I am trying to formulate a gel hand sanitizer for a thesis project. The sanitizer that I have right now is watery and will not gel. My teacher told me to change our formulation because it is not good. Our ingredients are ethyl alcohol, aloe vera gel, and lavender scent. What else could we add to this mixture to really "gel" the hand sanitizer?
According to the wikipedia article on hand sanitizers, polyacrylic acid and polyethelyne glycol are commonly used thickeners.
You could try any hydrophilic polymer if those aren't available. Cornstarch might even work if you dissolved it in the alcohol before adding the other ingredients.
One component that has gelling effect and is added to cosmetic products is hydroxyethylcellulose. It creates clear gel and is soluble in EtOH, but possibly not in highly concentrated. It is safe and inexpensive.