Disinfectant solutions make us feel safe from diseases. Commercial disinfectants are more toxic to our health than they are useful. However, there are better natural solutions to killing germs and bacteria. Check out why and how to make your own homemade essential oil disinfectant spray.
In this post, you’ll be reading about:
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the making of DIY sanitizing sprays. What kind of ingredients is safe to use, how to use the spray, what is its shelf life, etc. These are just some of the things that people usually want to know about before tackling such a project.
- A thorough list of DIY disinfectant spray recipes to try for all needs and purposes. Find a recipe for anything, from air or laundry to skin or fabric disinfection. I’ll also give you a recipe for a yoga mat disinfectant spray, among others.
FAQ about Homemade Natural Disinfectant Sprays
Natural antibacterials are clearly better than man-made antibacterial agents. The latter are indeed very strong and effective, but they’re not used alone. Commercial disinfectant solutions come with a wide range of harmful and toxic ingredients.
Luckily, for quite some time now, we have the technology to extract essential oils from plants. All of these extracts have antibacterial and antiviral effects. Yet, some are more concentrated than others.
You’ll soon learn how to make your own homemade essential oil disinfectant spray. But before that, you should go through the following section of questions and answers.
You’ll learn a lot of interesting and useful information. Hopefully, it will help you make the best of your natural antibacterial solutions.
1) Why make your own disinfectant spray?
Making a spray on your own gives you control over the ingredients and tools you want to use. It also gives you control over the way you want your spray to smell like.
You can change the results of a disinfecting blend just by changing the ingredients.
A DIY natural disinfectant can help you save a lot of money. Cleaning products, whatever their purpose, can be very expensive. Natural solutions don’t damage your health. Instead, they improve it because essential oils have therapeutic effects.
2) What is a disinfecting spray supposed to do?
A natural disinfectant spray is an active solution. It is supposed to:
- Reduce pollution.
- Purify and disinfect the air.
- Prevent viral infections like the flu or colds.
- Strengthen the immune system.
- Boost energy levels.
- Disinfect surfaces.
- Change the ambiance.
- Remove foul odors.
- Promote relaxation.
- Improve respiratory problems.
All these benefits are possible because of the use of essential oils.
3) What natural ingredients should the disinfectant spray contain?
Since we’re talking about natural solutions here, there are plenty of options. You probably already have them in your home, which makes things even easier. Let’s see what they are and why they’re good disinfectants.
- Baking soda.
This is one of the most popular cleaning agents. It is natural, cheap and always at hand. Not only does it help the dough rise, but it can also scrub surfaces gently. It can be used as a skin or furniture disinfectant.
Baking soda dissolves in water and is alkaline. This means it neutralizes acids and makes a cleaning solution gentle enough, yet effective. It doesn’t have a particular smell and it doesn’t burn.
Although often used in salads, vinegar is great for skin and hair care and disinfecting surfaces. Vinegar is highly acidic. This makes it impossible for bacteria and other pathogens to live in it.
If it’s not diluted, vinegar can stain or damage fibers, materials, burn skin, etc. Avoid using vinegar solutions on wet stains or acidic stains like urine. This tip is mostly useful for carpet cleaning.
It can be rubbing alcohol, vodka or high-grade alcohol. They’re all great at disinfecting. It usually has a distinct smell, but if the amount used is small, it could be overpowered.
Alcohol can replace vinegar in some cases, though it is not suited for all surfaces. Alcohol can kill airborne pathogens and disperse the solution better. It also helps it dry faster.
Regular salt, pink salt, Mediterranean salt… They’re all alkaline, just like baking soda. Salt absorbs moisture and bad odors. It works well with all the other ingredients. It is also slightly abrasive so make sure the surfaces don’t scratch easily.
- Natural neutral liquid soap.
This ingredient is used only when the solution needs to be foamy. Castile soap or raw black soap are natural products that clean and make a nice lather too. They can also be mixed with any other natural disinfectant ingredients.
- Essential oils.
I saved the best for last. Aromatic oils are used in Aromatherapy to promote well-being and a good mood. Some can even help with sleep and respiratory infections. Essential oils are full of great benefits! They are concentrated plant extracts, obtained by steam distillation.
The plants use these oils to regenerate and ensure the survival of their species. For example, a sweet fragrance is given by essential oils.
Bees will be attracted and they’ll go over to pollinate the flower, thus they make sure the plant spreads. The aromatic oils can also serve for protection against weather and UV light.
Once extracted, the oils have those effects on our health. Most of them are disinfectant because they contain certain chemical constituents. While these constituents can be found in almost all essences, the amount will vary.
Some oils (citrus) will have high amounts of limonene, for example. Others will have more camphor and very little limonene. The list could go on and on as their chemistry is very complex.
It’s this complexity that makes essential oils effective antibacterials and antivirals. There are studies that show they can kill a large number of bacteria and fungi, and some viruses too. The latter are known to develop resistance to antibiotics, which act on a single pathway.
But the working mechanism of aromatic oils is complex. They can attack the virus-cell in different ways. This doesn’t leave the virus with too much room for developing resistance.
One study concluded that short-time diffusions of more concentrated oils are highly effective at killing bacteria and other pathogens.
As you can see, disinfecting essential oils make a great addition to your natural disinfectant.
Still, can you add essential oils to vinegar and water? This is a good question as many prefer simple cleaning solutions. The answer is yes, you can add aroma oils to vinegar and water with a few exceptions.
Citrus oils and others that are very high in citral are not as effective on a long-term when mixed with vinegar. But, you can make your DIY disinfectant spray fresh and in small quantity.
That will ensure the oils don’t get a chance to become ineffective until you’re done with it. Citrus oils do smell very nice and fresh, and they’re the most popular in cleaning solutions.
If you’re wondering what essential oil is a good disinfectant, here are some of the best:
- Wild Mint
- Sweet Orange
- Ho Wood
These essential oils can be used to disinfect the air, skin, laundry, fabrics and so on.
To sanitize means to make something clean and hygienic, to avoid infections. If you want to know what essential oils are good for sanitizing, there are a few great proven ones out there:
- Tea Tree
This list can be completed with others of course, as there are more strong antibacterials.
The best essential oils for cleaning are those that can sanitize and disinfect effectively. But it’s important that they also smell really well. Here are a few ideas of essential oils good for killing bacteria and smelling fresh:
- Sweet Orange
- Black Pepper
- Clary Sage
- Lemon Eucalyptus
- Litsea Cubeba
- Star Anise
As you can see, there’s a wide range of essences you can choose from. This means total liberty and control over how your house will smell and how well you may feel afterward.
Take into consideration their therapeutic properties and side effects when choosing one. More on this topic soon!
4) How to use essential oils in a homemade disinfectant spray?
Aromatic oils must be mixed with something neutral before adding them to water. Oils and water don’t mix and if not blended in advance, they won’t disperse into the solution properly.
You can mix them with liquid soap, salt, baking soda or alcohol.
A DIY disinfectant spray (with alcohol, vinegar, or distilled water) can be used on:
- Bed and sheets,
- Around the room,
- Other surfaces that need disinfecting (doorknobs, remote control, faucets, etc.)
5) When NOT to use a homemade essential oil cleaning spray?
It is important not to abuse of the essential oil disinfectant spray. The oil molecules are highly active and can linger in a room for a few days.
Using it too often can saturate the air and cause nausea or headaches. You should always keep the room well-ventilated after disinfecting with essential oils.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, make sure you’ve consulted with your doctor first. Caution is advised when using a homemade disinfectant spray around children and/or pets too.
There are many essences that can harm a baby or toddler. Pets are also vulnerable and more sensitive to them.
They have a very well developed sense of smell that can become numb in a few minutes. Especially if there’s a high amount of oil molecules in the air. Cats are especially sensitive to Aromatherapy, and you can read more about it here.
Also, avoid the use of an essential oil disinfectant spray if you suffer from:
- Cardiovascular problems.
If you are taking medications, talk to your doctor or make sure the oils don’t interact with them!
6) How do you make a homemade disinfectant spray with essential oils?
This is the most fun part of it all! It’s quite simple actually and after reading the steps, you’ll know exactly how to make one. In fact, you can make as many as you want, depending on mood and need.
Here’s how to make an essential oils disinfectant spray:
- Prepare your tools. You’ll need a spray bottle (hard plastic, ceramic or glass), a teaspoon/tablespoon and a bowl. Sometimes, you may need scales for some recipes, but it’s optional. Disinfect them all with rubbing alcohol or boiled water.
- Mix the essential oils with whatever else neutral you’ll be using. It can be alcohol, salt, baking soda or liquid soap.
- Separately, mix distilled water with vinegar. Water needs to be distilled to prevent bacteria growth. The blending can be done directly into the spray bottle or a bowl.
- Pour the water and vinegar into the spray bottle and complete with the rest of the ingredients, mixed separately.
- Give the blend a good shake before each use and spray onto the surfaces that need disinfecting.
Luckily, it’s this easy to make your own essential oil disinfectant spray! This means you can do it fresh every time you need to clean or sanitize.
7) What is the shelf life of a homemade disinfectant spray?
A water-based product will never have a very long shelf life. We’re talking here about a few weeks – a month at most. It must also be kept in the fridge at all times to prevent bacteria growth.
If you don’t use water in your DIY disinfectant, then its shelf life could be a lot longer. A foamy, soap-based sanitizer can last even a year. Alcohol-based products also have a few months until they should not be used anymore. Just make sure you keep them in cold, dark places and away from direct UV light.
8) What other TIPS are there for making homemade cleaning sanitizers?
- Essential oils might stain. It is best to first test them on a small piece of cloth if you intend to use the spray to disinfect fabrics.
- For certain surfaces, you can use the spray on a damp sponge or soft cloth first. Then rinse the surface with it, as usual.
- Choose your essences for their double purpose: cleaning and health. If you want to prevent viral infections in the winter, choose oils like Lemon Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Thyme, etc. If you want to simply feel more relaxed, you can try Lavender, Melissa, Sweet Orange, etc.
This was the FAQ section about making a DIY disinfectant spray. Even if you’re not new to this practice, you can still probably find a tip or two useful.
Next, we’ll be practicing with our natural disinfectant ingredients to make the best cleaning solutions.
Homemade Essential Oil Disinfectant Spray Recipes
Essential oils can be used to clean almost anything and everything. So, I’ve put together a list with a spray recipe for any situation I could think of. Feel free to add your own ideas and tips, if you have any.
DIY Essential Oil Disinfectant Room Spray with Alcohol
- Distilled (cold) water: 125 ml (4.22 fl. Oz)
- Rubbing alcohol or vodka: 1 teaspoon
- Tea Tree essential oil: 5 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 5 drops
- Grapefruit essential oil: 5 drops
Mix all ingredients as per the above-mentioned steps.
Homemade Disinfectant Spray for Fabric
- Distilled water: 2 Oz (60ml)
- Rubbing alcohol: 1 teaspoon
- Essential oil(s): 15 – 20 drops
Mix the essential oils of your choice with the alcohol and then with the water. Give the spray a good shake before each use. Spray all over the fabric and let it air-dry really well.
Homemade Furniture Disinfectant Spray with Vinegar
- White vinegar: ¼ cup (50 ml)
- Castile soap: ½ tablespoon
- Pine essential oil: 10 drops
Give the blend a shake and spray onto a damp cloth/sponge. Clean the furniture with it and then rinse with another clean, damp cloth.
Diffuser Essential Oil Recipe to Disinfect the Air
- Grapefruit essential oil: 20 drops
- Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil: 10 drops
- Ravintsara essential oil: 20 drops
Mix these oils into a dark colored glass bottle and pour only a few drops into your essential oil diffuser. Diffuse for 20 minutes, every 2 hours in a well-ventilated room.
Homemade Disinfectant Spray for Yoga Mattress
- Spray bottle of 2 Oz (60ml)
- White vinegar: ¼
- Distilled water: enough to fill with
- Essential oil(s) of your choice: 15 drops
First vacuum the mattress, then spray a moderate amount on it and wipe with a soft, damp cloth.
DIY Disinfecting Spray for Hands
- Alcohol: 25 ml
- Vegetable glycerin: 1 teaspoon
- Peppermint essential oil: 12 drops
- Marjoram essential oil: 12 drops
Peppermint oil is a great disinfectant but you can also use other disinfecting essential oils for skin.
Alcohol-Based Homemade Disinfectant Spray for Glass
- Rubbing alcohol or vodka: 2 Oz
- Cinnamon essential oil: 15 drops
Give the blend a good shake and spray on glass surfaces (tables and windows). Wipe with a clean, soft cloth. Cinnamon will not leave a greasy residue because it doesn’t contain fatty acids. A part of it will evaporate and the other will aid in disinfection.
Antiviral Room Sanitizing Spray
- Alcohol: 50 ml
- Distilled water: 25 ml
- Essential oils: 50 drops
Shake and spray this mixture inside a room to refresh and purify the air.
Essential Oil DIY Disinfectant Spray for Laundry
- Tea Tree essential oil: 15 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 25 drops
- Distilled water: 2 cups
- Alcohol: ½ cup
Other essential oils that can be used to disinfect laundry are Pine and Fir, Citruses, Clove, Neroli (Orange blossom), Ho Wood, Patchouli, etc.
Keeping your house clean and fresh the natural way is easy and fun. Besides their sanitizing properties, essential oils have a beneficial impact on our health too.
Follow the 3 simple steps in this post to make your own homemade essential oil disinfectant spray. Choose between tens of aromatic essences to make your home the best place to be in. Take their therapeutic effects into consideration when looking for certain benefits too.
Have you tried disinfecting surfaces with essential oils? How do you find these natural sanitizing recipes?