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Can You Put Essential Oils in Hand Sanitizer?


Personal hygiene has always been a priority for me, but the pandemic has made us all more cautious regarding our hygiene and personal cleanliness. Hand sanitizer is an essential commodity that helps us protect ourselves from infectious diseases. Though overuse of a sanitizer can dry your hands out, and their overpowering fragrances can annoy you at times, there's a no better option to feel safe in situations where handwashing isn’t possible. 

There has been a rise in situations where it's getting difficult for people to access hand sanitizers as their availability in the market is relatively limited due to growing demands. In such cases, why not become a bit creative and make your own hand sanitizer at home by adding essential oils? Scroll down this article to know more about how essential oils can be added to hand sanitizer to create an effective disinfectant. 

Table Of Contents:

  • What is a Hand Sanitizer?
  • Why add essential oils to hand sanitizer?
  • Essential Oils that can be used to make hand sanitizer
  • Purify Essential Oil Blend
  • Lemon Essential Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • How to make your own homemade hand sanitizer?

What is a Hand Sanitizer?

There's no better way to maintain hand hygiene than washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds. But hand sanitizer is an effective alternative when you're traveling and do not have access to clean water to wash your hands. Comprising 60% alcohol as its main component, a hand sanitizer is an excellent quality disinfectant that helps you get rid of germs and microorganisms all around. Easy to carry around, the compact product can be easily placed in a bag and taken along wherever required.

Why add essential oils to hand sanitizer?

  • Antimicrobial Properties: Essential oils have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that help fight against potentially harmful germs. As per an article published in the American Journal Of Essential Oils and Natural Products, some essential oils may actively help fight against flu viruses. 

  • Replenish moisture and nutrients: The alcohol (sometimes rubbing alcohol) present in hand sanitizers is quite harsh on the skin and causes dryness. Though humectants present in them can help replenish moisture, there are also some active ingredients that you can add, along with the essential oils, to your DIY hand sanitizers - such as aloe vera gel, glycerin, jojoba oil, etc., to lock in the moisture. This can help in keeping your skin hydrated and soft.

  • Aromatherapy: Apart from its antimicrobial properties, a hand sanitizer powered by essential oil provides its users with aromatherapy benefits such as calming the mind, relaxing the nerves, helping you concentrate, and boosting your mood. 

Essential Oils that can be used to make hand sanitizer

WOW Skin Science Essential Oils are versatile products known for providing multiple benefits on different levels: physical, mental, and spiritual. Here is what you can add to your homemade sanitizers: 

Purify Essential Oil Blend

Purify Essential Oil Blend

Purify Essential Oil Blend is a combination of several essential oils such as lemon, mandarin, rosemary, tea tree, spearmint, etc. Infused with a soothing and pleasant aroma, the germ-fighting oil works exceptionally well as a disinfectant and helps eliminate of all sorts of microorganisms. Enriched with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, the potent oil is safe for topical applications (properly diluted).

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil

WOW Lemon is a potent essential oil with citrusy, zesty, and tangy notes. According to a study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, lemon essential oil is considered the most potent anti-microbial agent among all other essential oils. This oil makes for an effective ingredient of hand sanitizers with its antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, and antifungal properties. 

A word of caution: lemon essential oil can cause photosensitivity, so do not apply it on your skin of you know that you’ll expose yourself to direct sunlight in the next 24 hours. 

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil

The refreshing, stimulating Rosemary Essential Oil from WOW Skin Science is a great ingredient to be added to your homemade sanitizer. Coughing and congestion can also be effectively relieved with this oil as it helps in clearing your airways. It also works well to promote better circulation and provides relief from sore and aching muscles. As per a National Library Of Medicine study, rosemary essential oil is enriched with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that protect against harmful germs and infectious diseases. 

Thus, the oil can be used as an active ingredient and added to hand sanitizer for enhanced beneficial effects. 

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil is one of the most effective natural agents that can be used for the purpose of sanitization. This versatile oil has been found to efficiently fight against different kinds of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Several respiratory ailments such as cold and flu can be effectively taken care of with the help of this essential oil.

A study conducted to check the efficacy of tea tree oil found it to be quite capable of warding off several contagious and infectious diseases. The oil can be easily mixed with other carrier oils or simply added to your hand sanitizer to get the desired results. 

How to make your own homemade hand sanitizer?

Making your own hand sanitizer by adding essential oils is quite an easy and effective process. The materials required for making your own sanitizer are a small pump bottle, (rubbing) alcohol, the essential oils of your choice, and aloe vera gel. 

Here are the steps you should follow to make your homemade hand sanitizer.

  • Step 1: Mix alcohol and aloe vera gel together to make a blend. 
  • Step 2: Add a few drops of essential oils to the blend and mix it well. 
  • Step 3: Pour the mixture into the bottle using a funnel. 
  • Step 4: Add the lid to the bottle, shake it well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Can I add essential oils to rubbing alcohol?

Yes, essential oils can be blended with rubbing alcohol for enhanced protection as both are enriched with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Just make sure you dilute them properly beforehand. 

2. Why do the new hand sanitizers smell bad?

The new hand sanitizers smell bad as a lot of them are infused with denatured ethanol.

3. Do essential oils really disinfect?

Essential oils are naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial in nature and can actively disinfect, purify and even remove stains. 


A hand sanitizer is a handy and convenient way to prevent contagious germs from spreading around. If finding hand sanitizer at the nearby store is becoming a bit difficult due to excess demand, then this article has provided you an apt solution to easily make your own DIY hand sanitizer. 

Mixing your hand sanitizer with the essential oil of your choice is also a great way to enhance its antimicrobial properties and get rid of that overpowering pungent smell it carries. 

Stay healthy and safe by making the DIY hand sanitizer of your choice with the essential oils you love! 

Geetika Kapoor

Deeply passionate about writing, I’m a freelancer and have been working on several writing projects for several domains across the globe since last three years. I love reviewing different products ranging from skin care products, perfumes, body lotions, feminine products, hygiene items and several others. An English teacher by profession, I love interacting with kids and discovering different personalities as well. When I’m not writing I spend most of time reading novels, listening to songs, solving tricky puzzles and travelling around the world to my favourite destinations. Collen Hoover and Nicholas Sparks are my all time favourite authors. Their writing leaves a deep impact and stays with me for long.

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