In the absence of the availability of commercial hand sanitizers, the World Health Organization recommends the following recipe for homemade hand sanitizer as part of their COVID-19 response. These ingredients can typically be found at drugstores and some supermarkets.

What you need

  • small spray bottle
  • 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon of 98% glycerine
  • Isopropyl alcohol and sterile distilled or boiled cold water in one of the following combinations
    • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of 99% isopropyl alcohol PLUS 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon water
    • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons of 91% isopropyl alcohol PLUS 2 tablespoons + 2 1/2 teaspoons water

What to do

  1.  Pour alcohol into a medium container, ideally with a pouring spout
  2. Add hydrogen peroxide, then glycerin and stir
  3. Measure and add water
  4. Sanitize spray bottles by adding in a small amount of leftover alcohol, swirling around and allowing to air dry
  5. Fill bottle with solution and label clearly with contents

Using hand sanitizer

To use, spray on all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.


These small quantity recipes are derived from WHO’s Guide to Local Production: WHO-recommended Handrub Formulations:

Updated March 16, 2020