Keeping minor cuts and scrapes clean and avoiding infection is just as important as steering clear of disease-carrying mosquitoes in a disaster/survival situation. More often than not, it’s the little things- the bugs, the bacteria, and the viruses- that’ll be your biggest problems. Knowing that, many of you probably have (or should have) a good stock of hand sanitizers in your bug-out bags … but what happens when you run out?
Over at one of our sister sites, Eat Drink Better, Jill Ettinger describes how you can make a high-quality hand sanitizer from aloe gel and vinegar. Unlike her, however, we won’t be able to go to a store to get our aloe, so here’s a great video showing how you can extract the aloe vera gel from the leaves of the aloe plant …
… followed by Jill’s article, in its entirety. As an added bonus, keep in mind that the stuff you’ll make this way is probably better than the commercial hand sanitizers you’ve got in your bag now, because it’s both 100% organic and fully triclosan-free. Enjoy!
Triclosan-Free: How to Make Hand Sanitizer from Apple Cider Vinegar
Triclosan is a controversial hand sanitizer chemical linked to endocrine disruption as well as other human health and environmental issues. It’s been linked to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and even worse, it is not effective against viruses, which are often more likely the cause of our colds and flus than bacteria in the first place. That’s not the case for apple cider vinegar though—which is antibacterial and antiviral—and you can easily learn how to make hand sanitizer with vinegar that actually works and costs less money.
Apple cider vinegar (and any vinegar, really) is also as effective as bleach in killing about 99 percent of germs but without the toxic chemicals. It’s far safer than bleach and triclosan and is generally one of the least expensive household items you can purchase.
And while simply using soap and water to wash your hands is really the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs, running water isn’t always accessible, especially when we’re out and about in the summer. It’s nice to have a hand sanitizer for when you’re hiking on a trail, at the beach, or events where there may not be running water.
You can use any type of vinegar for this hand sanitizer recipe (although you should avoid very sweet vinegars). And you can also add in a few drops of essential oils if the vinegar smell is offensive to you. Lavender is always nice, but lemon also works well as does peppermint. If you don’t mind the smell of vinegar, you can just use it as-is. (As you use vinegar more and more in your household and personal care regimen, you’ll find the smell less objectionable and more refreshing!)
How to Make Hand Sanitizer
All you need is aloe gel and vinegar- that’s it! Aloe vera gel can be found at healthy grocery stores, pharmacies, or online. Ideally, you’d want to find one that’s pure; no other ingredients added. This is not very difficult to do. Combine the aloe and apple cider vinegar in a 2:1 ratio (two parts aloe to one part vinegar). Mix well to combine and store in a spray bottle. That’s it! Spray hands and surfaces, utensils, baby toys, etc and don’t worry about triclosan exposure or the risk of germs.
Originally published at Eat Drink Better.