During the winter time when we see sick people all around us, I frequently feel the need to encourage my boys to wash their hands after touching things that seem less than sanitary. We all have sensitive skin, and the soaps in public restrooms often make us break out in rashes. Further, many places use antibacterial soaps, which are one of the sources of antibiotic resistance, in addition to being full of many unwanted toxic chemicals.
To name only a few, many of these soaps include: triclosan, a common antibacterial ingredient; carbomers, made from the petrochemical acrylic acid, which keep solutions from separating into oil- and water-based components; and artificial fragrances, which are made from dozens of chemicals, many of them highly toxic. They also typically contain parabens, which are endocrine disruptors, and sulfates, which are linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, and endocrine disruption.
It’s been suggested to me that instead of the common soaps, I should use a hand sanitizer with my boys. Unfortunately, the vast majority of commercially-available hand sanitizers are of the same ilk. They are full of toxic ingredients that you really don’t want anywhere near your body.
So I set out on a quest to figure out how to make my own, non-toxic hand sanitizer.
Thieves oil is the natural germ-killer that serves as the basis for this recipe. Studies at Weber State University (1997) show that Thieves oil can kill off up to 96% of unwanted microbes. It does so naturally, with its combination of clove, lemon. Cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiate, and rosemary, so it smells great (and is safe to ingest, assuming you use a food-grade essential oil).
4 tablespoons aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
10 drops Thieves Oil (I get mine HERE)
1 4oz bottle, or 2 2oz bottles
Combine the aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil and Thieves oil. Add a bit of water to thin the mixture if needed (if you buy all natural aloe vera without any added gums or thickeners, you may not need this much water; conversely, if your aloe is thick, you may need more. I thinned mine so it would come out through the spray nozzle). You want the finished product to be thin enough to coat your hands.
Store this in your bag, and use a small amount when you need to clean your hands on the go.
Alternative: If you want something that dries a little bit quicker, you can use pure witch hazel in place of the water.