Desinfecting natural hand wash made from thuja oil

During the flu season, many people consider getting hand sanitizers. We spread flu viruses through our hands. Hand sanitizers are often made from very strong synthetic chemicals. Therefore, we should consider carefully the use of hand sanitizers. Here is a safer alternative to hand sanitizer, the desinfecting natural hand wash made from thuja oil.


Tuija is a highly antimicrobial plant

The best way to get viruses and germs off your hands is to do a proper hand wash. Soap and water effectively cleanse hands. Mostly it will be enough. But frequent hand wash by soap dries effectively your hands. So, it is better to prepare an effective hand wash that moisturizes as well. You can read more about thuja here.

Soap bars are very common soaps for hand washing

Soap bars are easy to use and are particularly effective. At home, piece of soap is safe.  No foreign germs can grow because the soap bar does not contain water. Microbes do not like to dry atmosphere. Because of this, always place the soap on a dry sponge or small grate after use. This prevents moisture spoiling the soap.

Liquid soaps have been favorite hand wash products for years

Liquid soaps are so popular because they are user friendly. Liquid soaps are also generally hygienic as they can be dispensed from pump bottles. They do also drying hands very effectively because they are easily over-dosed. In most cases, just a drop is enough to clean your hands.

You can also make liquid soap yourself. You can purchase the natural cosmetic ingredients online for liquid soap. If you want to make liquid soap by dissolving the grated piece of soap in water, always use a preservative. Such a mixture needs a preservative because it contains water. Many use a water-soap blend without preservative for many purposes. Personally, I do not recommend it because of safety reasons. When we make home cosmetics, we are responsible for product safety. That is why I advise you to be careful with products containing water.

How to make desinfecting natural hand wash from thuja oil?


I have developed a desinfecting natural hand wash product that suits well for me:

  1. Hand wash should not dry hands even if I wash my hands once an hour
  2. Hand wash should not contain any preservatives or other chemicals
  3. The ingredients must be easily found at home or at the local grocery/food store or market
  4. Hand wash should be cleansing and disinfecting    

I thought at the first place that this level of requirement is quite difficult to implement. Since I didn’t want to add any synthetic chemicals to my hand wash, I decided to look for raw materials only from natural source. Hand wash from thuja oil contains the following ingredients.


Sugar brings in both moisturizing and at the same time cleansing effect to this hand wash. I used very fine sugar. The fine sugar melts especially fast when mixed with water. The idea is to rub the sugar into the skin until the sugar is completely melted. Sugar is also a particularly moisturizing ingredient. It moisturizes the skin of the hands and forearms. Read more about sugar here.

Thuja oil and solid fats

I needed oils and fats to bring moisture and replace my own sebum. I chose sunflower oil containing extracted thuja for this product. Skin absorbs easily sunflower oil. It is an important feature in hand care products.

I also needed solid fats and waxes to bring solidity to the product. I chose antiseptic beeswax and cocoa butter. I did not add them much because they are not so well absorbed into the skin.


Soap acts both as an emulsifier and washing ingredient


I chose grated Marseille soap for cleaning. Marseille Soap is a gentle, high-fat soap that also cleans effectively. However, I used a facial soap made by myself.  Grated soap is an easy-to-use product that suits well for many products. Soap also acts as an emulsifier in this product. The fat in the hand wash turns white and emulsifies when mixed with water.

I also wanted more cleansing power and antibacterial power for the product. Thuja is my favorite in foot care. Its aromatic compounds are antibacterial and even cure ringworm. Ringworm is a fungal infection that is very common among older people. Even younger people may sometimes suffer from ringworm. Thuja creams effectively keep the ringworm calm.

How does Tuija affect my skin?

Thuja has harmful bacteria, yeast, fungal and viral destroying effects. You can read more about it here. Tuija contains volatile aromatic compounds similar to the well-known tea tree oil and tall oil. However, herbalists throughout the world have stated that Tuija is more effective in many cases. In addition, the thuja is easy to get. It is a very common ornamental shrub or tree in Finland.


Thuja is said to be mildly toxic. This is probably not the case. However, never use the thuja internally. Also, do not use thuja if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or have chronic illnesses such as kidney or liver disease.

Thuja can be harvested at any time

Thuja is an excellent plant that can be harvested in the summer or winter, if you just happen to have it on your yard. Thuja is also easy to dry. If you don’t have a Thuja, you can ask for it from neighbors who cleaned up their Thuja fence – yes, it is very popular fence plant. For winter, dry the green parts of Thuja (no woody stems). They will last long period of time.

I made thuja herb oil by a quick method. Quick herb oil is prepared by heating the oil and warming up fresh or dried herbs in a water bath. You can find instructions on how to make herbal oil here.

Ingredients; desinfecting natural hand wash


You will need the following ingredients for 2 dl thuja hand wash

  • 70 ml (0,3 cups) of thuja herb oil (sunflower oil as base oil)
  • 10 grams (0,35 oz) of beeswax
  • 20 grams (0,7 oz) of cocoa butter
  • 1 dl (0,4 cups) of finest sugar, may be white or darker
  • 3 dl (1,2 cups) of Marseille soap, my grate was really airy. Grate the soap to small pieces as large soap strips will not melt. Medium size is fine.

Do like this

  • Measure thuja oil, beeswax and cocoa butter in a bowl and place the bowl in a water bath
  • Heat until the beeswax and cocoa butter have melted
  • Remove the bowl from the water bath and add the sugar and soap
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl very carefully
  • Allow the mixture to cool, then can it in a glass jar.
  • Close the lid for storage.

This kind of hand wash will survive at room temperature for about 6 months if no water or other perishable is added.

Always dispense hand wash with a spoon or spatula for hygienic reasons. A small quantity is sufficient for washing hands.

How to use a disinfectant hand wash?

You can use thuja hand wash daily.

  • Wet your hands and forearms if desired
  • Use a spatula to apply a small amount of detergent to your hand
  • Rub the detergent evenly on your hands and forearms
  • Rub until all the sugar has melted
  • Rinse with lukewarm water and dry hands

This hand detergent makes your hands feel clean but moisturized. The high fat content of the product works for the hands. You don’t need a separate hand cream. Thuja oil brightens the skin of the hands and makes the hands more well-groomed.

If you are interested in trying thuja-containing hand wash, tell me how did you find it !

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