How To Make Gel Fuel With Hand Sanitizer [5 Simple Steps]

You have just got a gel fireplace but the gel fuel price is disappointing you. Right?

If the answer is yes, then this article is only for you. Today we will tell you how to make gel fuel with hand sanitizer in 5 simple steps. And it will only cost you half of the price.

how to make gel fuel with hand sanitizer

That means whereas you need to pay $100 for only 50 kilograms of gel fuel, you can make the same amount of gel fuel with a cost of $50 following our steps. So, why late? 

Let’s get started… 

How To Make Gel Fuel With Hand Sanitizer In 5 Steps

Gel fuel is an excellent substitute for wood or other flammable material. The reason why they are so good is their cleanliness.

Real flame gel fuel doesn’t generate any harmful fumes that you can get from a gas or electric fireplace. 

Making Gel Fuel With Hand Sanitizer

And the flame is clean as well. There is no ash or any kind of residue.

But they cost a lot. 13-ounce of Gel fuel can cost about $5, while you can make gel fuel with household items such as hand sanitizer.

In case when you are wondering how to make fuel gel formulation with hand sanitizer, here are 5 simple steps for you:

Step 1: Gather All The Elements

Before jumping into the process you have to gather all the ingredients. Collect the following items,

  • Chalk
  • White vinegar
  • 2 standard bottles of hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol (99% isopropyl)
  • Mixing pot
  • Stainless steel spoon

The good thing about this is, all these items can be found in your home or any store.

Step 2: Preparing The Calcium Acetate

It’s better if you make the calcium acetate solution at home rather than purchase it. You will be needing calcium carbonate for this process.

You can find this element mainly in chalk. To make calcium acetate at home you have to,

  • Take four parts of acetic acid (white vinegar) for every one part of calcium carbonate (chalk)
  • Mix these elements in a bowl
  • Heat the mixture in the oven at 95°C

Your calcium acetate solution will e ready within 3 hours. 

Step 3: Taking Accurate Measurement

Now you are ready to make the gel fuel from hand sanitizer. But before mixing all elements you have to measure them in perfect proportion. 

Take 9 parts of isopropyl alcohol (hand sanitizer) for every part of the calcium acetate you just made. 

Put it all in a clean bowl. Do not add water.

Step 4: Mixing Well

You will be mixing your solution now. Make sure to take a clean and long spoon for the mixing. Start with slow stirring and then increase the speed.

You will have to keep mixing till you are sure that the calcium acetate is properly mixed with the isopropyl alcohol. 

And your gel fuel is ready.

Step 5: Preserving The Gel Fuel

It’s important to store gel fuel properly to maintain its efficiency. But how do you do that? Here’s what you can do:

  • Take a clean jar
  • Wipe the inside of the jar with a clean piece of cloth
  • Put all of the gel fuel solutions you made 
  • Tightly close the jar so that no air can enter
  • Store in a cool place away from the flame

This way you will be able to save your gel fuel for 5 to 7 years. And this is all. It was easy, right?

Yes, these 5 simple steps can save you a few bucks you spend purchasing gel fuel.

Causes & Solution When Gel Fuel Not Burning Well

Even after following all the steps, we discussed above your gel fuel may not burn well. But you don’t have to worry because it is totally normal.

Gel fuel may not burn well because of:

  • Expired hand sanitizer
  • Calcium acetate is too dry
  • The solution isn’t properly mixed

What you can do in this case is:

  • Purchase recently manufactured hand sanitizer
  • Add a bit of water to the calcium acetate
  • Mix the solution properly
  • Store the mixture in an airtight container
  • Keep the gel fuel away from water  and direct sunlight

If you can handle these points well you won’t have any further problems with the gel fuel burning.

What Are The Benefits Of Gel Fuel

Well, there are a lot of reasons why gel fuel is a good option. 

what are the benefits of gel fuel

Take a look at the prominent benefits of using gel fuel-

1. Gel fuel doesn’t use any material to burn the fire. This is why they don’t leave any ash or residue. You just get a clean fire.

2. Get fuel that doesn’t produce any fume, smoke, or anything harmful to the environment. It can burn with only a little fire.

3. It is really easy to use gel fuel. You just have to light it up to get the flame. And you can simply put out the flame with the lid of the can.

4. Only a little amount of gel fuel can generate 2500 BTUs per hour. 

5. Gel fuel works as a great emergency backup. If properly stored, gel fuel can be used for up to 7 years. 

These reasons are sufficient for anyone to go for gel fuel over other alternatives.

Plus, to know more in detail, you can read our article on how do gel fireplaces work.

Things To Consider Before Using This Gel Fuel

However, it’s not all benefits. Certain points can make you think twice before using gel fuel.

things to consider before using this gel fuel

Here are 3 things to consider before using gel fuel,

1. You have to be really cautious while measuring the ingredients for gel fuel. A little more or less of any element can ruin the whole solution:

2. Gel fuel is not fit for outdoor use. If you use gel fuel in the open, such as camping, The fire will lose most of its heat.

3. You cannot reignite the gel fuel immediately after putting it out. When the gel fuel is cool down properly then you can ignite it again. If you think about it, these issues of gel fuel aren’t that severe. Proper usage and caution are all you need to enjoy the benefits of gel fuel.

Watching the video will be helpful for you to make the gel fuel.


How do you make gel fuel with hand sanitizer?

You can make get fuel out of hand sanitizer pretty easily. Just mix 9 parts of hand sanitizer with 1 part of calcium acetate and mix it well. You may need to add a bit of water as well.

What can you use instead of gel fuel?

You can use hand sanitizer instead of gel fuel. It has alcohol that burns efficiently. Even unprocessed hand sanitizer will burn just fine. But it’s risky.

How long does gel fuel last?

In perfect condition and proper environment, gel fuel can last for up to 3 hours.

Can you cook over gel fuel?

Gel fuel doesn’t produce fumes or smoke. However, it can generate more than 2000 BTUs of heat. This makes gel fuel perfect for light cooking

Is gel fuel toxic?

Gel fuel is probably the most environmentally friendly fuel option. Gel fuels are non-toxic and don’t even produce any smoke or residue.

How to make ethanol gel?

To make the perfect ethanol gel you have to take:

  • 2 parts ethanol (90-99% alcohol)
  • 1 part aloe vera gel
  • Few drops of clove
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus

After gathering all the elements take all these ingredients in a clean bowl.  All now you have to do is keep mixing till the ingredients are well blended. And then your ethanol gel is ready.

Final Words:

If you were looking for a cheap fuel alternative to burn fire you probably have found it. Gel fuel is expensive, but making it is really easy. You can do it at home and that too in 5 steps.

So try out our method of how to make gel fuel with hand sanitizer and see how it goes. If you have any confusion, you can leave a comment below.

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

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