With the arrival of summer and hot weather, mosquitoes and their dreaded bites arrive. Who hasn’t had sleepless nights because of the constant buzzing of these annoying insects? In this post, I show you how to make a simple homemade mosquito repellent spray using only a few ingredients. Let’s see how.
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MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: All information presented on this website is for informational purposes only. This website is NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and is NOT intended to be a substitute or replacement for any medical treatment. Please seek the advice of a healthcare professional for your specific health concerns. Individual results may vary.Gabi
Can alcohol be used in a Mosquito Repellent?
The function of repellents is only to push insects away. In order to do this, specific essential oils are used depending on the target insect category. However, since the essential oils are insoluble in water, it is necessary to use a solvent capable of mixing them and dispersing them in the solution. Perfect in this role are ethyl or isopropyl alcohol (IPA). Although these alcohols manage to carry essential oils well, they may irritate the skin if used frequently and at very high percentages (<90%). To reduce this undesirable effect it is advisable to dilute them with water. An example of a hydro-alcoholic solution with a percentage of alcohol around 70% is the hand sanitizer, here is the recipe. Moreover, when the alcohol content is around 70%, the solution plays an antibacterial role as reported by ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) 2.1 section b.
What scent will keep mosquitoes away?
Essential oils are excellent allies for keeping insects away and several studies have found them to be effective (here is an example). In particular, to drive away mosquitoes we can use different essential oils. The most used and easy to find are:
More information on essential oils is well described in The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. I bought it to learn more about aromatherapy and it is a great guide that I recommend.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent Spray | Recipe
To make the DIY mosquito repellent spray, I used isopropyl alcohol (IPA) available at 70%v/v (70:30 alcohol:water) to further dilute it with water. Since alcohol is dehydrating it could irritate the skin with frequent applications, I added glycerin to act as a humectant agent. Glycerin is a hygroscopic compound that can capture moisture thus keeping the skin hydrated. The recipe for 30g is:
- 17g (0.6Oz) isopropyl alcohol 70% v/v (find it here)
- 13g (0.45Oz) distilled water (find it here)
- 4g (0.14Oz) glycerin (find it here)
- 8 drops of citronella essential oil (find it here an example)
- 2 drops of mint essential oil (here an example)
If you do not have 70% v/v isopropyl alcohol at home but 96% food grade ethyl alcohol, it is not a big deal! Here you have the recipe.
- 19g (0.67Oz) 96% v/v ethyl alcohol
- 7g (0.25Oz) distilled water (find it here)
- 4g (0.14Oz) glycerin (find it here)
- 8 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- 2 drops of mint essential oil
Simple DIY Mosquito Repellent | Procedure
The process is very simple. Just weigh water and alcohol in a glass container and add glycerin and essential oils. After mixing them, all we have to do is pour them into a container with a spray dispenser and start using our DIY Mosquito Repellent. In this product, there is no need to add a preservative because the alcoholic solution also plays an antibacterial role.
Simple DIY Mosquito Repellent | Video Tutorial
Before saying goodbye…I designed this short guide to help makers to create their own lip products at home starting from zero! Knowing why certain ingredients are used is the key to creating perfect and effective products! In this guide, you will find 3 recipes (lip scrub, lip mask, and lip balm), instructions, and the basics of understanding why and which ingredients to use. Check it out!
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