No longer the domain of germophobes--especially with the descent of COVID-19, aka coronavirus--hand sanitizers are now a part of best practices when it comes to protecting yourself against viruses, bacteria and germs (along with frequent hand washing).
With many stores running out of hand sanitizer, DIYers are turning to natural products to make their own. However, it's important to follow CDC guidelines when doing so--especially with alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
As of March 2020, the CDC has recommended that hand sanitizers be at LEAST 60-90% alcohol. Ethanol, the most common alcohol ingredient, appears to be the most effective against viruses--which is why I chose to use Everclear 151 (75.5% ethanol) in my hand sanitizers.
Despite reported anti-microbial properties, it is NOT advisable to rely on Essential Oils ALONE to kill bacteria and viruses (hence, the ethanol, aka "grain alcohol", that is added to my GERMOPHOBE hand sanitizers, now available at my Aroma Power Etsy Shop).
But not just any alcohol.
Over the counter isopropyl alcohol, according to chemistry expert Anne Marie Helmenstine, should be 99% (hard to find)--while some say 70% is "OK". Personally, I wouldn't trust isopropyl alcohol alone, especially since the CDC acknowledges that ethanol (such as found in grain alcohol like Everclear) is most effective against viruses (like COVID-19, aka coronavirus).
Other added benefits of using Everclear in DIY sanitizers with essential oils is that grain alcohol 151 proof or above also serves as an emulsifier and preservative. Read this informative post on the Plant Therapy blog here.
Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease--and should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. Individuals with serious illnesses should consult a qualified health care professional.