In the last article I told you about several benefits of flax seed for your homestead medicine chest. In that article I only scratched the surface.
In this article I’ll explore another use for flax — jelling it to use it as a base for homemade hand sanitizers. Since flax is rich in omega 3 oil it is a beneficial moisturizer. It has the jell consistency of aloevera gel, without the added preservatives, colours, and chemicals. Its also easier on your budget because you can make it at home, as needed.
Commercial hand sanitizers are full of toxic chemicals, artificial colours, and stuff you don’t want your kids to put in their mouth. Plus they are expensive to buy, especially if you only use them when travelling. This recipe makes a moisturizing hand sanitizer from a few simple ingredients that you probably already have at home. You can use this to refill a bottle of hand sanitizer that you already have on hand or use it in a canning jar with a pump dispenser on the lid.
To make flax hand sanitizer for your homestead, you’ll need:
1 pint canning jar, or other 2 cup container to store it in.
1 stand mixer or a strong arm and a whisk
A 4 cup pot
A large strainer, I use a cone strainer.
This first recipe is more like commercial hand sanitizers, with a strong alcohol scent. If you need a powerful cleaner that will strip you skin of 98% of the bacteria that you encounter — this is it. It will get rid of both the beneficial bacteria and the harmful bacteria.
3 cups of water
1/2 cup whole flax seed
2 tbsp. glycerine
1 cup of vodka (best choice) or 99% rubbing alcohol.
5 drops each of tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil, and rose geranium essential oil, or 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice.
Simmer the water and flax seed together for 15 minutes. You want a fairly thick jelly since you will be diluting it with alcohol. Strain the gel from the flax seed. Discard the flax seed and retain the gel (you can feed these to your chickens or compost them).
You will have 2 cups of flax jelly. Put the flax jelly in the bowl of your stand mixer, with the whisk beater and begin to beat. Slowly add your vodka (or rubbing alcohol) to mix well. Add glycerine and essential oils of your choice.
This flax/alcohol hand sanititizer closely resembles commercial hand sanitizing products in consistency. It feels a bit sticky when it goes on but it is absorbed by you skin quickly. If you are concerned about the toxic affects of rubbing alcohol being absorbed by your body, I recommend using vodka in this recipe.
This one evaporates faster than the one below. You want it to evaporate on your hands to be effective.
Non-alcohol orange hand sanitizer
Alternatively try this adaptation that utilizes the citrus peel all purpose cleaner that you made during citrus season:
3 cups water
1/2 cup whole flax seed
2 tbsp. glycerine
1/2 cup of orange/vinegar or lemon/vinegar infusion made according to these directions.
10 drops Orange or lemon essential oil.
Simmer the water and flax seed together for 15 minutes. You want a very thick jelly, so continue to simmer until the jelly is very thick. Strain the gel from the flax seed. Discard the flax seed and retain the gel (you can feed these to your chickens or compost them).
You will have 2 cups of flax jelly. Put the flax jelly in the bowl of your stand mixer, with the whisk beater and begin to beat. Slowly add your orange/vinegar infusion or lemon/vinegar infusion, while beater continues to beat in order to mix well. Add glycerine and essential oils of your choice.
This hand sanitizer is as effective as the alcohol based commercial hand sanitizers but without the strong alcohol scent or toxicity. Really good for kids that will still taste everything. It takes longer to evaporate than the alcohol based hand sanitizer, so use only a small pea size amount, and rub it well into your hands.
Got a cold? Check out my flax jelly recipe, too.
Mountain Rose Herbs carries high quality, organic essential oils, flax seed. You can trust them for your essential oil, and herbal needs. Check them out.