The TikTok video instructions!

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The recipe

Do not just mix this together - see the video below for instructions.

Purchasing Ingredients


Ingredient for homemade hand sanitizer


190 Proof Ethanol

Do not use regular 80 proof vodka. 80 proof is only 40%.

Everclear at Total Wine

Everclear at Drizly.

Recipes for different bottle sizes


Starting with 190 proof (95%) alcohol:

750mL bottle: Remove 1/2 cup (119 mL) alcohol, and add back the same amount of water/glycerine mixture (about 2 teaspoons or 11 mL glycerine).

1L bottle: Remove 2/3 cup (158 mL) alcohol, and add back the same amount of water/glycerine mixture (about 1 tablespoon or 15 mL glycerine).

1.75L bottle: Remove 1.2 cups (1 and 1/5 cup, 276 ml) alcohol, and add back the same amount of water/glycerine mixture (about 1 and 2/3 tablespoons or 25 mL glycerine).



Is this legit?

The formula is based on "Formulation 1" of the World Health Organization's WHO-recommended Handrub Formulations.  (We did not include the hydrogen peroxide since the starting materials are clean.) Also, the U.S. FDA recently authorized local pharmacies to compound hand sanitizer using the same recipe (except with the hydrogen peroxide and sterile distilled/boiled cold water).

How does it compare to washing hands?

Washing hands correctly with soap is recommended.  So, use a hand sanitizer when you can't wash your hands with soap.

Can I make hand sanitizer with isopropyl / rubbing alcohol?

There is a formula for it... but there are some hints that ethanol-based sanitizers work better for viruses, and that rubbing alcohol can be more irritating, so we made an ethanol-based formula first. Leave some comments on our Twitter page if you want us to post a recipe for rubbing alcohol.

What does the glycerin do?

It is a skin moisturizer.  If you leave out the glycerin, it scores better on an antibacterial test but will be more irritating to your skin. So you can go without; but it is better to use it since if you stop using the sanitizer or use too little because your skin is irritated, it would be worse. Hey, nothing's perfect.

Can I add aloe?

Yes (according to WHO, but no according to FDA in their guidance to pharmacies). When you add it, it is better to REPLACE some or all of water when you first make the recipe, rather than diluting it down more after you make it. WHO says "other emollients may be used for skin care, provided that they are cheap, widely available and miscible in water and alcohol and do not add to toxicity, or promote allergy."  But 1) if the aloe contains a lot of alcohol, it can throw off the percentage and 2) we have not found studies saying how much it could affect the antiviral properties, though a lot of hand sanitizers you find (found?) in stores contain aloe. Nothing's perfect.

Is it dangerous?

It is very flammable. Do not mix or store it near a stove or oven.

What does this hand sanitizer feel like?

It is thin and liquidy. It evaporates easily. It does not leave your hands feeling sticky.

What about fragrances?

One nice thing is that there are no fragrances added to this recipe, so when the alcohol dries, no scents will bother you while eating, etc. If you want to add a few drops of fragrances such as essential oils, feel free, but officially they are not recommended due to risk of allergic reactions (or skin irritation if you go overboard).

Can I refill an empty, clean hand sanitizer container?

Yes. A clean funnel helps if it is a small bottle.

Can I see the math? I'd like to force my child to explain the calculations to me.

It is based on the formula C1 * V1 = C2 * V2.  (C=concentration, V=volume.) If you want the whole spreadsheet, comment on our Twitter page.

Can I make it without "wasting" the half cup of alcohol at the beginning?

Well, we were trying to keep it simple. If you insist, and if you really do not know what else to do with half cup of alcohol (see next question), you can add 20mL (4 teaspoons) water and 2 ml (~1/2 teaspoon) glycerin to the half cup.  Alternatively, you can add 128 mL / 0.55 cups of water and 13 mL / ~1 tablespoon glycerin to the original 750 mL without removing the half cup at the beginning- but then you need a bigger, clean container to mix it.

What do I do with the leftover alcohol?

Don't use it straight- it's too strong.  Dilute 1/2 cup of 190 proof alcohol with 2/3 cup water and you have 80 proof vodka. It goes great with a Corona.

Other things you can do

Wash your hands!

Limit your exposure!

Limit your exposure!

It's better to wash your hands correctly with soap than use hand sanitizer.

Limit your exposure!

Limit your exposure!

Limit your exposure!

Stay home.

Love your neighbor!

Love your neighbor!

Love your neighbor!

Help an older person who is told not to go to the grocery store. Help a neighbor in need. Donate to a charity such as a food bank.

Don't spread it!

Love your neighbor!

Love your neighbor!

If you have any symptoms (like cough, fever), call your doctor instead of showing up in person to a doctor's office or emergency room.

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