With these simple ingredients found available in just about any drug store and a few kitchen and household items, you can quickly whip up your own batch of hand sanitizer. From top, left -- mixing bowl and spoon, aloe vera gel, small plastic bottle, Isopropyl alcohol 91 percent, adhesive labels, a pen and optional essential oils to create a pleasant scent. Credit: Julia Bayly

With new reported cases of the coronavirus coming out everyday now, it’s important to practice regular hand washing and good hygiene to help prevent the spread of the disease.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no vaccine to prevent the new strain of coronavirus, known as COVID-19. The best way to prevent the illness is to avoid exposure and to take everyday preventive actions to help spread the disease. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

Ever since the CDC released this advisory, there has been a rush on hand sanitizers with some retail locations selling out. If you weren’t able to get a bottle for yourself, you can make your own using ingredients available in any drug store and most grocery stores.

What you need

— 2/3 cup Isopropyl alcohol, 91 percent (also known as rubbing alcohol)

— 1/3 cup aloe vera gel

— Essential oil in your choice of fragrance (optional)

— Small or medium mixing bowl

— Spoon

— An empty container like a bottle from a travel toiletries kit or a small glass mason jar

— A small piece of masking tape or adhesive labels for labeling

What to do

Stir the Isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel together in the mixing bowl until they are well blended. Next add 8-10 drops of your scented essential oil. This is not necessary, but it does make it smell nice. Stir the oil in until thoroughly incorporated.

Next pour the handmade sanitizer into your empty container and seal it up. Write “Hand Sanitizer” on the piece of masking tape or label and stick it on the bottle.

Meeting CDC guidelines

When followed exactly, this recipe produces a hand sanitizer with a 60.66 percent alcohol content and meets the CDC recommendation of a sanitizer of at least a 60 percent alcohol content.

It’s also important to remember that according to the CDC using soap and water is the number one way to keep your hands germ free. But in a pinch, hand sanitizer is the best runner up option.

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.