Updated March 14, 2020

If you are looking for a cheap and effective way to make a homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipes for yourself and your children, you have come to the right place.

Whether it’s cold and flu season, your kids are going back to school, or you simply want a way to clean your hands when washing them isn’t an option, this article will teach you how to do it.

In this article, I’m walking you through the steps on how to make homemade essential oil hand sanitizer that effectively kills germs and blends essential oils into the mix in a safe way. Not only that, but I’m sharing several homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipes that can be used for different aged kids as well. 

How Germs Spread

Hand sanitizer is one of those convenient types of things that help cut down on the transmission of germs.

Germs are spread in three different ways.

  1. Airborne – as in someone coughs or sneezes and your kid breaths those droplets in.
  2. Direct contact – perhaps someone coughs in their hand and then you shake hands with them.
  3. Indirect contact – you touch the shopping cart at Kroger and then forget to wash your hands before putting a piece of gum in.

Hand sanitizer isn’t going to do much for airborne germ transmission, but it can help with direct and indirect contact transmission since it acts directly on the skin.

I should also state that hand sanitizer doesn’t replace good ole hand washing. Hand washing does the best job of removing germs. If you haven’t already, teach your kiddo how to wash their hands properly as this will majorly reduce their risk of getting sick. If you wanna make it more fun, teach your child how to wash their hands properly using “glitter germs.” My kids love this, and we do it every year around this time.

So why not save yourself time and just buy plain ole hand sanitizer from the store?

Unfortunately, there are some harsh chemicals in many store-bought hand sanitizers that you probably don’t want on your kid’s skin. This post from Parenting Tips 365 highlights harmful ingredients in hand sanitizers (as well as hand soaps) and includes some great links to back up the claims. This is definitely worth pinning!

It’s for these reasons that natural mamas, like myself, choose to either buy natural products or make our own. Since I like making things myself and saving money, I opt for DIY options.

Below you’ll find several different homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipes (and one without essential oils). Put them in your purse, your diaper bag, your kid’s backpack, your car, your office desk, or wherever you think one will come in handy.

Safety Notes To Consider BEFORE Making A Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Disinfection

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 60% alcohol is the minimum alcohol percentage required to kill microbes. Because of this, all of the homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipes below meet this requirement.

Many of the below recipes call for 95% alcohol (190-proof) which can be found in many liquor stores. If you can’t find that percentage of alcohol, you can use any other liquor that contains 60% alcohol (120-proof) or higher. If you’re in a pinch, 91% rubbing alcohol will work. While rubbing alcohol isn’t the most natural, and therefore, not my first choice, it will work if you have no other options.

When using 60% alcohol in place of higher-proof alcohol, you will use alcohol only. DO NOT include the aloe gel as this will further dilute the alcohol and not disinfect as well.

Preservation

Alcohol and water-based products require around 25-30% alcohol to keep microbes from growing in the mixture. All of the below recipes that include alcohol meet this requirement and should be shelf-stable for 6 months or more.

Combining Essential Oils with Water

The higher the percentage of alcohol, the more the essential oils will dissolve into it. To do this, you will need to use high-proof alcohol (190-proof) that contains 95% alcohol in your homemade hand sanitizers to properly dissolve the essential oils into the liquid. Everclear and other 190-proof grain alcohols will work here. However, alcohol quickly evaporates and will leave the essential oil behind on your skin so using high-proof alcohol and essential oils alone isn’t a safe option for DIY hand sanitizers.

To make your DIY hand sanitizer even safer, you have two options. You can use an emulsifier or a surfactant to better disperse the essential oils into the water portion of your DIY hand sanitizer.

Emulsifiers, such as Solubol, Disper, or another similar emulsifying agent (such as these on Amazon), work to combine essential oils with water so they can’t separate. In my opinion, this is the best and safest option. If using an emulsifier isn’t doable, surfactants, such as Castille soap or Branch Basics concentrate, can help to disperse essential oils into your DIY hand sanitizer and keep them from coming into direct contact with your skin. 

Oil-Based Homemade Hand Sanitizers

If you’re not comfortable with any kind of alcohol, you can simply use a carrier oil like apricot kernel oil as the base of your sanitizer. Just know that these types of homemade hand sanitizers may not kill as many germs as one with 60% alcohol would, but the essential oils will help to some extent with microbes. Oil-based homemade hand sanitizers will last 12 months when properly stored and used.

Essential Oils

I personally love using Plant Therapy essential oils, but you can use whatever brand of essential oils you like best.

Homemade Essential Oil Hand Sanitizer Recipes

Below you will find a basic homemade hand sanitizer recipe that will serve as the foundation of your homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipes. Below this base recipe, you will find several essential oil blends for different aged children that can be added to the base recipe. 

Basic Homemade Hand Sanitizer

This basic homemade hand sanitizer recipe can be used on its own or with the essential oil blends below.

Ingredients:

Directions: 

  1. Combine your ingredients in a small bowl, whisk to thoroughly combine, and pour in a 1-ounce spray bottle.
  2. Label and spray on hands. Rub liquid into hands well, and allow to dry.

Disinfecting Citrus Mint Hand Sanitizer

This homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipe uses a blend of antimicrobial essential oils to help decrease germs on hands. This blend is for kids 10 and up. Do not use it on kids under 10 years old!!

Ingredients:

Directions: 

  1. Fill your 1-ounce spray bottle with alcohol and essential oils. Shake well and allow to sit undisturbed for a couple of hours so the alcohol can dissolve as much of the essential oils as possible.
  2. When a couple of hours has passed, add the aloe and Castille soap into the spray bottle and cap. Shake well to thoroughly mix ingredients.
  3. Label and spray on hands. Rub liquid into hands well, and allow to dry.

Little Tykes Hand Sanitizer

This homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipe uses a blend of two of the most gentle, safest essential oils in a dilution that is appropriate for little one’s ages 2 – 6. This blend is not for kids under 2 years old!!

Ingredients:

Directions: 

  1. Fill your 1-ounce spray bottle with alcohol and essential oils. Shake well and allow to sit undisturbed for a couple of hours so the alcohol can dissolve as much of the essential oils as possible.
  2. When a couple of hours has passed, add the aloe and Castille soap into the spray bottle and cap. Shake well to thoroughly mix ingredients.
  3. Label and spray on hands. Rub liquid into hands well, and allow to dry.

“Thieves” Hand Sanitizer Blends

The “thieves” essential oil blend is all the rage these days, but unfortunately, it’s not made for children under 10 years old as some of the oils are less than safe for little bodies. However, you have a couple of options if you wanna use a “thieves” blend or something close to it with your little ones.

  1. Your first option is to skip the EOs and go the herbal route to get some of the goodness of this blend seeing how it’s made from herbs in the first place. You can use this at any age.
  2. Your second option is to make a kid-friendly “thieves” blend to use instead. This recipe is one of my favorite anti-germ blends to use on my kids under 10! I’ll be sharing the recipe that’s safe for ages 6 months and up. 

Now, if you’re a mom or you’re making this for a kid over 10 years old, it’s safe to use a bit of a “thieves” essential oil blend in your bottle. Check out the “thieves” hand sanitizer recipes below. Hopefully, you’ll find something that will suit your needs.

Herbal “Thieves” Hand Sanitizer

This homemade hand sanitizer recipe is safe for children of all ages, but it does have a bit of a vinegar smell to it! Nonetheless, it is an essential oil-free option.

Ingredients:

  • 1-ounce spray bottle
  • 6 tsp of vinegar of Four Thieves

Directions: 

  1. Begin by making a Four Thieves herbal vinegar.
  2. Fill your 1-ounce spray bottle with your mixture.
  3. Label and spray on hands. Rub liquid into hands well, and allow to dry.

Kid-Friendly “Thieves” Hand Sanitizer

This homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipe uses a kid-friendly essential oil blend that substitutes well for the “thieves” blend and can be used on children ages 6 months and up. Do not use on children younger than 6 months!

Ingredients:

  • 1-ounce spray bottle
  • 4 tsp 95% alcohol
  • 1 tsp organic aloe gel
  • 1 tsp unscented Castille soap
  • 5 drops of cinnamon leaf essential oil
  • 3 drops of sweet orange essential oil
  • 2 drops of pine essential oil

Directions:

  1. Fill your 1-ounce spray bottle with alcohol and essential oils. Shake well and allow to sit undisturbed for a couple of hours so the alcohol can dissolve as much of the essential oils as possible.
  2. When a couple of hours has passed, add the aloe and Castille soap into the spray bottle and cap. Shake well to thoroughly mix ingredients.
  3. Label and spray on hands. Rub liquid into hands well, and allow to dry.

“Thieves” Hand Sanitizer

This homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipe uses the traditional four thieves essential oil blend and is for children 10 years old and older. Do not use on children younger than 10!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Fill your 1-ounce spray bottle with alcohol and essential oils. Shake well and allow to sit undisturbed for a couple of hours so the alcohol can dissolve as much of the essential oils as possible.
  2. When a couple of hours has passed, add the aloe and Castille soap into the spray bottle and cap. Shake well to thoroughly mix ingredients.
  3. Label and spray on hands. Rub liquid into hands well, and allow to dry.

So there you go. You now have several options for making your own homemade hand sanitizer and homemade essential oil hand sanitizer recipes to use for yourself and your kids to help keep the germs at bay.

Stay tuned for more tips on how to keep your kids immune systems built up during these upcoming cold months to keep the sickies away!

Leave me a comment below and let me know which of these recipes is your favorite!