How to Make Hand Sanitizer Without Alcohol - Make 70% Alcohol At Home

The global breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in various supply shortages all over the world. 

This worldwide shortage of certain products is especially noticeable when you go out to buy hand-sanitizer. 

A simple product that was once taken for granted is now worth more than its weight in gold.  Now that this product has become non-existent in local stores, people have been getting pretty creative with ways to make their own hand-sanitizers.


 

In this quick article, we are going to share the best way to make hand sanitizer without alcohol and we are also sharing vital secrets on how you can make your own alcohol-based sanitizer at home.

Importance of Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer

The Centre for Disease Control has concluded that the best way to protect yourself against all types of germs is by washing your hands using a quality soap for a minimum of 20 seconds.  Any quality soap is effective for killing germs.

So why is everyone so obsessed with alcohol-based sanitizer when you could just as well wash your hands?  Hand sanitizer is a good option for when you are on the go. This is the only cleaning product that kills germs when you do not have access to water. 

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer specifically is especially good at killing germs.  This is because alcohol-free hand sanitizer isn’t nearly as good at killing all types of germs where sanitizers with an alcohol concentration of 60 – 95% instantly kill germs on contact.  

Availability of Hand Sanitizer 

At this moment, hand sanitizers are basically non-existent.  It is just about impossible to buy alcohol-based sanitizer in stores and even non-alcohol sanitizer is a very rare and expensive find. With the chances of buying sanitizer being zero, the only solution you have is to make your own hand sanitizers at home. 

Solution - Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer isn’t the most challenging mixture to make – if you have the right ingredients.  The only problem is that high spirit alcohol is very rare in most households. There is, however, a way to make hand sanitizer without alcohol.  Here is one of the easiest recipes for non-alcohol sanitizer;

Ingredients 
  • 2/3 cups rubbing alcohol (99.9% isopropyl alcohol)
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel

Stir the mixture, store it in a pump bottle and give it a good shake before using it.  The aloe vera gel keeps your hands from drying out while the rubbing alcohol kills germs.  

Without at least rubbing alcohol, your hand sanitizer won’t be very effective at all and many believe that using non-alcohol hand sanitizer could be a complete waste of time because these products don’t offer much protection at all.

Is There Hand Sanitizer Without Alcohol?

Hand sanitizers without alcohol are not sold in shops.  This is because these hand sanitizers are not able to kill enough germs to offer sufficient protection. 

How Do You Make Natural Hand Sanitizer Without Alcohol? 

If you are completely out of options with no alcohol to be found anywhere then you could also try to make a mixture of cleaning products like Dettol or Savlon and water.  This can kill some germs although it is unlikely to protect you from hardy viruses like COVID-19.

 

Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer from Home Brewed High Proof Alcohol

The only alternative solution you and many others have, is to make your own alcohol at home.  With homemade high proof alcohol, you can make your own hand sanitizer that is highly effective for killing germs at a fraction of the cost of store-bought hand sanitizers.  

Part 1 - How to Make High Proof Alcohol at Home

People have been making high proof alcohol at home for centuries.  Moonshine is one of the easiest high proof alcohols to make at home because the process is very simple and you don’t need a lot of ingredients.  

It is entirely possible to make other types of alcohol at home and to high proof these alcohols.  Different types of alcohol are made of all sorts of ingredients. Here Is a quick look at the most common ingredients for home-made alcohol;

  • Brandy – Made from fruits
  • Whiskey / Moonshine – Made from grains
  • Rum – Made from sugar cane

Grains are pretty common in just about all regions and these food sources are much more affordable compared to foods like fruits.  This is why many alcohol brewers start out making moonshine. 

Here is a quick look at the easiest way to make Moonshine;

Requirements

1 Moonshine still kit

10 gallons of water

10 pounds of cornmeal

10 pounds sugar

12 ounce brewer’s yeast


Step 1 – Making the Mash

The first step is to make your mash.  Boil 10 gallons of water in your kettle.  Add your 10 pounds of cornmeal to the water and stir well using a wooden paddle. 

Allow to cook for a few minutes. 

The mixture should form into a thick paste.  Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool.  Pour the mixture into a cool bucket. You can now add sugar and yeast.  The ingredients should be properly mixed.   

The mixture is called mash and should now be allowed to ferment.  In the fermentation process, the yeast will metabolize the sugar, and corn will carbohydrate to produce alcohol.  A brown or light tan foam will appear on top of the mixture. 

This foam will gradually rise up every day.  When the mash stops rising up, the foam ‘head’ will no longer be rising.  The mash will be ready for the next stage when it stops bubbling and is now called sour mash.  

Step 2 – Distilling the Sour Mash

For this step, you will first need to strain the sour mash through cheesecloth.  Pour the strained mash into the distillation kettle and clamp down the lid. Solids should be discarded and you can apply heat to your moonshine kit. If your kettle is set up correctly, it will produce the first run all on its own.  As the mixture is heated to 177 degrees F and higher, alcohol will reach its boiling point and will rise into the copper coils. Inside these coils, the steam will condense and cool down. This will form drops that drip into your container.  

Liquids that come from your condensing tube before the fluid reaches boiling temperature should be discarded.  This is because this liquid is known as methanol that can attack your optic nerves when consumed. Only the liquid that is created after the mixture reaches a temperature of 177 degrees F should be collected.

The mixture you collect is known as the first run of alcohol.  This alcohol is usually of 180-190 proof and is 95 – 95% pure alcohol.  The liquid is still undrinkable at this point. Brewers can dilute this alcohol 50% by adding pure spring water to make it drinkable.  


Step 3 – Run Your Product Again

It is always best to put alcohol through a second or third run before using it.  Multiple runs enhances the quality of your alcohol and increases its proof.  

How to Test Alcohol "How to Proof Down Moonshine” 

Alcohol proof is the amount of ethanol (alcohol) found in any type of alcoholic beverage.  Proofing has been done since the 16th century to ensure that beverages have not been watered down before reselling.  

There are quite a few different ways to determine your proof.  Some use calculation methods, but moonshiners have a simple ‘shake test’ – an old school technique to test your proof.  New moonshine brewers should use a Hydrometer to test the accuracy of the ‘shake test’ until they have gained enough experience to determine the proof percentage via this method.

The Shake Test

Step 1 – Grab a jar of moonshine and shake it up.

Step 2 – Monitor how fast bubbles dissipate inside the jar.

Bubbles disappear faster when the alcohol content is high.  80 Proof Moonshine will make small bubbles when shaken and these bubbles will disappear after a few seconds.  180 proof Moonshine will have larger bubbles and these bubbles will disappear instantly.  

The Gunpowder Test

The gunpowder test was the first used technique to establish a spirits proof.  When gunpowder and moonshine is mixed, it will only ignite if it was of a certain proof.  At 100 proof level, a mixture of gunpowder and alcohol will ignite. 100 proof is 57.1% ethanol by volume.  If the proof level is below 100 (ethanol below 57.1%) will not allow the gunpowder to ignite. Here is how to use this method to test your proof;

Materials

  • Gunpowder
  • Lighter
  • A bowl
  • Moonshine

Instructions

Step 1 – Add 1 tsp gunpowder to the bowl

Step 2 – Add 10 drops of Moonshine to the bowl

Step 3 – Stir the bowl up and try to light it on fire

If your gunpowder lights up, it will have a proof of over 100.  

Using a Hydrometer to Measure Your Proof

This is a very accurate way to measure your proof.  Here is how to measure your proof using a hydrometer;

Materials

  • Proofing hydrometer
  • Graduated cylinder or a long slender container
  • Moonshine

Instructions

Step 1 – Fill the cylinder ¾ with moonshine

Step 2 – Add the proofing hydrometer

Step 3 – Take the proof reading off the scale when the hydrometer starts to float in the Moonshine

Temperature can affect the moonshine reading by up to 20%.  It is important to also take the temperature of your moonshine and to use a chart to get the correct proof reading.  The easiest method is to cool down your moonshine to 20 degrees C before taking the reading. The hydrometer will take a perfect reading at this temperature.  

Part 2 - How to Make Hand Sanitizer

When you manage to produce 96% ethanol,  you can start producing your own hand sanitizers.  Here is a quick guide on how to make hand sanitizer at home.

Ingredients

  • 96% Ethanol
  • 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 98% Glycerol or other emollients such as aloe vera gel
  • Sterile distilled or boiled cold water

Instructions

Step 1 – Add 9333ml 96% ethanol to a bottle or tank

Step 2 – Add 417ml hydrogen peroxide to the bottle

Step 3 – You can now add 145ml 98% Glycerol or other emollients.  These products tend to cling to the measuring cylinder. The remaining product can be rinsed from the cylinder using the water before adding it to the mixture.

Step 4 – Top the bottle or tank up to the 10 liter mark using your cold or boiled water

Step 5 – Seal the bottle or tank and shake the mixture gently 

Step 6 – Divide the solution into small containers and allow the containers to rest for 72 hours before use.  Resting allows you to identify any spores in the alcohol or in bottles so you can discard unsuccessful hand sanitizer products.  

If you are making hand sanitizer for redistribution, you will need to do a quality control test every time.  An alcohol meter should be used to test the product to ensure that the hand sanitizer is of the highest quality.  

FAQ 

Making your own hand sanitizer can be quite tricky, especially if you have to also produce your own moonshine so you can produce hand sanitizer.  You likely will have plenty of questions as you perfect your skills. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by those who try to make their own hand sanitizers. 

Why Is My Moonshine Low Proof?

There are several things that can affect the proof of your moonshine.  One example is sugar. By adding sugar to your wash, you can increase your proof and reduce the number of runs you need to do before you will get a high proof.

Another aspect is the wash quality.  Using a wash with a low proof will result in moonshine with a low proof level.  To increase your wash proof you will need to run it more often.  

How Do You Add Flavor To Moonshine?

You can add flavor to moonshine – without adding fruits or other ingredients to your beverage – you can use a thump keg.  Add the type of flavor such as fruit or spices to the thump keg before doing the moonshine run. After the run is complete, the moonshine will have a distinct flavor.  

What Kind Of Water Do You Use To Cut Moonshine?

You should only use pure water to cut moonshine.  Sterile distilled or boiled water that is cooled down are ideal.