By now, most of us have come to understand that washing our hands is the most important way to stay safe from COVID-19. But why is this simple mix of soap and water so impactful? Here we answer a few basic questions and provide important explanations on hand health- as well as an easy recipe for sanitizer that you can make at home!
What is the COVID-19 virus and why is it dangerous? The COVID-19 virus is not a living organism, but rather a protein molecule surrounded by a protective fat layer. When it gets in contact with the eyes or mouth, this layer changes the genetic code of the surrounding cells, turning them into aggressor and multiplier cells.
So how do we fight it? Because this virus is not living, we cannot technically kill it, rather, we must wait for it to decay on its own. This process depends a lot on the environment – the temperature, humidity and material that surrounds it. The good news, however, is that the virus itself is very fragile, as it is only protected by its thin outer layer of fat. Thus the key to eliminating coronavirus is to attack this outer layer by creating a toxic environment.
How do we do this? By using soap and water, sanitizer, and any other hand sanitizing product. These products work in various ways: soap cuts the fat and helps destroy this outer layer; alcohol or any mixture with over 65% alcohol dissolves fat; and heat melts fat (so it is good to wash hands and clothes in hot water).
The F+LW Remedy
Now that we understand why we want to wash and sanitize your hands frequently, here’s a recipe for an easy at-home hand sanitizer that you can make on your own to help you and your family stay healthy.
5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 30 drops tea tree essential oil
- 3 ounces high-proof vodka or rubbing alcohol can be substituted
- 1 ounce pure aloe vera gel
- ¼ teaspoon Vitamin E oil
Add essential oils and Vitamin E oil to a small glass bowl or container and swirl to mix.
- Add alcohol to the oils and swirl again.
- Combine this mixture with the aloe vera gel and mix well.
- Shake gently before each use. (Sanitizer should last several months with the addition of Vitamin E and alcohol to help preserve.)
- Transfer hand sanitizer to a small, clean squirt bottles. Also, use colored bottles like this so the essential oils in the recipe are not exposed to light. Finally, this recipe is perfect for throwing into a purse or a backpack!
To make a hand sanitizer spray, simply use witch hazel instead of aloe vera gel in this recipe.