Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Natural Hand Sanitizer
There's a young 'un that lives in my house that likes hand sanitizer. I mean, he really likes it. Let's just be honest. He loves the stuff. When he would spend the night at his Mamaw's house when he was little they would inevitably end up at the mall at a certain shop that is known for it's lotions, potions and all things that smell good. He would always come home with 3 bottles of the kid's scented hand sanitizers. I didn't really like how much of the stuff he'd use, but I didn't really understand the dangers of it at that time, either. I now know that there are ingredients in hand sanitizer that we want to steer clear of, for the most part. Nasty ingredients that promote antibiotic resistance. Not only that, but this certain child who lives in my home has really sensitive skin. Especially his hands. For this reason, I try to keep the use of hand sanitizer only to times when it's not possible to get to soap and water.
However, sometimes this little person in my house is able to get his hands on some. They were giving it away at the chiropractors' office few weeks ago. I kept hearing a spraying sound and smelled something while we were in the car. "Isaac what are you doing?" "Cleaning the car seat." "With what?" "Hand sanitizer." I then proceeded to take it away from him and explain to him (once again) the reason that we only use it when we can't get to soap and water. That it's not made for cleaning things. It's made to kill germs on your hands. He then apologized. Fast forward a couple of weeks. We're at home and he comes out of his bedroom smelling like vanilla. "Let me smell your hands." I sniff. "Have you been using hand sanitizer?" I vaguely remember seeing a small bottle floating around somewhere. To which he replies, "I was cleaning my arrow heads with it." "First of all, you don't use it to clean arrow heads. You don't use it to clean anything. It's for your hands. Secondly, I thought I told you I didn't want you using it unless you can't get to soap and water? Where did you get that anyhow?" To which he responded that he was once again sorry and that while he was having a sleep-over with his mamaw they ended up at the mall in a certain shop that is known for it's lotions, potion and all things that smell good. Unbeknownst to me, he bought the hand sanitizer with his allowance. I (once again) made him hand the defender over and told him (and his mamaw) that he was not allowed to buy hand sanitizer. The child just can't help himself. I realize that. I also realized that I needed to try to come up with a better alternative for those times that we really need to de-germ. So, I set out to make a natural hand sanitizer. I used 4 ingredients and combined them in a sample sized spray bottle.
My base was witch hazel. It is very inexpensive and can be found in any drug or grocery store. This stuff is amazing and I always have it on hand. According to www.herbs2000.com, it is an herb that is usually found as a liquid tincture and is known to be helpful in healing inflammation of the skin, sunburns, insect bites and stings, scratches and bruises. It has many more wonderful properties, but these uses were enough for me to determine that it would make a sufficient base for my hand sanitizer.
Next, I added about 10 drops of lavender essential oil. I love the smell of lavender, but I added it because it is anti-bacterial. It's also wonderful to add to your homemade cleaners because of this reason. See www.aromaweb.com for more information on lavender essential oil. I also added about 10 drops tea tree oil, which is antiseptic, anti-microbial and germicidal, also according to www.herbs2000.com.
The last thing I added was just about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. of grapeseed oil to help act as a carrier for the essential oils and to off-set any potentially drying effects of the hand sanitizer. Olive or jojoba oil would work really well, also.
I made sure that I had enough room to add my oil and essential oils then finished filling my spray bottle with the witch hazel. I just make sure to give it a good shake to mix everything up before applying it.
I'm no doctor or herbalist, but with the few things I've learned about the essential oils, I'm thinking that my new hand sanitizer should get the job done without the scary effects of industrial hand sanitizers should a certain little someone in my home not be able to resist the urge to break into the hand sanitizer again. :0)
I'm linking this post to Frugal Days Sustainable Ways blog hop, Your Green Resources, Simple Lives Thursday, The Homestead Barn Hop and Living Well blog hop.