* EDIT March 16, 2020 * In light of the current virus sweeping the world, I strongly suggest skipping the DIY sanitisers. Aim to thoroughly wash your hands as much as possible, and don’t touch your face, in order to minimise risk. If you absolutely must use sanitiser, opt for one that is alcohol-based, as per the World Health Organisation’s advice.
This spray is my go-to recipe when it comes to on-the-go-germ-fighting-fluid-in-a-spray-bottle! In saying that, I don’t claim, nor do I believe, that my recipe kills all germs. But it certainly gives me peace of mind, and I believe it’s good enough on an average day-to-day basis when I can’t access a sink! We use this DIY recipe, probably only a few times a week, we don’t rely on it, and we’ve never been healthier; some might say we thrive! Is this a placebo effect? If so, I’ll take it! Or maybe it’s because we’re not exposed to half as much as we used to be, in terms of our toxin body-burden, or maybe it’s our exceptional inner health doing the work for us, who knows.
Something to keep in mind is that just because we’re exposed to a pathogen, does not mean it’ll take over and make us ill.
Since we stopped frantically killing the germs (good and bad) from our bodies, we’re actually much healthier and our hands are less irritated. And it’s no wonder; some of the ingredients in mainstream hand sanitising sprays have been linked to endocrine disruption, skin irritation and organ system toxicity (plus toxicity to aquatics and environmental persistence).
Triclosan-containing soap products were not found to provide any additional skin-sanitizing benefits compared to soap not containing Triclosan. In addition, TCS was found to produce bacterial resistance via target site modification which decreased the inhibitory effect of this chemical. With research findings like this, it’s a wonder we are still seeing it in personal care products.
I’ll be honest here, do you really need hand sanitiser? Spraying your hands to conveniently kill germs when you’re out and about, shopping, at the park, running errands with kids, is a modern-day, largely unnecessary, luxury (did your parents use them?).
Think about it, we know that we can wash our hands and achieve the same results as a quick ‘spray and rub’. And while it is indeed handy to have a bottle of ‘soap and water’ in your handbag, it’s certainly not a necessity. Just find a bathroom and wash your hands, and in the meantime, don’t touch your face with your possibly contaminated hands.
Back to the recipe at hand… It contains some powerful essential oils which are highly antibacterial and antimicrobial, and won’t dry your hands (well, it doesn’t dry ours). Does it destroy all of the germs on your hands? Unlikely. But it is enough to give me some peace of mind when I’m out and about and don’t have access to a sink, soap and water.
Because it contains water and essential oils, I suggest shaking it well, making it in small batches and reading all of my notes on safety, shelf life and cleaning up.
Hand Sanitising Spray
Makes: 50 g Prep time: < 5 min.
My Choice of Essential Oils
My suggested essential oils for this recipe are tea tree, thyme and cinnamon – I use them for their properties and don’t recommend changing them. Read here for more information on essential oils.
1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined.
2. Transfer into container of choice. (I use a glass bottle with spray atomiser).
Spray hands as required. Since oil and water don’t mix, you’ll need to shake well prior to each use.