“If you make it well, it’s about as effective as using soap and water,” said Dr. Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York. “We know it works — just make sure it has enough alcohol in it.”

EASY-TO-MAKE HAND SANITIZER

  •  2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 5 to10 drops of essential oil such as lavender (optional)

You will need:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Funnel
  • Two-ounce spray bottle or liquid soap container
  • Masking tape and pen or marker for labeling the container (or adhesive labels)

Pour the alcohol and aloe vera in a bowl and stir until blended. Add several drops of essential oil and stir to help mask the smell of alcohol. Use the funnel to pour the 8-ounce mixture into containers, then affix the strips of marked masking tape (or adhesive labels) to identify the bottles’ contents.

Adding aloe vera will also make it easier to apply to the skin and add thickness. And stirring in a few drops of an essential oil, such as lavender, will give the mixture a pleasing fragrance — so users don’t smell like rubbing alcohol around the home or office. — Julianne Munn, thanks to Debi Schull

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