Natural hand wash recipe to resist virus

Beyond the obvious physical effects of Covid-19 is the confusion so many of us are feeling right now. While hand sanitizer was on high demand till recently, experts have backed away from encouraging alcohol-based hand sanitizers, not just because it is extremely drying to the skin, they can contribute to the rise of antibiotic resistance. The list of dangerous chemicals contained in commercial hand sanitizer, whether or not alcohol-based, is also long; from fragrance (which can contain 10 or more different chemicals) to artificial colouring.

So what are the options for safe, natural and effective ingredients? Based on my background and experience as a Certified Aromatherapist, I put 3 best essential oils with antimicrobial property (an agent that resists or destroys pathogens) as powerful ingredients for homemade products. Scroll down for some recipe ideas of hand wash, sanitizer and air cleaning sprays.

1.  Eucalyptus

Indigenous to Australia, the oil was in huge demand during World War I, as it was used to help control a meningitis outbreak and for the influenza of 1919!

There have been many clinical studies conducted and some cite research which indicates that cineole (the main component of Eucalyptus) has considerable antimicrobial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, as well as some fungi, and was more potent than citronellal and caryophyllene.*

Eucalyptus oil has also been reported to be non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitising.

2.  Lavender (lavendula angustifolia)

Often referred to the mother of essential oils due to it’s most versatile properties, lavender oil is reported to have excellent antimicrobial activities.*

Again it is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitising.

Please note though that Spike lavender has no antimicrobial property.


3.  Lemon (citrus limon)

Lemon oil has exhibited antimicrobial properties*, and know to be very useful for treating the symptoms of colds, flu, bronchitis and asthma.

It may be unrelated to its antimicrobial property but lemon oil is reputed to have high vibrations which can lift the spirits and overcome mental fatigue. It helps to clear the mind very effectively and it is said to aid in the decision-making process without over-stimulating the mind. In fact, it can be very calming for those who are emotionally overwrought.

Some people experience sensitisation and it should not be used on the skin prior to exposure to the sun.

What homemade products to make with these amazing essential oils?

Homemade Hand Wash

Ingredients (300 ml)

300 ml Unscented liquid castile soap

30 drops of eucalyptus essential oils

60 drops of lavender essential oils

30 drops of lemon essential oils


  1.  Add the essential oils to the liquid castile soap
  2. Mix well and keep in a soap dispenser.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Ingredients (300 ml)

300 ml Aloe vera juice or witch hazel (you can use distilled water, but if you do you will need to shake vigorously each time before use as oils will not blend into water)

30 drops of eucalyptus essential oils

60 drops of lavender essential oils

30 drops of lemon essential oils


  1.  Add the essential oils to the liquid
  2. Mix well and keep in a spritzer bottle

For Homemade Air Cleaning Spray, use water as the liquid base. Spray into the air every 20 minutes for the effectiveness.

*Reference: Encyclopedia of common natural ingredients used in food, drugs and cosmetics by Leung A, Foster S.

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