Text reads 3 simple DIY disinfecting sprays that work! (made with common household items). Background image is a sanitized kitchen using DIY disinfecting sprays containing hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol or household bleach

3 Simple DIY disinfectant sprays that work!

The other day, I decided to do some decluttering in the kitchen. While I love my Instant Pot, I haven’t used it in a while. It was stored in a back corner of the countertop so I thought I would move it into the basement to declutter and open up some more space on the counter. 

When I moved the Instant Pot, I discovered that mice had made the space behind it their new hangout. I found kitchen scraps, other scavenged items, and droppings and was horrified! I immediately went to make an effective DIY disinfectant spray to make sure all the germy ickiness was completely eradicated.

With no bleach on hand and only a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, I found a full jug of 70% isopropyl alcohol in the bathroom so I decided to go with that and had the Instant Pot and counters cleaned and disinfected within minutes. Then we set the mouse traps.

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What can I use instead of Lysol spray?

There are three common household items you can use instead of Lysol spray to make a true DIY disinfectant spray:

  1. Hydrogen peroxide 
  2. Chlorine bleach 
  3. Isopropyl alcohol (aka rubbing alcohol)

How to make DIY disinfectant spray

You can make your own disinfectant spray by using undiluted hydrogen peroxide; or undiluted isopropyl alcohol; or by using a chlorine bleach and water sanitizing solution. When making your homemade disinfectant spray, never mix any of these ingredients together. It can produce toxic fumes that can be deadly.

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DIY hydrogen peroxide disinfectant spray 

Pour just as much undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle as you need to cover the surface you want to clean. As it has no odor, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to make it more fragrant if you like.

Clean the surface with soap and water first. Then spray the surface generously with the hydrogen peroxide disinfectant spray. Let it sit for 5 minutes and either wipe up the excess or you can let it air dry.

Note that you can’t store excess hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle as it breaks down over time when exposed to sunlight, making it no more effective than water. It’s better to keep it stored in the brown bottle you purchased it in.

Do not regularly use undiluted hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant on natural stone as regular use can damage the finish. It’s better to use a rubbing alcohol solution on natural stone as it won’t damage the finish.

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DIY chlorine bleach disinfectant spray

Household chlorine bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant as it kills bacteria, fungi and viruses. You can make a chlorine bleach sanitizing solution by mixing 1 tablespoon of unscented bleach with two cups of water and pouring it into a spray bottle.

First, clean surfaces with soap or detergent before disinfecting with your bleach disinfectant spray. Then spray the solution generously on the surface, let sit for at least a minute, then rinse with clean water.

If you don’t like the smell of bleach, do not add any fragrance as it may react with the bleach. Air out the area by opening some windows for a few minutes. 

You will have to make a new diluted bleach solution each time you disinfect as bleach solutions are not effective after being mixed with water for over 24 hours.

Do not use bleach disinfecting solutions on porous surfaces such as unsealed natural stone or wood.

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DIY isopropyl alcohol disinfectant spray

If you choose to use isopropyl alcohol as your disinfectant, it’s best to use undiluted 70% strength alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is a good disinfectant as it kills organisms such as bacteria, fungi and many viruses. 

You should always wash the surface you want to disinfect first with soapy water. Then pour the isopropyl alcohol into a spray bottle, put the lid on, and spray the area generously. Let the alcohol disinfect for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a damp cloth. 

Although isopropyl alcohol has a pungent odor, it should evaporate and dissipate after a few minutes. I don’t recommend adding any fragrance as you would need a lot to overpower the alcohol smell.

Don’t use isopropyl alcohol on painted, shellacked, lacquered, or varnished surfaces, including treated wood as it is a solvent and can liquify varnishes or finishes. 

You can’t use vodka or other alcohol instead of rubbing alcohol to disinfect surfaces. Most regular consumable alcohol contains no more than 40% alcohol content, which isn’t high enough to kill bacteria, viruses or fungi and truly disinfect surfaces. 

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Text reads 3 simple DIY disinfecting sprays that work! (made with common household items). Background image is a sanitized kitchen using DIY disinfecting sprays containing hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol or household bleach

What is the most effective natural disinfectant?

The most effective natural disinfectant is hydrogen peroxide, a natural chemical compound that can be used as an eco-friendly alternative to bleach. It breaks down into simple water and oxygen, making it safe for people, pets and the environment. 

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What is the best homemade disinfectant spray?

The best homemade disinfectant spray is undiluted 3% hydrogen peroxide in my experience. The reason hydrogen peroxide is the best DIY disinfectant spray is because it’s natural and is very active against a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, and spores. I also love it because it has no odor and it leaves no residue that needs to be washed away so you can let it air dry.

Does vinegar disinfect and sanitize?

While vinegar can help eliminate odors and effectively remove dirt, it has limited disinfectant uses. It does have disinfectant properties that can destroy some bacteria and viruses but is not recommended for use as disinfectant as you need to allow at least a half hour of exposure.

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