DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe (CDC Formula)

Hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes continue to sell out in most stores, but there’s no need to worry. You can easily make your own.

The CDC recommends washing your hands with antibacterial soap and water whenever possible. But what should you do when soap and water are not available? Any hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.

At least 2/3 of your mixture must contain rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, or even 180 proof spirits (like Everclear or some vodkas). If your mixture meets this criteria, it will kill viruses on contact.

You can get creative with the other 1/3 of your mixture. Adding 1-part aloe vera to your 2-part alcohol mixture will create a gel-like sanitizer. It’s optional, but you can also mix in several drops of essential oil, too. Red thyme, cinnamon and clove have excellent anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties — and they smell great, too.

According to the CDC, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol, which is why we use a 2 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe ratio.


  • Mix 2 parts alcohol and 1 part aloe vera in a cup or bowl until well combined.
  • Blend in a few drops of essential essential oil (optional).
  • Funnel your mixture into an empty bottle or applicator of your choice.

~Here’s to your survival!

Thank you to our friends at Modern Survival for contributing this piece.