleaning products, or dietary needs. Please use your discretion, based on your own research, when making homemade products.

Final thoughts on how to make a DIY non-toxic hand sanitizer

The essential oil industry has an impact on the planet, there is no doubt about that. In many cases, farmers are not paid well, and employees sometimes work in very deplorable conditions. Not to mention the harm the extraction can have on the natural world. Picking ethical companies ensure that none of this happens. I have strict criteria when it comes to the brands that I work with here in the eco hub, especially related to the beauty industry. Take a look at my ethical criteria and let me know what you think in the comments below.

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65 thoughts shared

  1. Stores are OUT of aloe gel around here. OUT of alcohol. OUT of witch hazel. What else can we use to make a hand sanitizer since there is NONE to be had anywhere? People here are buying it by the case as soon as the trucks show up and are reselling it at marked up prices!

    1. Comment author image

      Candice Batista


      It’s a terrible situation. Unfortunately, this is the reality right now.
      Sorry, I can’t be more help.
      Sending you light and love.

      1. Comment author image

        Candice Batista


        I have not used a plant for this recipe. But I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, Let me know if you try and how it goes.

    1. Comment author image

      Candice Batista


      It depends on what you mean by excessive amounts. Always do a patch test before using any product. I have not found it to be irritating, it’s not meant to be used on your face.

  2. hello.i am wondering if i can used the coconut oil in the liquid form ( the one we used as hair oil) ex= parachute brand coconut oil???

  3. What about using vegetable glycerin instead of aloe gel. I was able to find this, wheras aloe is out of stock everywhere. As is rubbing alcohol! I’m hoping the other ingredients are enough. Is there any kind of hand sanitizer made of peroxide? Thanks.

  4. Comment author image

    Colleen Gregory


    I can’t find aloe Vera gel anywhere. I did find organic coconut oil, but not fractionated. What can I use in place of the aloe Vera gel? I am using 180proof grain alcohol. (Everclear)

    1. Comment author image

      Candice Batista


      Aloe is one of the key ingredients in this formula. I don’t have a replacement for it. Where have you tried to find it?

        1. Comment author image

          Candice Batista


          No, I do not recommend your use of denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol contains ethanol, which could lead you to think it might be a worthwhile substitute. But ingredients are added to the bottles of denatured alcohol for effectiveness and to make it poisonous, so people can’t drink it. Those ingredients can be dangerous if absorbed through the skin and can also irritate your hands. Health experts, both at the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, don’t advise making your own hand sanitizer at all.

    1. Hi Candice,
      Does the coconut oil ever solidify and cause it to clog the tub and not spray out?

      I am having this issue as I just eyeballed and didn’t follow your recipe to the required ratios.

      1. Comment author image

        Candice Batista


        Hi Paul,
        this has not happened for me, you can leave the coconut oil out and try something like aloe vera. I like coconut oil because it acts as a moisturizer.
        LMK if that works,
        all my best,

          1. Comment author image

            Candice Batista


            Hi Gardy,
            I have updated the recipe. Please take a look and let me know if you have any additional questions,

    2. Hi candice
      Just to clarify, to make the hand sanitiser with Isopropyl Alcohol, 99%, do we add the alcohol and aloe Vera to the non toxic sanitizer recipe with coconut oil and other ingredients? Or the toxic sanitizer is only made with aloe Vera jel and the isopropyl alcohol? Thanks for your help

      1. Comment author image

        Candice Batista


        Hello, Riz,
        these are two separate recipes. The first recipe is what the CDC recommends, aloe Vera gel and isopropyl alcohol and the second is the one noted below.
        thank you,