All of these warnings of disinfecting and spreading germs has us thinking that we need bleach wipes or some toxic spray can to disinfect and get rid of germs when, in actuality, we CAN use natural disinfectant alternatives. In my opinion, this is the best DIY Natural Disinfectant spray because it disinfects surfaces, I can use it on my furniture and clothing, its easy to make, it doesn’t cost that much AND I am not breathing in all kinds of toxins!
How To Make The Best DIY Natural Disinfectant Spray
1) In a 16 oz spray bottle, add 25-30 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil
2) Fill bottle with 1.5 cups of vodka (140 proof or higher) or Everclear Grain Alcohol or Isopropyl Alcohol*
3) Shake well and put the spray nozzle on.
To use, spray on surfaces and let sit for a minute to disinfect. Then wipe up with a paper towel.
I like to use these 8-10 oz aluminum spray bottles in the above picture just for storage use and ease of not having glass that can break or plastic that can be deteriorated by the essential oils. Just cut the above quantities in half to make in 8 oz bottle!
*Note: You can use 70% isopropyl alcohol instead of the vodka. Just be aware of the surfaces you use them on (read more about the top 4 disinfectants below). You can use isopropyl alcohol with a higher alcohol content like 91% and juts add a bit of water to dilute it to 70% if you like.
While the above will disinfect as is, here is a list of the top 10 antiviral essential oils. You can mix or match as you see prefer for scent or oils you may have on hand (only use 100%Therapuetic Essential Oils such as Young Living so you don’t get other contaminants or fillers)
You can get many of these oils in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit here and get a free diffuser AND buy ALL Young Living products at 24% off! Let me know in the comments if you would like to learn more about the entire kit!
The CDC recommends at least 70% alcohol to disinfect surfaces. The alcohol can be either ethanol (like the alcohol you drink) or isopropyl alcohol (like rubbing alcohol).
With drinking alcohol, the alcohol content is noted on the bottles as proof. Divide the proof by half to figure out the percentage of alcohol in the bottle. You will want to get drinking alcohol of at least 140 proof for 70% alcohol content. Vodka can range from 80 proof to 191 proof. Everclear comes in 120, 151, 189, and 190 proof – ranging from 60-95% alcohol content.
You can dilute with water to get at least 70% alcohol content. So if you have Everclear at 190 proof (which 95% alcohol), you can use 3 parts of Everclear with 1 part of water content to make a CDC-recommended disinfectant at 70% or more.
If you prefer to use isopropyl alcohol, just be mindful of the ratio. You can do 4 parts of 91% isopropyl alcohol and 1 part water, you would have a homemade disinfectant spray with 72% alcohol (91 x 4/5).
Top 4 Natural Disinfectants
There are a handful of products you can use to naturally disinfect and sanitize your home and you may already have them! They are all effective in killing germs and sanitizing surfaces, toys, etc. Remember if you are following CDC recommendations stick with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol or ethanol (drinking alcohol like vodka) at 70% or higher alcohol content.
Here are the best places to use them:
1. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide at 3% or higher can be used on most surfaces to disinfect. You can just put a spray nozzle on the bottle to disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, toilet seats, etc. Opt for food-grade hydrogen peroxide to disinfect surfaces that touch food like cutting boards or the lids of canned food you buy from the store.
Avoid using on carpets, upholstery, curtains, and fabrics as it is a natural bleach and will whiten. But you can use in the laundry if you’re looking to whiten naturally.
How to use Hydrogen Peroxide as disinfectant or spray:
Computer keyboards, cellphones, doorknobs, toilet seats, etc.
Spray a cloth and wipe down surfaces to naturally disinfect. Use directly from the bottle or 1:1 dilution with water in a spray bottle.
Fill a tub half full with water and add about 1-2 cups of hydrogen peroxide. Soak toys for about 30 minutes and then drain and allow to air dry.
Add 1 cup to white clothes or towels and wash as usual in the washing machine with your favorite laundry detergent.
2. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing Alcohol (or isopropyl alcohol at 70% alcohol content or higher) is a powerful disinfectant but has a strong scent that requires a well-ventilated area and open windows. Use it to clean toilets and tubs and make your own disinfecting wipes. Never clean with rubbing alcohol and bleach together. It creates a toxic mixture that can cause serious health issues. Avoid using on furniture with finishes (like lacquered or varnished surfaces) as it will remove the finish. It is highly flammable so take caution.
How to use rubbing alcohol for diy disinfectant or as a spray:
Spray direct or wipe on with a cloth on surfaces or dilute as needed in a spray bottle – either 1:1 or 1:2 with water.
Vinegar is one of my all-time favorite disinfectants. It can be used on many surfaces to clean and sanitize, including food surfaces, kitchens, floors, windows, tubs, tile, laundry and so much more. It’s one of my preferred methods of cleaning but keep in mind that it can kill some bacteria and viruses, but not all.
The downside with vinegar is the smell but you can add lemon juice or essential oils to help with the scent. Vinegar is great in laundry and actually doesn’t leave a scent on fabrics when they’re washed.
Avoid using vinegar on granite, marble, stone floors or surfaces, hardwood floors, and iron. The acid in the vinegar can breakdown the natural stone, wood and iron.
How to use vinegar for natural disinfectant or as a spray:
Spray direct or wipe on with a cloth on surfaces or dilute 1:1 in a spray bottle.
add 1 cup vinegar to washing machine and wash with clothes.
4. Everclear or Vodka (minimum 140 proof)
Vodka (at 140 proof or higher) is a fantastic natural disinfectant on food surfaces like cutting boards and on fabrics like upholstery and curtains. Vodka naturally deodorizes fabrics and carpets, so it’s the cleaner of choice as a DIY Fabric Refresher without the harsh chemicals. It is flammable so take caution when using but it’s great as an all-around disinfectant.
How to use Vodka as DIY disinfectant spray:
Put a spray nozzle on the bottle and spray direct on surfaces or dilute 1:1 in a spray bottle.
If you are still looking for other cleaning options, make sure to try Thieves Household Cleaner CONCENTRATE. I use a capful of concentrate in 16-32 oz spray bottle for everyday cleaning and then add alcohol or peroxide if needs to be a disinfectant!