Wondering how to make disinfectant? Here are homemade cleaner recipes (or a natural cleaner recipe), homemade household cleaner, all purpose homemade cleaner, alternatives to homemade cleaner with bleach and other cleaning supplies on how to fight germs and clean house so viruses and bacteria illnesses don’t spread or so you can make your own cleaners during emergencies and even to save money!
Before we get to the homemade house cleaner recipes let’s go over some basics:
Are homemade cleaning products effective?
Homemade cleaning products can be just effective as store-bought cleaners. (Just think about how our ancestors used to effectively use their own cleaner recipes!) However, getting the exact recipe for hand sanitizer right so that it’s effective can be tricky.
What cleaning products should not be mixed?
- Bleach and Vinegar can result in toxic chlorine gas.
- Ammonia and Bleach can result in toxic chloramine vapors.
- Rubbing Alcohol and Bleach results in Chloroform.
- Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar can result in parecetic acid, which is highly corrosive.
What is the best way to disinfect your house?
Disinfecting comes in two phases: cleaning and then disinfecting. You can clean your home (counters, sinks, bathrooms, etc.) with regular soap and water. Once the area is clean, disinfect it using a bleach-based cleaner or a cleaner that lists that it kills germs and bacteria.
Does opening windows reduce germs?
Opening windows helps to circulate fresh air and get rid of some of the germs in the air. It’s a way to move the “sick” stale air (of germs) out of your house and replace it with fresh air, but it doesn’t kill bacteria or viruses.
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Disinfect vs Sanitize
What’s the difference between disinfect vs sanitize? Disinfecting is killing (or eliminating) germs by using chemicals (like cleaners) to kill germs on the surface of an object. Sanitizing reduces germs to what is considered safe levels to decrease spread and/or infection.
According to the CDC:
“A sanitizer is a chemical that kills 99.999% of the specific test bacteria in 30 seconds under the conditions of the test.”
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How To Help Fight Germs In Your Home
Here’s how you can cut down on the spread of virus, bacteria, and germs in your home:
- Use a two-part cleaning approach: clean first with soap and water and then disinfect the area that was cleaned.
- Teach kids to sneeze and cough into their arm/elbow. If they do cough into their hands, wash hands for immediately.
- Teach kids to correctly wash hands. The most missed areas are the fingers, which are the most important!
- Switch to single use towels during high flu and illness seasons.
- Throw used tissues in a “no touch” container that only gets touched when emptied.
- Regularly clean and disinfect children’s toys.
- Open windows to clear out old “stale” air filled with germs and let in new fresh air.
- Remember, regular antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer does not kill viruses. You will need a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to kill both bacteria AND viruses.
- If someone is sick, avoid sharing clothing, pillows, and blankets with them.
- Germs can live on surfaces from a short while to a few hours. (Some viruses can live up to 24 hours and more.) Clean and disinfect phones and tablets, too!
- During high germ seasons with widespread illnesses, consider social distancing.
OK, now on to the recipe for homemade cleaner list!
These are great to make with the kids and discuss germs and illnesses while you’re making them!
Best Homemade Cleaner Recipes
These homemade cleaners are easy and many can be made out of supplies you probably already have around your house!
Here’s how to make homemade cleaner…
What can you use instead of Lysol?
You may be wondering if there is a homemade cleaner spray or “homemade Lysol.”
The answer is YES! You can make a homemade cleaner with rubbing alcohol that is similar to Lysol.
To make homemade cleaners, you will need a glass spray bottle (instead of a plastic bottle).
How do you make homemade Lysol spray?
- White vinegar
- 91% Rubbing alcohol
- Essential oil (scent of choice, but we like lemon or lavender for cleaning)
- Glass bottle
- Remove the spray nozzle from the glass bottle.
- Put a small funnel into the top of a glass bottle.
- Carefully pour into the bottle (through the funnel): 1 1/4 cups of water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol. Replace the spray nozzle and gently shake to mix.
- Remove the spray nozzle again and 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Replace the nozzle and gently shake again to mix.
- Use as you would use other disinfectant sprays.
NOTE: In some health emergencies, some supplies like rubbing alcohol may be hard to find. You can substitute vodka for rubbing alcohol in an emergency, but there is a widespread discussion online if vodka really has a high enough alcohol content.
Homemade Hand Sanitizer Gel
Before we get to the hand sanitizer recipe, I want to cover an important point:
It’s difficult at home to get the exact ratios to make the most effective hand sanitizer.
If you can, purchase a 60% and above hand sanitizer from the store (that was created in a lab to exact specifications).
However, in emergency situations (like pandemics, epidemics, widespread illness and emergencies), hand sanitizer will be hard to find so you may need to make your own.
Remember: diluting the rubbing alcohol or using less than 91% isopropyl alcohol may make the effectiveness less than when you buy handsanitizer from the store.
Here’s how to make homemade hand sanitizer:
- 91% isopropyl alcohol
- Aloe Vera gel
- An antibacterial essential oil (like tea tree oil, cinnamon oil, thyme oil, or oregano oil)
- Small squeeze containers with lids
- TO SANITIZE YOUR CONTAINERS: Pour a small amount of isopropyl alcohol into the small squeeze containers (that will hold your handsanitizer when you’re finished). Swirl it around so that it covers all areas inside the bottle. Empty out the remaining alcohol. Leave the lid off and allow the alcohol to evaporate while you’re making the recipe. (Repeat this process with all of the containers you will be using to hold your hand sanitizer.)
- Pour 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol into a large glass container with a pouring spout (we like this glass measuring cup with a lid to prevent splashing when pouring homemade cleaners into bottles).
- Add 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel to the alcohol. Whisk together.
- Add 15 drops of an antibacterial essential oil. Whisk vigorously to completely mix.
NOTE: This hand sanitizer gel will be thicker than the sanitizer you buy at the store. You may have to use less than normal and rub your hands longer to get it to completely absorb.
Homemade Hand Sanitizer Spray
If you would rather have a homemade hand sanitizer spray recipe use this.
- 99% isopropyl alcohol
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 98% (or higher) glycerin
- Distilled water
- Glass spray bottle
- TO SANITIZE YOUR CONTAINERS: Pour a small amount of isopropyl alcohol into spray bottles (that will hold your spray hand sanitizer when you’re finished). Swirl it around so that it covers all areas inside the bottle. Empty out the remaining alcohol. Leave the lid off and allow the alcohol to evaporate while you’re making the recipe. (Repeat this process with all of the spray bottles you will be using to hold your hand sanitizer.)
- In a medium glass container with a spout, add 1 cup of 99% isopropyl alcohol.
- Stir in 1 Tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
- Add 1 teaspoon of 98% glycerin. Stir vigorously to mix in. (Or, use a container with a lid and shake until glycerin is mixed in.)
- Add in 1/4 cup of distilled water and mix. Then, add in an additional 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of distilled water. (This is the exact amount as advised by the World Health Organization, or WHO.) Mix (or shake) until combined.
- Using a funnel, carefully pour into the glass spray bottles for a hydrogen peroxide homemade cleaner / hand sanitizer spray.
(Yes! You can disinfect with hydrogen peroxide!)
Have you made a homemade cleaner? Let us know what works for you!
I just made the homemade Lysol Spray cleaner. I used lemon essential oil and it smells wonderful. My hubby turned the power off in our RV and forgot to prop open the refrigerator doors. After only four days yucky, stinky mold was growing everywhere. I sprayed everything down with this mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes. All the mold wiped right off with a damp cloth! I’ll be passing this recipe along to everyone!!!!
OH YAY DEB! I’m so glad it worked for you!