To be effective, hand sanitizers MUST contain a minimum of 60% alcohol by concentration. Alcohol kills germs by dessication, meaning that it dries them out through rapid evaporation. A lower concentration of alcohol results in not having enough alcohol to rapidly evaporate and dry out the microbes on your hands. There are many recipes on the internet that result in an over-diluted mixture which will prove to be very ineffective at killing germs. Here are two really good articles to read on this: One from the New York Times and one from the CDC
The following recipe has the results in an alcohol concentration of roughly 63% (being more precise requires using tenths of a cup in measurement). The essential oils are added for the extra germ killing ability, but are optional.
- 5 cups 91% Isopropyl Alcohol
- 2 cups 100% pure Aloe Gel
- 5 drops Tea Tree Oil (optional)
- Mix at high speed for several minutes. The solution will begin to gel. The aeration of the mixture is extremely important to get the right consistency correct. You should see “bubbles” throughout the mixture. The end Solution is thicker than water, but not too thick.
- Once you’ve gotten the mixture to gel and achieve a constant consistency, you can pour it into containers for storage and use.
So with a potential pandemic from the swine flu and the resulting potential quarantine, with the need to have sanitizer in your EDC, BOB and 72 Hour kits, make sure you have plenty of these base components stored so you can use them as needed! I suggest storing the base components and using sanitization as a great way to rotate these items. Peroxide, bleach and alcohol all have couple year shelf lives, using them as regular household cleaners is a great way to keep them fresh!
Sanitizer Spray- is used with any of the following:
3% Hydrogen Peroxide
Unscented Bleach (if desired)
You can kill most germs, without leaving a dangerous residue, with a binary spray. White Vinegar and 3% Hydrogen Peroxide both kill germs. Simply fill one spray bottle with white vinegar and another with hydrogen peroxide. Spray whatever you need sanitized with one, then with the other. Individually these two kill a large numbers of germs, combined they function as well as or better than commercial sanitizing spray.
IMPORTANT NOTE: NEVER NEVER mix them both into the same bottle though - this will create Peracetic Acid - which is useless to clean with, is corrosive, and can hurt you!
You could also fill a third bottle with bleach and zap something with all 3 of them if you wanted to be REALLY be sure you had killed everything possible.
NOTE: The bleach can discolor things and is potentially harmful if ingested.
Essential Oil Sanitizer Spray
Because Essential Oils are natural plant sources, using them will not create a “super bug”, like so many other Anti-bacterial cleaners.
An interesting note: 1 gallon of Pine Sol has enough Phenol to kill an adult 3 times over. Phenol is oily, so it has a residue that hangs around and is easily absorbed through the feet after mopping, etc. Or just soaks in hands or feet while using.
For an Essential Oil Sanitizer Spray, mix the following essential oils in a 24oz bottle.
- Bacteria Buster Recipe:
- 10 drops Lemon
- 8 drops Eucalyptus
- 5 drops Rosemary
- 3 drops Lemongrass
- Add all to water, shake and spray. Use to wipe down counters, cabinets, sinks, tubs, toilets, doorknobs, fixtures, etc. to protect from bacteria spreading.
- *Can use per la Immunity blend all on its own.
For more recipes and cleaning, go to http://theresanoilforthat.blogspot.com/search/label/House%20Cleaning