Why is my DIY hand sanitizer clumping;
I followed the directions perfectly. What’s the deal? Not all aloe gels are created equal! You need to be aware of a few scientific facts about how these products are made, why some work and others fail.
1: You need to choose an Aloe Vera Gel that is made from Aloe Juice, preferably Organic.
2: The aloe gel, to stay together with the other ingredients, need to contain a Carbomer.
The Carbomers are synthetic, high molecular weight, nonlinear polymers of acrylic acid, cross-linked with a polyalkenyl polyether. Carbomers function as thickening, dispersing, suspending and emulsifying agents in cosmetics and personal care products.
They are widely used to provide emulsion stability. Note: If the aloe gel you purchase does not have a carbomer of some sort, it will not hold together when alcohol is added, and the thickeners that make it get will separate forming slimy clumps. Even if you use aloe gel straight for the leaf, it will separate, because it has nothing to bind it together, it may not clump as badly as some, but it will turn very liquid, and will not hang together.
3: Choose an aloe gel that has some skin conditioning ingredients and even some antibacterial ingredients, like flower extracts, fruit or plant stem cells, Manuka honey, or other such antimicrobial, anti-fungal ingredients.