DIY home-made hand sanitizer can be an effective disinfectant against viruses and even coronavirus if made correctly and contains at least 60 percent of alcohol.
Teaching children about germs is of extreme priority in light of the current pandemic. Most importantly, we should model proper hygiene and HAND-WASHING as it is the BEST WAY to get rid of germs. Also, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the list of disinfectants to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. However, what if you cannot find any Lysol or Clorox products? What if your stores are void of any disinfecting sprays, wipes, and antibacterial soaps? Or, what if your child has a skin condition that prevents you from using harsh chemicals? Alternatively, what if a school your child attends does not allow for any Purell, Lysol or Clorox products? So, when effective disinfectants against the virus are out of reach, you can make your own DIY HOME-MADE HAND SANITIZER with a few simple ingredients you hopefully already have at home. Also, if you have a WATER SOURCE, use this SANITIZER in lieu of antibacterial soap and ALSO WASH your HANDS!
DIY HOMEMADE HAND SANITIZER
After doing extensive research, I am sharing with you a DIY recipe to make your OWN sanitizer! The good news is that coronaviruses are some of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate product, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. “It has an envelope around it that allows it to merge with other cells to infect them,” explains Consumer Reports. However, “if you disrupt that coating, the virus can’t do its job.” So, when you can not find a Purell hand sanitizer or Clorox wipes, if made CORRECTLY, a DIY hand sanitizer can be helpful and even effective! However, if made incorrectly, it can be downright harmful. Make sure that the tools you use for mixing are properly sanitized; otherwise, you could contaminate the entire mixture. Also, the World Health Organization recommends letting your mixture sit for a minimum of 72 hours after you have made it. That way the sanitizer has time to kill any bacteria that might have been introduced during the mixing process. (More info here.)
Again, if you have a WATER SOURCE, use this SANITIZER in lieu of antibacterial soap and ALSO WASH your HANDS!
YOU WILL NEED:
- 90+ % Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol ~ please, note that a bottle of 99 percent isopropyl alcohol is the best thing to use.). [If sold out, buy 99% HERE. If sold out buy 70% HERE and DO NOT DILUTE!] Do NOT use methanol, butanol, or other types of alcohol as they are toxic.
- aloe vera gel (added as a moisturizer, you can also add glycerine but keep the ratio 3:1, meaning your aloe vera gel + glycerine combined BOTH must be 1 part)
- tea tree oil (known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral properties.)
- essential oils (optional)
HOW: First properly clean and SANITIZE your tools. RATIO: 3:1. Next, mix 3 parts of 90+% isopropyl alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel. Add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil for additional benefits. Let your mixture sit for a minimum of 72 hours after you have made it.
Please note that for DIY HOME-MADE HAND SANITIZER to be effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FINAL SOLUTION (after you add all the ingredients) must have at least 60% alcohol content. Some sources suggest 70% ALCOHOL must be present in your FINAL solution, so if you cannot find any 90+% alcohol, use 70% alcohol and do NOT DILUTE! Yes, it will dry your hands, but it will take care of the virus!
WARING: Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning.
SEE HERE an OFFICIAL WHO RECIPE on DIY HOME-MADE HAND SANITIZER
The aloe mixture is effective but might leave your skin sticky, so here’s a recipe that’s less sticky and more potent, based on the mix recommended by the WHO.
- 90+ % Isopropyl alcohol
- glycerol (adds moisture and prevents your hands from drying)
- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
- distilled water
- essential oils (optional)
First, mix 1 ⅔ cups alcohol with 2 teaspoons of glycerol. (If you can’t find glycerol, proceed with the rest of the recipe anyway and just remember to moisturize your hands after applying the sanitizer.)
Then, mix in 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Thereafter, add ¼ cup of distilled or boiled water. (If you’re working with a lower-concentration solution of rubbing alcohol, use far less water; remember, at least ⅔ of your final mixture has to be alcohol.) Finally, pour your solution into a spray bottle. An added benefit: since the final product is not a gel, but a spray, you can wet a paper towel with it as well and use that as a wipe.
Effective Disinfectant Ingredient Against Virus
Alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent of alcohol are effective against coronavirus. In fact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that when washing hands with soap and water is NOT available, to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective disinfectant against virus and killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers without 60-95% alcohol may NOT work equally well for many types of germs. Also, they merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright.
According to the CDC, household (3 percent) hydrogen peroxide is effective in deactivating rhinovirus, the virus that causes the common cold, within 6 to 8 minutes of exposure. Rhinovirus is more difficult to destroy than coronaviruses, so hydrogen peroxide should be able to break down coronavirus in less time. Pour it undiluted into a spray bottle and spray it on the surface to be cleaned, but let it sit on the surface for several minutes. “You can pour it on the area and you don’t have to wipe it off because it essentially decomposes into oxygen and water.” Consumer Reports.
Distilled White Vinegar
Disinfection recommendations using vinegar are popular online, but there is no evidence that they are effective against coronavirus. (Read about the 9 things you should never clean with vinegar.)
NOTES ABOUT DIY HOMEMADE HAND SANITIZER
According to CDC sanitizers can be effective disinfectants against the virus and can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,
- Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
- Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
- Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.
How to use hand sanitizer
- Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that baby wipes may make your hands look clean, but they’re not designed to remove germs from your hands. CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water when possible.
In order to encourage proper handwashing, children need to understand what are they washing their hands for? So what are germs? According to Kids Health Organization, there are four major types of germs, which are BACTERIA, VIRUSES, FUNGI, and PROTOZOA. (More details below.) Germs invade plants, animals, and people; however, they do not always make us sick and not all germs are bad. For example, we have ‘beneficial’ or ‘good’ bacteria that live inside of our body, in our colon and intestines. They help us use the nutrients in the food we eat and make waste from what is leftover. Moreover, some germs reside naturally in the dirt, such as a rod-shaped Bacillus. However, since we cannot distinguish which germs are good and which ones are bad, the conclusion is to wash hands as often as we can and wash them thoroughly.
Children are very visual! They need to see/do/manipulate/scrub, in order to perceive and assimilate the information. So, showing your child this handprint of germs on an 8-year-old boy’s hand is pretty visual and effective in delivering the message about thorough hand washing. (The growth though took place over a number of days.)
CDC suggests teaching kids the five easy steps for handwashing—wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry. Handwashing should take place generally after using the bathroom and before eating or handling food, but with the current pandemic, handwashing is suggested much more frequently, such as after playing outdoors, touching animals and pets, after coughing or sneezing, after you play outside, after visiting a sick relative or friend, or after being in a school or other places with lots of people. So, washing hands with soap and water while following the five steps is the best way to get rid of germs, according to CDC.gov
- Wet your hands with warm water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice or sing the ABCs song once. Make sure to scrub in between your fingers and underneath your nails, as bad germs like to hide in these places.
- Rinse your hands well under water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
DEMONSTRATE PROPER HANDWASHING
There are a few ways you can demonstrate how to properly wash hands. For example, you can use yeast, grow mold, use lotion and glitter or cooked rice to demonstrate how germs spread. These activities will demonstrate how tough it is to get germs out of our bodies. And, I am sure you all know about the old-time favorite: sprinkle black pepper (“germs”) in a bowl of water. Your child will observe the pepper floating ~ aka ‘germs’. Then, dip a finger in dishwashing soap and dip into the center of the bowl. Watch the soap “scare the germs away.” See Reaching Happy explaining the science behind this experiment with glitter and soap.
FOUR TYPES OF GERMS
Find more info at KidsHealth.org
Bacteria are tiny, single-celled organisms that get nutrients from their environments in order to survive and they live almost everywhere. Some are harmful, but most are harmless and even helpful.
Viruses a small disease-causing agent that MUST live inside a living cell of larger organisms ~ host ~ such as plants, animals, to grow and reproduce. Most viruses can’t survive very long if they’re not inside a host. Some viruses live for a short time on surfaces such as handles, knobs, and countertops. For example, family of viruses can survive between four and five days on various materials like aluminum, wood, paper, plastic, and glass. However, others can survive for a long time without a host, for example, human pathogens can persist on surfaces and remain infectious at room temperature for up to nine days. (As opposed to the measles virus which can live on contaminated surfaces for only up to two hours.)
Fungi are multi-celled plant-like organisms. Unlike other plants, fungi cannot make their own food from soil, water, and air. Instead, fungi get their nutrition from plants, people, and animals. They love to live in damp, warm places, and many fungi are not dangerous in healthy people. An example of something caused by fungi is athlete’s foot, that itchy rash that teens and adults sometimes get between their toes.
Protozoa are one-cell organisms that love moisture and often spread diseases through water. Some protozoa cause intestinal infections that lead to diarrhea, nausea, and belly pain.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Germs?
Find more info at KidsHealth.org
Most germs are spread through the air in sneezes, coughs, or even breaths. Germs can also spread in sweat, saliva, and blood. Some pass from person to person by touching something that is contaminated, like shaking hands with someone who has a cold and then touching your own nose. Avoiding things that can spread germs is the best way to protect yourself. And that means hand washing or when a sink is not near, use a DIY HOMEMADE HAND SANITIZER. Also, sneeze or cough in your elbow (NOT YOUR PLAM of the HAND) to keep from spreading germs and not contaminating the hands. Using tissues for your sneezes and sniffles is another great weapon against germs. But don’t just throw tissues on the floor to pick up later. Toss them in the trash and, again, wash your hands!
Do you find it hard to get your child wash hands when visibly there isn’t any dirt on them? Try this experiment to see why you should wash your hands, even if they look clean!
What You Need:
- a sink or a bowl with tap water
You can see this video on Instagram HERE
What You Do:
- Put a drop of lotion on your hands and rub them together to spread the lotion out evenly.
- With your hands over a sink or large bucket, have your helper put a pinch of glitter in the palm of one of your hands.
- With your hands still over the sink, make a fist with the hand that has glitter on it, then spread your fingers out. What do you see?
- Now press the palms of your hands together and pull them apart. What do you notice about your hands?
- Touch your helper’s hand. Now do you see anything on it?
- Get a paper towel and use it to wipe your hands clean of all the glitter. Is it working?
- After using the paper towel, try using soap and water to wash your hands. Did the glitter come off?
After getting the glitter on your hands, you should have noticed it spreading very easily to anything you touched, even your helper’s hand. When you tried to use a paper towel to remove the glitter, some of the glitter probably came off, but most of it stayed on your hands. But when you used soap and water to wash your hands, the glitter came off pretty easily. The glitter is acting the same way that the germs on your hands act – there are a lot of them, they spread around easily, and it can be tough to get them off. The difference is that germs are so small you can’t see them without a microscope, so you have to know when you may have come into contact with germs and wash your hands often. If you accidentally touched your mouth, nose, or eyes while doing this experiment, you may have found glitter getting left behind near these areas. Germs travel the same way and can easily enter your body if you touch your face with dirty hands, which can make you sick. That’s why it’s important to wash your hands! If you don’t, the germs can easily spread to more places and to other people and cause sickness.
While the common misconception is that all germs are bad, most germs, in fact, do not harm us and some are even good for us. (Reference here where you can also read about the potato/bread experiment).
- In the stomach, there are helpful germs that help you digest your food and produce vitamins that keep you healthy.
- There are germs on your skin that keep your skin healthy and help keep bad germs from getting in your body.
- Some scientists now believe that being exposed to some germs is good for you because it helps build up your immune system, your body’s defense system to fight off and protect you from the bad germs.
- If your immune system meets some of these bad germs in small quantities, it will recognize them as being bad and be faster at fighting them off if a larger number enter your body later.
Still, it is important to protect yourself from harmful germs so that you don’t get sick. The best way is to use water and soap, or use DIY HOMEMADE HAND SANITIZER. And to reiterate, nothing beats washing your hands. Hand sanitizer—even the real, professionally made stuff—should always be a last resort.)
Please, always supervise your children.
BOOKS ABOUT GERMS
VIDEOS ABOUT GERMS
Although it is important to know about effective disinfectant products against viruses and the efficacy of washing hands, children also need to understand what are germs and how they function. Below are some of our favorite educational videos.