I am trying to make my own hand sanitiser since it’s sold out everywhere. The formula I use is 1 part aloe vera gel in 2 parts 100% isopropyl alcohol. The problem is when mixing the two, the solution always forms a small white spongy sticky substance while the rest stays liquid, not gel-like:

container holding greenish solution with white substance visible at the bottom

I tried two brands of aloe vera gel and got the same result:

  • Palmer Aloe vera gel: Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe Barbadensis), Polyglycerylmethacrylate, Propylene Glycol, Witch Hazel, Algae Extract (Algae), PPG-2-Isodeceth-12, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethanolamine, Methyl Gluceth-20, DMDM Hydantoin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Quaternium-15, Fragrance (Parfum), Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Geraniol, Limonene, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Blue 1 (CI 42090).
  • Thursday Plantation Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe Vera inner leaf juice equiv. to fresh 974mg/g, Hydroxybenzoates, Diazolidinylurea, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate

I am starting to think I got the wrong type of alcohol but the label clearly says pure 100% isopropyl alcohol.

What am I doing wrong?

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ What you are experiencing is a reason why it is not recommended to do it yourself. See for example cnet.com/how-to/why-you-shouldnt-make-your-own-hand-sanitizer $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2020 at 10:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would always use soap and water when possible, but when it’s not available, there isn’t an alternative? $\endgroup$
    – Fried Rice
    Mar 8, 2020 at 10:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I tried shaking the bottle to mix and experienced the same issue. $\endgroup$
    – Fried Rice
    Mar 8, 2020 at 10:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you don´t put your hands into your eyes or nose, there is no reason why you should disinfect them. The chance of catching the flu via food is negligible. $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Mar 8, 2020 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ Components are clearly balling up due to lack of solubility in the 100% IPA. I would have tried 70% IPA/30% water mix, but I'm with the other comments. Follow the WHO method or not at all. $\endgroup$
    – Beerhunter
    Apr 16, 2020 at 13:57


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