DIY: CDC-Approved Bleach Spray and Hand Sanitizer Recipes

(EDITOR’S NOTE): This article was updated on April 10 after a reader who is a former chemistry teacher alerted us to an error in the hand sanitizer recipe, cited as read on Healthline.Com. The formula we used is by Jagdish Khubchandani, PhD, associate professor of health science at Ball State University, according to Healthline, and says it was reviewed by a medical professional prior to publication, but our source says it appears this formula is designed for “generic germs” but was not updated to reflect the amount of alcohol required to kill COVID-19 germs. Our reader says this illustrates “how easy it is for even the ‘experts’ to make mistakes … Science isn’t ‘easy’ and little mistakes can make a big difference.” We couldn’t agree more and are grateful for the corrected information. Healthline.Com has also been notified. Please see the below updated and corrected hand sanitizer recipe. We sorely regret the error and always work to provide correct information and retain your trust.


If you’ve found it challenging to buy bleach spray and hand sanitizer since the COVID-19 outbreak, or if you are on a limited budget, it’s easy to make your own at home.

Here are the two recipes I’m using for sanitizing groceries and other household supplies delivered to our home and for hand sanitizing when there’s no place to wash our hands.


CDC-Approved Bleach Spray

The bleach spray can of course be applied directly onto many surfaces (clean visibly  dirty surfaces first and be sure to read up on the materials bleach can ruin), but I also use it to make “wipes” by saturating a folded paper towel with it and using that to wipe down items we bring into the house. I highly recommend watching the informative video by Michigan family physician Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen to learn proper grocery and takeout sanitation. The CDC is currently recommending a 0.1 percent bleach solution for COVID-19.


  • Household Bleach (containing 5.25 percent or 6 percent hypochlorite, so check the label)
  • Water


  • Mix 5 Tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Pour into spray bottle as needed.


UPDATED/CORRECTED (on April 10) CDC-Approved Hand Sanitizer

First, it’s recommended by the CDC to wash your hands with soap and water whenever possible. When you are out and can’t do that, hand sanitizer is good backup. We haven’t left the house without it, even for walks and biking in the neighborhood. Jagdish Khubchandani, PhD, associate professor of health science at Ball State University recommended the below formula to Healthline.Com and was updated to reflect the ratios needed to kill COVID-19 germs. The CDC is currently recommending at least 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (or 60 percent ethanol) for COVID-19.


  • Slightly more than 2/3 cup 91 to 99 percent isopropyl or ethanol alcohol (slightly more is about 1.5 tsp more)
  • Approximately 1/3 aloe vera gel
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil (I used ylang ylang and my husband and I both love it)



  • Wipe down clean countertops with your diluted bleach solution
  • Wash your hands for with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Add alcohol to a cleaned and sanitized measuring cup, then fill to 1 cup with gel and oils
  • Using a thoroughly cleaned spoon or whisk, mix all of the ingredients until well blended
  • Pour into a sanitized receptacle for storage and into sanitized travel-sized plastic bottles to toss in your purse or pocket
  • Do not touch until ready for use



Is there something you’d like to see covered on the Bon Vivant blog? Comment here or send your home design, housekeeping and organizing, beauty and style questions to


Digital Sponsors

Become a sponsor ...

Sign up for our FREE

New Orleans Magazine email newsletter

Get the the best in New Orleans dining, shopping, events and more delivered to your inbox.