Hand sanitiser, whilst good at killing viruses like COVID-19, is no substitute for the tried and tested method of washing your hands with hot water and soap.
However, hot water and soap are not always readily available which is why so many people across Northern Ireland have been stocking up on alcohol based hand sanitisers.
Walk into virtually any pharmacy or retail outlet in Northern Ireland, ask to purchase hand sanitiser and it’s almost guaranteed that you will be told there is none left in stock.
As the famous proverb goes, ‘need is the mother of invention’. Maintaining clean hands and reducing the risk of infection is the need part of this proverb and the invention part is homemade hand sanitiser.
Homemade santiser is actually much easier to make that you might think.
All you need is a spoon, measuring jug, recycled hand sanitiser / liquid soap bottle, funnel, 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), aloe vera gel and if required, a few drops of your favourite essential oil, to give the hand sanitiser a pleasent smell.
In your measuring jug and using your spoon, combine 2/3 cup of the 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) with 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel.
Add between eight and 10 drops of your favourite essential oil e.g. lavender, myrrh or mandarin.
Stir once more and using your funnel, decant gel into clean recycled hand santiser / liquid soap bottle.
In order to be effective a hand sanitiser has to be at least 60 per cent alcohol based - it is the alcohol that kills the bacteria and viruses.
You also must cover your hands with the gel and let them dry naturally.
It’s important to remember that hand sanitisers should not be used as subsitute for washing your hands with hot water and soap.