DIY Purifying Potion & Wearable Atomizer

Keep germs at bay by brewing up a batch of this purifying Hand Sanitizer in a pretty, wearable potion bottle that’s perfect for accessorizing during any pandemic.

If you would have ever told me that hand sanitizer and toilet paper would have been the hottest products in 2020, I would have told you that your crystal ball needed a tune-up and your cards need to be re-calibrated! However, the Corona Virus, or COVID-19 Pandemic, has us elbow tapping, vampire coughing, social distancing, and self-isolating, without any liquid hand soap, toilet paper, face masks, or hand sanitizer to be found — in stores, or online.

Even though most medical experts tout vigorous, old-fashioned hand washing for at least 20 seconds to be the best method to fight germs, most physicians recommend using a two-pronged approach of suds and sanitizer. Yet, some have said that nothing beats the COVID-zapping power of alcohol.

While there have been many warnings against DIY sanitizer for the fear of it being made incorrectly, I believe it’s better to have a well-researched DIY on hand than nothing at all.

I’ve seen DIY hand sanitizer recipes absolutely everywhere — even on the news, and all of them call for at least 60% alcohol. But, what kind of alcohol– ethyl, or isopropyl? If 60% is the minimum, does that mean that 60% of the recipe should be alcohol, or does that mean the strength of the alcohol should be at least 60%? And, is higher strength alcohol better? If alcohol is the most important ingredient, shouldn’t the recipes be specific? Yes. Yes, they should.

Luckily, I like Science, and I enjoy research. After much reading, I decided that I am a fan of the two-step approach. Thorough hand-washing gets off the grime that harbors germs, and following up with alcohol-based sanitizer dehydrates the outer cell of the germs and destroys the bad stuff inside. As for the ambiguous 60% rule? Yes, more than 60% of the recipe should be comprised of alcohol — that is for certain. Too many additives and moisturizers create a greasy, or sticky, layer where germs can cling. And, no, a higher strength is NOT always better. (Wait — What snake oil is this?!)

Contrary to what most would initially believe, rubbing alcohol at 70% is better than 90% Isopropyl, because the higher concentration dehydrates the outer layers of the cell too quickly, before the alcohol can penetrate the bacteria-containing center. The water content in the 70% allows the alcohol to access the interior portion of the cell before it evaporates. This one of the only times that a little watering-down actually helps.

Viruses are different, though. Each virus reacts differently to alcohol, and some aren’t affected at all. Luckily, most experts agree that the COVID-19 cell can be destroyed by alcohol.

Here are a few articles that really helped me create an informed decision and confidently create an effective and safe recipe:

Since the stores are devoid of sanitizer, I will take my chances with my own recipe (um … potion). But, if you don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand, you probably won’t find that in stores either. Luckily, I already had 70% rubbing alcohol in my medicine cabinet, and hopefully you do, too.

At first, I tried making a strong alcohol solution, with just a few drops MCT coconut oil and a few drops essential oil, in a tiny, purse-sized spray bottle. But, I found the formulation to be simultaneously drying and oily. Plus, the spray bottle spent more time at the bottom of my purse than it did disinfecting my hands.

I knew that I needed a better potion– and I’d need it in a convenient, pretty, wearable, potion bottle. I also knew that I’d need versatility. My wardrobe requires both a gold and a silver version, as well as a necklace-length version and a cross-body style. Therefore, I ordered two, one-ounce perfume bottles (one with gold-tone hardware and one with silver-tone accents) and two 30 inch stainless steel chains to match. I found the jump rings, lobster-claw clasps, metallic leaf charms, crystal-shaped beads, glass & metal craft glue, and lace ribbon (in black and white) at my local craft store. I needed to make these bottles practical for daily use and aesthetically pleasing — even from six feet away.

Since guarding against this pandemic is now a part of daily life, I knew I had to create more than just a trendy accessory that would be a short-lived novelty. I had to fashion sturdy, useful tools that will protect me from harm, fit easily into my routine, and suit my personal style. I started by cutting the strong, stainless steel chains in half, attaching the metal leaf charms to one end, and then fastening the giant lobster clasps to the other end.

Next, for better adhesion, a nail file worked surprisingly well to scuff the surface of the glass bottles where the leaf charms affix the chains to the bottle and where the crystal beads are glued to the plastic caps.

Of course, Pretty Spooky Purifying Potion Atomizers can be worn as a long necklace by joining the two lobster clasps of the 30 inch chain together. Or, ribbon can be measured to the perfect length to create a continuous band of fabric to connect to the lobster claws and convert the necklace into a cross-body application.

Even though it might be tempting to take some short cuts, remember that taking the time to sew flat seams will help the lace lay more neatly and wear more comfortably than tying the ribbon.

For durability and quality, stitch — don’t glue — the bows, beads, or other adornments you choose to suit your style.

To fill these fashionable flacons, I settled on a potion that follows all of the safety guidelines, was less drying, and far less greasy than my original brew. The following recipe yields two ounces of Pretty Spooky Purifying Potion:

  • 1.75 oz of 70% Rubbing Alcohol
  • 13 drops of Vegetable Glycerin
  • 6 drops of MCT Coconut oil
  • 6 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 4 drops of Orange Essential Oil
  • 3 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil

Feel free to adjust the drops of glycerine, MCT Coconut oil, or essential oils. Try more glycerine and less coconut oil to see if you prefer that texture instead. You can experiment with completely new and different essential oils with each batch you make, too. But, just don’t decrease your alcohol ratio; keep the measure at 1.75 ounces to ensure germ-killing potency.

The liquid spray is an effective, saturating application method that gets under fingernails and jewelry, like rings, unlike a gel. It is also a more elegant application, like discreetly spritzing a beautiful perfume, which feels much more socially acceptable to me.

I have definitely found the accessibility of the bottles to be a plus. I like the versatility in the chain length, and I’m pleased with the aesthetic.

They certainly don’t look like utilitarian hand sanitizer bottles, either. Plus, I’ll be keeping those tiny plastic bottles out of the landfill, and I won’t be worrying about whether or not they’ll be recycled properly. I’ll happily refill these wearable bottles with my own, custom-scented, Pretty Spooky Purifying Potion — even after the pandemic is over.

Stay sanitized, stay stylish, and as always, keep it Pretty Spooky.

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