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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
3 or more days
Key Concepts
Disinfectant, germs

Introduction

Did you ever wonder what hand sanitizer is made of, or how you can efficiently disinfect your hands or other frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs? Handwashing is still the best way to keep your hands clean, but hand sanitizer is a great alternative for situations where clean water and soap are not available, and you can even use it to disinfect surfaces! Intrigued—try out making a hand sanitizer yourself!

Credits

Sabine De Brabandere, PhD, Science Buddies

The hand sanitizer recipe is based on recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO).

This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Pot to mix all ingredients
  • Spoon
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Water
  • Bleach (unscented)
  • Funnel
Recipe 1:
  • Isopropyl alcohol, with a concentration of 90% or higher
  • Aloe Vera gel, available online at Amazon.com
  • Clean bottle or tube to store the sanitizer, preferably with flip top.
  • Optional: essential oil with a pleasant scent, available online at Amazon.com
Recipe 2:
  • Isopropyl alcohol, with a concentration of 70% or higher
  • Glycerol or glycerin, available online at Amazon.com
  • Hydrogen peroxide, 3%
  • Distilled water, available online at Amazon.com, or water that has been boiled for at least 1 minute (at sea-level) to 3 minutes (high altitude) and cooled to room temperature
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Optional: essential oil with a pleasant scent, available online at Amazon.com
    The materials needed to make hand sanitizer at home

Disclaimer: Science Buddies participates in affiliate programs with Home Science Tools, Amazon.com, Carolina Biological, and Jameco Electronics. Proceeds from the affiliate programs help support Science Buddies, a 501(c)(3) public charity, and keep our resources free for everyone. Our top priority is student learning. If you have any comments (positive or negative) related to purchases you've made for science projects from recommendations on our site, please let us know. Write to us at scibuddy@sciencebuddies.org.

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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
3 or more days
Key Concepts
Disinfectant, germs
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