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Homemade 66% alcohol Lavender Scented Hand Sanitizer made with Everclear

Homemade Lavender Scented Hand Sanitizer

When soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol based hand sanitizer with more than 60% alcohol.(1) But what do you do if you can’t find sanitizer at the store? You can always make your own alcohol-based sanitizer spray.

Adding lavender essential oil to this homemade sanitizer spray gives it a lovely scent. And since it is made with Everclear, there is no overpowering medicinal smell.

DIY Alcohol Sanitizer Spray with Everclear

If you are making hand sanitizer with Everclear, it is important to first check the proof, or alcohol content.

The Everclear sold where I live is 151 proof, or 75.5% alcohol. However, depending on where you live, four different proofs of Everclear are available: 120, 151, 189, and 190 proof.

Percent alcohol matters, so it is important to know how much alcohol is in the Everclear you are using.

How to dilute Everclear for a DIY Sanitizer Spray

It is important to measure carefully when making your own homemade sanitizer. Maintaining an alcohol percentage above 60% is critical for effectiveness.

When it comes to making your own alcohol-based sanitizer spray, keep the following chemistry equation in mind:

C1*V1 = C2*V2

In words, this equation means the concentration of alcohol in solution one (C1) times the volume of solution one (V1) equals the concentration of alcohol in solution two (C2) times the volume of solution two (V2).

How to make a 66% Alcohol Sanitizer with 151 Proof Everclear

  • C1 = Everclear concentration (75.5% alcohol, 151 proof)
  • V1 = Everclear volume (10.5 teaspoons)
  • C2 = Final solution concentration (66% alcohol)
  • V2 = Final solution volume (12 teaspoons = 2 oz)

75.5% * 10.5 teaspoons = 66% * 12 teaspoons

Simply said, you can make 2 oz of a 66% alcohol sanitizer spray with 10.5 teaspoons of 151 proof Everclear.

Sanitizer Spray with 151 Proof Everclear

Homemade 60% Alcohol Sanitizer Spray

DIY Alcohol Sanitizer Spray

Yield: 2 oz
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This homemade alcohol sanitizer spray contains 66% alcohol from Everclear and has a light lavender scent.

Materials

  • Everclear alcohol, 151 proof
  • Water, distilled or boiled and cooled
  • Lavender Essential Oil

Tools

  • Small Funnel
  • Measuring Spoons
  • 2 oz Spray Bottle

Instructions

For 2 oz of 66% Alcohol Sanitizer

  1. Using a funnel, pour 3.5 tablespoons of 151 proof Everclear to a clean 2oz spray bottle
  2. Add 1.25 teaspoons distilled water to 2oz spray bottle
  3. Add 30 drops lavender essential oil (approximately 0.25 teaspoon) to Everclear and water solution
  4. Place lid on spray bottle and shake to combine

For 1 cup (8 oz) of 66% Alcohol Sanitizer

  1. Using a funnel, pour 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of 151 proof Everclear to a clean bottle
  2. Add 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons distilled water to bottle
  3. Add 120 drops lavender essential oil (approximately 1 teaspoon) to Everclear and water solution
  4. Place lid on bottle and shake to combine. Store in an air-tight container to maintain alcohol concentration

Notes

The above ratios are for 151 Proof Everclear. Please do not prepare this alcohol-based sanitizer spray with 120 Proof Everclear or another spirit such as vodka (typically 80 proof). An alcohol content about 60% is required for sanitizer efficacy.

How to use Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer

  • Spray sanitizer on hands to completely wet them, about ten spritz with a small 2 ounce spray bottle
  • Vigorously rub hands together for about 25 seconds until sanitizer completely evaporates
  • Do not use sanitizer spray on visibly dirty hands as it will not be as effective.

These instructions are based on recommendations from the Mayo Clinic for alcohol-based gel type sanitizers, like Purell. (2).

Tips and Tricks for Homemade Sanitizer Sprays

  • For this recipe, only use 151 proof Everclear
  • Store spray in an airtight container to prevent alcohol evaporation
  • Do not use vodka for hand sanitizers! Normal vodka is only 80 proof or 40% alcohol. Even if you were to use it without any dilution, vodka does not meet the CDC’s requirements for an effective alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Sanitizer sprays can also be made with rubbing alcohol (using a different recipe). However, when I wrote this article, rubbing alcohol was sold out at my local stores
  • Store sanitizer spray away from open flames as high alcohol content sanitizers can be flammable

Disclaimer

This recipe for a homemade alcohol-based hand sanitizer is presumed to be effective based on having an alcohol concentration above 60%, as recommended by the CDC. However, I have not had the mixture tested in a lab for efficacy.

Additionally, where available, washing with soap and water for more than 20 seconds is the preferred method of handwashing.

19 Comments

  1. I have 190 proof Everclear- to 1 cup Everclear how much alo Vera gel would I use plus essentials oil

    • Hi Eileen

      To make 70% alcohol hand sanitizer with 190 proof Everclear (starting with 1 cup Everclear)…
      1 cup 190 proof Everclear
      5 Tablespoons Water or Aloe Vera
      160 drops lavender essential oil (approximately 1 and 1/3 teaspoon)

  2. Hi Meredith,

    Is there any reason why the alcohol must be Everclear brand specifically? have a bottle of 190 proof (95%) alcohol from a different distillery. It should perform the same as Everclear, right?

    Thanks,
    Kathleen

    • Hi Kathleen – You are correct. As long as the alcohol has the correct percentage alcohol you can use it. Brand doesn’t matter. I simply listed Everclear as that is what is available in our local liquor store.

  3. Hi! In your recipe adjustment you made for 190 proof Everclear and glycerine would the ratios be same for using Aloe Vera? Do the Aloe Vera ingredients make a difference?

    • Hi Stef,

      As long as you are replacing only the water and/or essential oil component of the hand sanitizer with Aloe Vera, you should be fine. Just ensure that the quantity of Everclear remains the same.

      For example, you could do the following…
      To make 12 oz of hand sanitizer with 190 proof Everclear (12 oz total)…
      1 cup + 2 tablespoons 190 proof Everclear
      1/4 cup + 1.5 tablespoons Aloe Vera
      1.5 teaspoons or 180 drops lavender essential oil

  4. Patsy Underwood

    For a couple years I have made a Vodka based room disinfecting spray. To 16 ox of vodka I added 30 drops of tea tree essential oil and 15 drops each of lemon, lavender and eucalyptus essential oil. When I learned that the COVID 19 must be above 60%, I added rubbing alcohol to my spray. It is too strong smelling. So I bought a bottle of Everclear. Do you think it would be okay to lessen the amount of water so I can put in the essential oils with their amount I have listed above?

    • Hi Patsy,

      You actually won’t be reducing the amount of water in the Everclear-based sanitizer if you use the amount of essential oils you have listed above… it looks like you are using approximately 75 drops of essential oil. (I bet your combination of essential oils smells fantastic)

      Here are the ratios to make a 66% alcohol spray with 151 proof Everclear with your essential oil mix. Note this will only work for 151 proof Everclear. If you have a different proof, let me know and we can rework the ratios. Be well!

      16 oz 151 Everclear Sanitizer
      1.75 cups 151 proof Everclear
      3 tablespoons + 2.25 teaspoons distilled water
      Essential oil mix (15 drops lemon, 15 drops lavender, 15 drops eucalyptus, 30 drops tea tree oil (75 drops total, approximately 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon)

  5. Lorie Williams

    Meredith,
    Hello, I have 12oz, 8oz and 3oz spray bottles. I purchased Pure Proof 151 and Banana Boat Aloe. What would your formula be for these spray bottles? Could I just spray the 151 only and then use a small amount of lotion or Aloe to prevent the harshness of the Alcohol? Or should I just skip the Aloe and use Essential Oils with your formula?
    Blessings!

    • Hi Lorie –

      Simple answer… yes, you can just use 151 proof alcohol in a spray bottle. It is 75.5% alcohol, and will work well for disinfecting as it is above the 60% alcohol requirement recommended by the CDC.

      I have not added aloe to Everclear to make a gel-like sanitizer. You could add a small amount (ratios below), but I do not know how it would affect the consistency/texture. I think it would probably be best to use just the Everclear sanitizer and follow up (after a good disinfecting period) with lotion or a small amount of aloe for moisturizing.

      Below are the ratios required to make a 66% alcohol solution (in various size spray bottles). Be well!

      12 oz 151 Everclear Sanitizer
      1.25 cups plus 1 tablespoons of 151 proof Everclear
      2.5 tablespoons distilled water
      180 drops lavender essential oil (approximately 1.5 teaspoons)

      8 oz 151 Everclear Sanitizer
      (see recipe above)

      3 oz 151 Everclear Sanitizer
      7 tablespoons of 151 proof Everclear
      1.875 teaspoons distilled water (1 teaspoon + 3/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon)
      45 drops lavender essential oil (approximately 1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon)

  6. Daniela Segoviano

    To make a 12 oz bottle with 190 proof what would that look like simplified?

    • Hi Daniela, here are the formulations. Both create a 71% alcohol hand santitizer.

      To make 12 oz of hand sanitizer with 190 proof Everclear (12 oz total)
      1 cup + 2 tablespoons 190 proof Everclear
      1/4 cup + 1.5 tablespoons distilled water
      1.5 teaspoons or 180 drops lavender essential oil

      To make hand santitizer with 12 oz of 190 proof Everclear (16 oz total)
      1.5 cups 190 proof Everclear
      1/4 cup + 3 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon distilled water
      2 teaspoons lavender essential oil

  7. Beverly Snyder

    I’ve read that Everclear will be very harsh on the hands, therefore, I’ve seen recipes including glycerine and/or aloe vera. If the amount were added to be effective, would the amount of Everclear need adjusting and what would that amount of glycerine or aloe vera be?

    • Hi Beverly – if used VERY frequently, Everclear can dry skin too much. At the rate I have been using this sanitizer, I haven’t found it to be too harsh, but I recognize that this will vary significantly from person to person.
      I have tried adding a little glycerine to this Everclear hand sanitizer… you have to be careful to add a small amount or it can get sticky. (I haven’t tried adding aloe vera).

      IF you add glycerine, you need to replace some of the water NOT the Everclear.

      Try these ratios to start:

      3.5 Tablespoons 151 proof Everclear
      1 teaspoon distilled water
      1/4 teaspoon glycerin
      30 drops essential oil (lavender)

  8. Stephanie B.

    Would the recipe be the same using 190 proof everclear?

    • Hi Stephanie. The recipe would be different with 190 proof Everclear.

      To make 2 oz of 66% ethanol sanitizer spray, you would want 8.5 teaspoons of 190 proof Everclear, 3.25 teaspoons water, and 30 drops lavender essential oil.

      Alternatively, if you want to simplify the dilution, you could make 2 oz of 70% alcohol sanitizer spray with 3T 190 proof Everclear, 1T Water, and 30 drops lavender essential oil.

  9. Patrick Collen

    A friend suggested adding “a drop or two” of Dawn dishwashing soap to the Everclear-based sanitizer to act as a surfactant. Do you feel that there is any merit in this suggestion ?

    • Hi Patrick,

      This is a good question. The alcohol in hand sanitizers and surfactants in soap destroy bacteria and viruses by breaking up the lipid envelop that protects them.

      Provided you are cleaning your hands with an alcohol based sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol, in sufficient quantities, and rubbing it vigorously on all surfaces of your hands for 20+ seconds, I don’t think adding a small amount of surfactant to the alcohol solution will provide additional sanitizing benefit.

      There is the added concern that surfactants can damage skin if they are not rinsed off properly, (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26109150) so I don’t personally think adding a surfactant to a rinse free sanitizer is a good idea.

      Thank you for your excellent question! Meredith

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