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DIY Wednesday: Wash Those Hands....Naturally

This was originally published on my blog nearly a year ago. With H1N1, colds, and other viruses spreading like crazy as we get into the colder months, handwashing is extra important. I wanted to share this recipe once again--with a couple new essential oils blends added in to the mix for more variety.

If you wash your hands often, you know how dry they can end up. So many people fall into the antibacterial hand cleanser trap and that makes things even worse. Find out why I do not like anti-bacterial hand cleansers by clicking here. I am choosing essential oils because many are naturally antibacterial and have great aromatherapy benefits.

Find them at your local natural foods store. If you buy online, I recommend Mountain Rose Herbs for them.

This recipe will give you about 3 bottles (4 ounces) of hand wash. Put them by all of your sinks.

This is an extremely simple hand wash, and it contains no artificial ingredients.

Here is my base for the hand wash:

1 cup of rose hydrosol (any other hydrosol/distillate will work well, too)
1/2 cup of baking soda

You can also substitute lavender hydrosol or any other hydrosol/distillates you may have access to. Cucumber distillate makes for a refreshing blend, too. I have also made this before in the summer by cutting pieces of lavender from my back garden (roses work well, too), letting them sit covered for a few days soaking in distilled water to create my floral water.

You will also need some essential oils.

Be creative. There are so many wonderful blends out there to create! Here are the ones I made:

1. Rose, Sweet Orange and Anise

2. Lemon and Lime and Lavender

3. Grapefruit, Bergamot, and Lemon

4. Peppermint, Rosemary, and Thyme

5. Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Lemon

The last items you will need (and neither are requirements) are aloe vera juice and glycerin. Again these are nice add-ins, but they will not make or break this recipe!


Warm 1 cup of rosewater in a pan on low heat or for 30 seconds in the microwave.

Stir in 1/2 cup of baking soda and stir to thoroughly dissolve. Add about 6 drops of each essential oil (if making a blend of 3 oils). Add just a touch of aloe juice and glycerin. I don't measure this when I make it for myself. It would be about 1 T. total.

Stir and pour through a funnel into dark amber bottles. Let cool for a short while, add caps and then let cool overnight.


It's environmentally friendly. Plus, it deodorizes. When you wash your hands and pump this cleanser into it, the water and baking soda will help to soften your hands while getting them clean. It's so simple to make!

I have mentioned before how I use baking soda for cleaning the house. I also use it once every couple weeks in my hair. I add a bit to my shampoo, massage gently into the roots and then it will give volume! I add some to bath salts for an extra fizz. I even brush my teeth with it quite often!