DIY Foaming Hand Sanitizer Recipe & Foam Dispenser

This post was updated on March 26th, 2020.
This post may contain affiliate links.


My favorite recipe for DIY Foaming Hand Sanitizer. It is fast, easy and inexpensive. It’s the best hand sanitizer/purifier around. It doesn’t leave your hands slimy. And you can customize it to be perfect. I also use it in place of the yucky smelling public restroom hand soap. 

Making my kids use DIY Foaming Hand Sanitizer doesn’t make me a germaphobe, does it? Seriously though, I’m not a germaphobe. I am the typical mom of 3 who lets her kids ingest too much dirt because “it’s good for their immune systems.” One the flip side I’m terrified of kid germs. Indoor play places and shopping carts give me nightmares.  Let me tell you a story…..

The “stomach flu of November 2017” changed me. I may never be the same. It’s the kind of thing nightmares are made of. 38 months pregnant……ok it felt like 38 but it was only like 7….I had been waddling already for what felt like a year…thanks to SPD.  Husband in Europe. Two kids puking literally every 20 minutes. Just when everyone gets well enough to get out and about after being stuck at home for a week, one pukes all over the cart full of items. I actually stooped so low after that I used disinfectant wipes…momentarily losing my grasp on reality and figuring cancer from chemical-filled disinfectant wipes was better than the stomach flu. I have now had the baby, hormones have equalized, my husband has returned home from overseas and I have realized the errors in my ways of disinfectant wipes. (insert agony faced emoji)  I have since learned that Young Living has amazing Thieves wipes and spray for that! I now carry that with me to clean off the carts. I would rather my kids eat dirt than put their hands or mouth on a shopping cart…especially after being the one to have the puking kid in the cart. Oops.  Yuck. Kid germs.

I’m still a bit traumatized though and every now and then I remember and I shudder at the possibility of this occurring again.

I still don’t like kid germs. I’m still a bit terrified of another stomach flu-like that. Places like schools and play places require me to be standing directly outside with my foaming bottle of hand sanitizer….ready to squirt any child who will allow me to sanitize their hands before said hands get close to faces.

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The key appears to be adding alcohol. That is the heavy hitter when it comes to sanitizing hands. 


  • I always require hand sanitizer when we get in the car from playing out and about. It’s become a habit.
  • I also use it after the baby’s diaper while I’m still standing at the changing table.
  • I use foaming hand sanitizer when we’re at the zoo. or out and about and I don’t like the hand soap or the handwashing stations.
  • TIP. You can use it instead of hand soap out and about if the hand soap is that gross pink yucky stuff. I pull it out of my bag and squirt the kids hands with it and then we rinse just like it were the soap. It’s very similar the foaming hand soap that I use at home anyway.


  • My van/car/SUV door.
  • Each car door or seat pocket for each kid. (Habit when they get in the car from school or playing.)
  • My purse. (My mommy purse pouch w/ my wallet etc for when I get out without the kids…I think I left without the kids once once in 2016. Hmmm maybe it was 2017. Just kidding.)
  • Baby’s changing table so after changing baby diaper I can clean hands right away.
  • Daughter’s school backpack. (My kids are spoiled now and they don’t like the hand sanitizers at school with all the alcohol and chemicals.)
  • In the kitchen for a quick hand sanitize if I have my hands full (like holding a baby).



I talked about it in my DIY FOAMING HAND SOAP RECIPE post. Kills good bacteria too. Full of chemicals. Can create antibiotic resistance.


  • We don’t prefer alcohol in our hand sanitizers because it’s drying. And it can burn if you have an open cut.
  • So when we don’t have a world-wide pandemic of coronavirus going on I choose a sanitizer that does not have alcohol in it. 
  • When we need serous hand sanitizers, we add alcohol. 
  • I made a DIY hand sanitizer recipe using alcohol and aloe but it molded. It was stinky and gross. This hand sanitizer has never gone bad and it’s just awesome. I need easy in my life.
  • My new recipe here (you can use it with or without alcohol but alcohol works better) does not have aloe. Instead it has Castile soap. 



  • These foaming hand sanitizer containers.
    • Do I really need 12?
    • I prefer to make them all at once and store them in my laundry room already filled. Then I can grab a new one and not have to make one if I run out and I’m in a hurry.  I also keep them everywhere so I use at least half right away.
    • I find DIY is easier when you make it in batches…as long as it doesn’t go bad. I have personally never had this recipe go bad.  I don’t have a lot of extra time for getting all the ingredients out, thinking about it, mixing etc. It’s a chore so I do it all at once and don’t replenish for months!
    • I really like that they are clear!
  • Young Living Thieves Essential Oil
  • Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil (this one is just for nice smell. If you only have Thieves, use that). I stole this idea from the ingredients in Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier by Young Living.
  • Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint (or Baby Mild or any other scent you like) Castile Soap 
    • I like peppermint for this recipe b/c I’m adding peppermint essential oils anyway.
  • Distilled Water (or tap water)
  • Alcohol as needed. 


It’s super simple, fast & easy.

  1. Open all containers.
  2. Put 1/2 teaspoon of Castile soap in each.
  3. Put 5 drops of Thieves Essential Oil & 5 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil. (Or use another combination)
  4. Fill the container slowly with water (don’t let it suds too much & don’t fill too full). Leave room for foaming dispenser top.
  5. You can fill the rest of the container with a alcohol for more hand sanitizing! Or 3/4 alcohol and 1/4 water. 


  • If you don’t like that it sudses too much, you can start with the water/alcohol next time. It doesn’t bother me.
  • The only time I’ve seen this burn is on really chapped, raw hands. I have not seen this burn in a cut like alcohol does.


YES YES YES! I used to use this on my babies after someone would come up and touch my baby’s hands! Then people would question why we smelled so nice! I always watch to make sure baby doesn’t rub his eyes but I never worry because it’s in such small concentration it does not concern me. You, mom, make your own decision based on your comfort level for your family. 

I prefer the non-alcohol versions for babies so I don’t burn their hands. 


I am thrifty so I prefer to make my own and save money. I also like that mine is alcohol-free, but I do love the  Thieves Hand Purifier from Young Living. It smells just as divine! I use both. I like the Thieves Hand Purifier for smaller spaces (small bags).  This DIY Foaming Hand Sanitizer Recipe takes just a few minutes to make. I make 12 all at once in a batch and put the extras in my laundry room all ready to go. I have looked up the ingredients and alcohol gets a 4 on EWG and Clove Oil gets a 5 on EWG. I’m good with that. Everything else is a 1 or 2.

I have also tried the Dr. Bronners Hand Sanitizer in Lavender from Amazon. It also has alcohol in it also. It’s a hand sanitizer spray. This one is okay also. But I still prefer my own.


It has to be fast.
It has to be easy.
It has to actually WORK.
It has to be something I can NOT buy anywhere else OR it has to be something I can make a LOT cheaper than I can buy it.

I love my DIY Foaming hand soap recipe. It’s ridiculously cheap. And I just love it. Love it. It’s fast, easy and cheap to make and I love the end product.




DIy foaming hand sanitizer


My favorite recipe for DIY Foaming Hand Sanitizer. It is fast, easy and inexpensive. It's the best hand soap around. And you can customize it to be perfect.






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About the Author:

I am on a mission to remove toxins from as many homes as I can...starting with toxic fragrances and cleaners! I want to share my research with you and learn from you also! Let's do this together! I can't wait to meet you!


  1. Liz February 28, 2019 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Hi! Question about your foaming hand sanitizer. Have you ever had problems with it eating the plastic since you’re using thieves EO? I tried making my own disinfectant wipes before and it ruined the bottom of the plastic container. Thanks for your help!! Look forward to trying all your diy recipes!!

    • Tori May 23, 2019 at 3:01 am - Reply

      Hi Liz! I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing your comment!

      I actually reached out to Young Living to ask them also because I was curious why some of their items were in plastic and others weren’t. I read this post on the Young Living Blog and it made me curious for more answers so I reached out to them…. (This post

      I always try to use glass for EVERYTHING. And I tell you more about how I try to do that here in my plastic free kitchen post But with some things you just cannot.

      Young Living recommended never using undiluted essential oils in plastic containers so diluting definitely helps. Also they said it depends on the type of plastic, concentration of oils, amount of oils and amount of time the oils come in contact with the plastic parts. I don’t have an exact answer for you. Maybe you bring up a good point…..MAYBE I SHOULD ACTUALLY STORE MY SOLUTION IN A GLASS MASON JAR AND THEN FILL OUT THE CONTAINERS AS I’M READY TO USE THEM?

  2. Paula April 23, 2019 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Does this need to be rinsed?

    • Tori May 23, 2019 at 2:53 am - Reply

      Hi Paula! I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing this! I’ll do better about keeping up with comments! No…it does not need to be rinsed. BUT you can. I do NOT rinse it when I’m using it as hand sanitizer. BUT if we are in a public restroom I’ll often pull it out of my purse and we all use it as hand soap and then rinse it off. I do love letting germs and dirt rinse down the drain when we can AND I DO NOT like the smell of most commercial, public restroom hand soaps. It’s made of the same ingredients as my foaming hand soap but in different proportions so the hand sanitizer doesn’t leave a film on your hands. My DIY Foaming Hand Soap Recipe….

  3. Priscilla Aabye June 9, 2019 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Where do you get the foaming bottles?

  4. Ashley July 8, 2019 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Does this make your hands feel sticky? I hate having that feeling that something is on my hands, even after they’re clean!

    • Tori July 8, 2019 at 3:18 pm - Reply

      It’s the opposite!!! It’s amazing!! The Castile soap is so moisturizing with the coconut oil! My hands feel clean yet moisturized and they smell wonderful!

  5. Jessica July 25, 2019 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Can i use any essential oil?

    • Tori September 20, 2019 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      I personally prefer YL oils only. I think any oils are ok as long as they don’t burn. Watch out for hot oils maybe but I do like to add Thieves to help get rid of the yucky stuff. I usually copy other hand soap recipes…..lemon & orange. Peppermint (this one can be cool and could be burny I suppose…watch out with private parts if you make this as a body soap). You could use a combination you like in a diffuser. If you try some, will you let me know what you like best?

  6. Tam Harris March 7, 2020 at 5:47 am - Reply

    Unfortunately that won’t kill stomach virus (norovirus) germs. Only bleach or hydrogen peroxide.

    • Tori March 14, 2020 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      That is so true. I have also researched the Noro virus and that is the only time we use bleach in our house.

  7. Alana March 7, 2020 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Just a suggestion. You may want to buy containers that are a darker color instead of clear (like the blue or brown ones sold just for oil blends). Sunlight has a negative effect on many essential oils and they will lose potency and healing effects if exposed too long. Also, as others readers have said, certain plastic containers not made for this purpose may breakdown which could result in some of the chemicals being absorbed into your santizer.

    • Tori March 14, 2020 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      I did some research on this. And asked YOUNG LIVING directly. I completely agree that darker color is better. And glass is always better. If you find a container that is better than as I would love to know. There is research that has been done but no definitive answer on whether those containers are 100% safe with oils in them. I think they are considered generally safe because of the amount of oils in the dilution level. But please let me know if you find something better. I always like to err on the side of Darker and glass. Whenever I can.

  8. Amy March 12, 2020 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Actually the peppermint oil is used in place of alcohol. Peppermint oil has the same properties as denatured alcohol but without the chemical junk! So it is actually put into YL’s hand sanitizer for a reason! 🙂

  9. Miriam Taschner March 13, 2020 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Can you just use a regular spray bottle? Or only foaming bottles?

    • Tori March 14, 2020 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      If you try another kind of bottle, will you let me know? I would love to know if I squeeze bottle or a spray bottle works. Or if you have to dilute it or change the consistency at all.

  10. Avneet March 14, 2020 at 3:20 am - Reply

    Do I have to use a foaming bottle?

    • Tori March 14, 2020 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      You could probably use a squeeze bottle. But it might be kind of runny. And yet I think a spray bottle it might be kind of thick. If you try another kind of bottle, will you let me know?

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