simple natural living on a budget
simple natural living on a budget
homemade disinfectant spray

Non-Toxic Homemade Disinfectant Spray with Essential Oils

Still spraying toxic chemicals all over your house to get it “clean” and germ-free? Maybe it’s time to rethink that … Make a safe, non-toxic homemade disinfectant spray instead!

With everything going on in the world today, people are more concerned than ever with keeping things clean and disinfected. But does that mean we should all run out and stock up on gallons of Lysol and Clorox?

No way! Take one look at the labels on traditional disinfectant sprays and wipes. They’re full of crazy chemicals I couldn’t even begin to pronounce!

Many of those chemicals are linked to cancer, reproductive disorders, asthma, developmental issues, skin irritation, and more. Many of the labels even SAY that they are hazardous to humans and animals!

Non-Toxic Homemade Disinfectant Spray with Essential Oils

So while you’re spraying away, trying to keep your family from getting sick, you might be doing exactly the opposite. Yes you might have avoided those nasty cold and flu germs, but at what cost? Constant headaches from the fumes. Slowly poisoning you and your family with nasty chemicals.

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So whats’s a girl to do?

There are alternatives, like buying safe and natural, but over-priced, cleaners. But I have an even better (and much cheaper) solution:

Make your own homemade disinfectant spray!

Homemade Disinfectant Spray Ingrendients

It only takes a few simple ingredients: alcohol, essential oils, and a spray bottle.


First, let’s talk about the alcohol. According to the CDC alcohol-based disinfectants should contain at least 70% alcohol to effectively kill many common bacteria and viruses. You have two choices: isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or ethyl alcohol (vodka).

homemade disinfectant spray

Ethyl Alcohol

For this one you’ll have to go to the liquor store. But be careful about which bottle you choose. Regular vodka is normally 80 proof, or 40% alcohol. To keep the alcohol content high enough to be effective, you need a higher proof vodka. At least 140 proof.

Everclear (190 proof) is a good choice if you can find it, but they don’t carry it at my local liquor store.

151 Vodka is much more common and cheaper. It’s easy to find at most liquor stores, at least where I live. There were three different brands on the shelf, so naturally I chose the cheapest one!

Isopropyl Alcohol

You can find rubbing alcohol at just about any store in the first aid section. Drug stores, grocery stores, Walmart, even the dollar store. It comes in three strengths: 70%, 91%, and 99%. And it’s pretty cheap.

So which one should you chose?

Rubbing alcohol can be toxic when inhaled or swallowed, especially for babies and small children.

Vodka, on the other hand, is a much safer choice, especially if you’re going to be using it around kids. While you obviously still don’t want your baby drinking it, it’s totally safe for cleaning.

You can safely spray down toys with vodka-based disinfectant spray and let them air dry. Even toys that will end up in baby’s mouth. No need to rinse in water, unlike with Clorox or Lysol. Again, read the label. They say to rinse with water after use. Why? Because THEY ARE NOT SAFE!

So the choice is up to you. Rubbing alcohol is still WAY safer than Lysol. If you have kids, especially babies, I would recommend spending a few extra dollars on a bottle of high-proof vodka.

Essential Oils

Many essential oils have disinfectant properties and they smell great too!

homemade disinfectant spray

Essential oils with disinfecting properties:

  • tea tree
  • lavender
  • geranium
  • lemon
  • orange
  • eucalyptus
  • rosemary
  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • thyme
  • peppermint

Any combination of these oils adds a great germ-fighting boost to your homemade disinfectant spray. Find a combination that smells good to you. Or check out my recipe below for my favorite combo.

For the highest quality oils (and best prices too!) Rocky Mountain Oils is the only place to shop for essential oils!

If you have pets or small children, be careful about which essential oils you use. Especially if you have little ones who put everything in their mouth. Check out this great article on essential oils to avoid around pets or babies.

Spray Bottle

This recipe uses an 8 ounce bottle, but you can use what ever size you have. Either divide the recipe for smaller bottles, or double it for a big batch.

homemade disinfectant spray

Since this recipe uses essential oils, use a glass bottle because the oils can break down plastic. Dark colored glass bottles are the best choice since sunlight can affect essential oils.

Homemade Disinfectant Spray Recipe

Fill an 8 ounce spray bottle most of the way full with alcohol of choice. I use a cheap bottle of 151 vodka.

Add 60 drops of essential oils. Yes it sounds like a lot, but remember, this is a fairly large bottle.

It not only smells good, unlike Lysol or Clorox. It also get’s everything just as clean, without toxic chemicals.

Related Post: 10 Super Simple DIY Green Cleaners

How to use your homemade disinfectant spray

You can use it basically anywhere! Everywhere you used to spray Lysol. Hard and soft surfaces. It not only cleans and disinfects, but it deodorizes too – like Febreeze!

homemade disinfectant spray

Shake well and spray with enough disinfectant to stay wet for at least 30 seconds. It takes 30 seconds for alcohol to effectively kill viruses and bacteria.

Here’s just a few ideas for where to spray:

  • counter tops
  • sinks
  • toilets
  • light switches
  • door knobs
  • remotes (be careful with electronics – spray on a rag then wipe so you don’t ruin anything)
  • trash cans or diaper pails
  • toys
  • couches (test it first on any soft surfaces so you don’t ruin anything)
  • pillows
  • carpets and rugs
  • smelly shoes or gym bags
  • reusable shopping bags
  • basically anything dirty, germ-y, or stinky!

Allow to air dry, and that’s it! Germ free and smelling good!

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