Homemade Hand Sanitiser

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Hands up who can’t find hand sanitiser in the shops? Us too! Which was why we were delighted to see a Small City health store posting a recipe for making our own on their Facebook page.

Highland Health Store (see their Facebook here) owner Darren Ritchie sought advice from essential oil suppliers before putting together the homemade recipe.

He’d wanted to offer customers an alternative after demand for hand sanitiser sky-rocketed in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak leaving many local shops with empty shelves.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, the shop has been much busier, with people asking advice on how best to keep their families healthy“We’d sold out of hand sanitiser in the shop too so decided to research homemade alternatives and contacted our essential oil suppliers for advice to give customers another option to keep hands clean on the go,” says Darren. “It’s surprisingly easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.”

Aloe Vera gel and essential oils known for their natural antibacterial qualities such as Tea Tree Oil and Lemon Myrtle alongside the antibacterial Witch Hazel can all be mixed together easily at home with Glycerin an added extra to help maintain soft hands. Witch Hazel distilled with alcohol makes it an even more effective cleanser.

“Over the past few years we’ve found that our customers do a lot of research into and enjoy making things themselves – from body lotions to lip balms. Alongside ingredients for making your own hand sanitiser, we also stock glass jars, tubes and containers here as people don’t want to buy more plastic,” says Darren.

It’s surprisingly easy to make at home with just a few ingredientsDarren says the 34-year-old St John Street store is usually busy during the winter with customers seeking natural remedies and preventions for the usual colds, coughs and flu. But since the Coronavirus outbreak, the shop has been much busier, with people asking advice on how best to keep themselves and their families healthy.

Trade has also been brisk for immune-system boosting supplements such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc although the top-selling supplement has been Echinacea. Studies have shown the plant has both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory qualities.

Darren says it’s important to ask advice from a health store professional before buying any essential oil or herbal remedy.

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I decided to give Highland Health Store’s recipe a go at home with ingredients – Aloe Vera gel, Witch Hazel and Lemon Myrtle essential oil I bought from the shop and the other oils I had at home. I didn’t get a glass container instead using a sterilised Chicken Tonight jar (honey and mustard flavour!) to store the hand-sanitiser in.

I used a measuring jug for quantities and mixing before plonking it all in the jar and putting the lid on. With all the oils, it of course smells amazing and it doesn’t leave my hands feeling rough or itchy although I’ve only used it a few times.


I’m now on the hunt for a little funnel to dispense from the jar to handier little bottles we can carry around with us.

Darren mentioned that some customers are putting more alcohol into their recipes to boost efficiency – with one individual adding white spirit! I’m happy enough that the Witch Hazel is distilled with alcohol but if you did decide to add more, it might be an idea to include Glycerin in your recipe to counteract the drying effects of alcohol.

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