How Can I Disinfect My House Naturally?

Resistance to using natural products as disinfectants stem from the belief that they are not as powerful as their toxic chemical counterparts. However, with a little research and creativity, there are all-natural options which safely disinfect without any harmful residue for you or your family.

  1. Vinegar
    This clean, natural and biodegradable liquid is more than a cooking product. It’s made up of 95% water and 5% acetic acid, which kills about 80% of germs. As such, it’s a powerful, natural disinfectant that can be used to clean your sweat-stained clothes, wash your dishes, clean rusty tools, and remove hard water deposits. It also acts as a deodorizer and easily cuts through grease. Look for vinegar with higher acetic acid concentration to up its germ-killing power.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide
    While it lacks a green sounding name, it’s an incredible natural, biodegradable compound. Also known as oxygen bleach, hydrogen peroxide is basically water with an extra oxygen molecule, and it breaks back down into oxygen and water. That means that unlike chlorine bleach, it is kind to the environment.
    It’s best to use at a 3% concentration, which is how it is usually sold in stores. It can be used for your laundry, bathroom and kitchen cleaning, greasy pots and pans, and kids toys. Use it as a spray, create a paste with baking soda, or use it for soaking.
    Word of advice: don’t mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. They cancel each other out if mixed. It’s better to use them one after another. The order doesn’t matter!
  3. Alcohol
    Alcohol is a great natural disinfectant, and a common ingredient in many hand sanitizers and disinfectants. It can be used as a disinfectant for surfaces, as an ingredient in DYI cleaners (especially window cleaners!) and to remove bad odour from your laundry.
    But before you turn a bottle of vodka into a DIY disinfectant in regards to the SARS-CoV-2 virus: CDC recommends that your alcohol should have at least 70% alcohol content, so at least 140 proof, for surface disinfection. If you have strong spirits with at least 70% alcohol, you can mix your own surface disinfectant from this. Rubbing alcohol of at least 70% also works!
  4. Essential oils
    These concentrated liquids are distilled from plants. Studies have shown that essential oils such as lavender oil, clove oil and many others have natural antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Mixing them with other natural disinfectants will not only enhance the disinfecting properties, but also leave a refreshing, natural scent. Make sure to use only pure organic essential oils to avoid impurities, artificial preservatives and pesticides.
    • Tea Tree Oil: Not just for pimples! This beautiful smelling organic essential oil is a powerful natural disinfectant. For a DIY spray, add about 30 drops to a vinegar/water mix in a 650 ml spray bottle, mix it up and work away.
    • Lavender Oil: More than just a delightful summer scent, this organic essential oil has distinct disinfectant properties. A handy DIY is to mix a few drops with water-diluted white vinegar for a great floor cleaner. This essential oil is also an antispasmodic, meaning it helps your muscles relax.
    • Thyme Oil: The EPA has thyme oil listed as the same effectiveness as bleach as a disinfectant, with none of the adverse health effects. Because it’s so effective against food-borne pathogens like salmonella, you can add thyme oil to your washing water when you clean cutting boards and kitchen utensils that have encountered raw eggs and meat.

There are many options to look at for disinfectants that don’t put yourself or your family at risk. Natural ingredients have no harmful fumes, the surfaces are cleaned and germ-free, and you can breathe freely while working.