You’re Better Off Using Soap Than Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer

wash hands
Photo Credit: Getty

Legit, I was tempted to make a video on how to make hand sanitizer (blame it on social distancing). But, real talk: just go wash your damn hands.

[SEE ALSO: Purell Manufacturer Sued For ‘Misleading’ Germ-Killing Claims]

First of all, hand sanitizer is really only supposed to be a last resort when you have no soap or water available. Unless you’re on the front lines of hospitals, supermarkets, and other “essential” businesses and constantly bombarded with strangers’ germs, you have time to simply stop and go wash your hands.


Besides, don’t you all remember the reports that superbugs are becoming more tolerant of alcohol-based sanitizers? Can you really imagine a world with Coronavirus and Coronavirus Bold (thanks Canada Dry) making the rounds?

Seriously, just like the makers of Purell are getting sued for making misleading claims, if you don’t have your mix of alcohol and aloe vera gel just right you are misleading your own self. And research shows that while recipes call for a 60-percent alcohol mixture, it takes a 70-percent alcohol mixture to ensure that germs are eradicated. Never mind the smell-good essential oils, how can you really test if your own hand sanitizer is right?

For those needing the science, the FDA has also warned against this particular homemade concoction, noting some of our formulations may not actually “be safe on human skin.”

And if your hands are greasy (you know we love a good shea butter or coconut oil), the CDC reports, “hand sanitizers may not be as effective” and, in general, “do not eliminate all types of germs.”

Some of us, of course, may be asking how dare the FDA try to tell us about our age-old recipes. I get it. I’m normally on that team, too. But I don’t want to take any chances right now. And, let’s be clear, none of us should want to be ashy for no reason at all.1

So pick up the soap — there is plenty of it at stores — and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sing the chorus to your favorite bop. Make sure to suds your entire hands and wash under running water and completely dry them.

Oh, and this might be the time to get rid of that community hand-drying towel in the bathroom.

Don’t believe me? Head on over to the CDC and read for yourself.

About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. she is a Black beauty editor; founder of Sadiaa, the premiere beauty directory for women of color, and editor for HypeHair.com.