09 November 2018

DIY Homemade Disinfecting Spray and Deodorizer Recipe With Essential OIls

Disinfecting your home without chemicals with this DIY homemade disinfectant spray recipe.  It has essential oils to kill germs naturally.

Cold and flu season is upon us.  One major benefit to homeschooling is that my kids don't pick up as many germs.  We are still in public for shopping, karate, and scouts, so we are exposed to germs.  

I started cleaning my home naturally more than 10 years ago.  In the winter though, I want to make sure the germs are gone.  I'm not taking chances because Caleb gets very sick each year.  

When he was an infant and then again a year old, he had RSV and was hospitalized.  Each year after that, he would get pneumonia.  Now that he's older, he still gets sick, but thankfully it isn't as bad as it used to be.  

Disinfecting spray was the last cleaner that I started making.  I thought that I needed to buy a commercial project if I wanted to really kill the germs.  

Then I started doing some research.  You don't need chemicals and artificial scents to get your home clean.  You can use ingredients that you probably have at home to make this homemade disinfecting spray to get your home clean and save money.


So what is disinfecting?  

When you disinfect, you are killing a large percentage of germs or making them incapable of reproducing. 

You disinfect after you clean.  This recipe isn't made for cleaning.  Use my all purpose cleaner or my homemade dusting spray for cleaning and then follow with this homemade disinfectant spray.  

Don't use this homemade disinfecting spray on granite.  My fridge can't be cleaned with vinegar, so be sure to read the manual before using this spray on appliance.  


Both vodka and rubbing alcohol are great sanitizers and disinfectants.  I use vodka because I don't think it smells as strong as rubbing alcohol.  

Vodka is also a natural deodorizer.  You can also use this on carpets or furniture.  Always spot on the back of your furniture before you use this on your furniture.  

You don't need expensive vodka to make this recipe.  I use a lower end brand to make my homemade cleaners and homemade vanilla because they work just as well at a lower price.


Vinegar is also a natural disinfectant and has been proven to kill germs.  In a study, it wasn't as effective as Clorox or Lysol cleaners, but it did kill germs.  

We don't have super germs here.  If one of us worked in a hospital or doctor's office or maybe even in a school where we were exposed to a lot of germs, I might feel differently. 

But for home use, I trust vinegar to kill germs.


There are several essential oils that you can use.  I usually just use tea tree oil, but it does smell medicinal.  It's not my favorite scent, but it does smell clean.

There are several essential oils that have been proven to kill germs.  Cinnamon, clove, and lime were found to kill the most germs.  Eucalyptus essential oil is a weak germ killer, so I don't recommend using that.

Another study found the following essential oils to be the best at killing germs:

This recipe calls for 50 drops of essential oils, so you can choose different oils to mix together.  

Try one of these disinfecting essential oil blends:
  • Tea tree oil and peppermint essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil and lemongrass essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil and lavender essential oil
  • Geranium essential oil and lime essential oil
  • Grapefruit essential oil, lemon essential oil, and lavender essential oil
  • Orange essential oil and tea tree essential oil


  • 1/2 cup vodka or rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 50 drops tea tree oil (or see above for other oils to use)


I actually bottle this in different bottles.  I like the tiny spray bottles for my purse.  I can use it to sanitize my hands or objects while I'm out or in the car.

I also use 4-ounce spray bottles or 16-ounce spray bottles to use at home.  

No matter which bottle you use, be sure you label it.  This homemade disinfectant spray is clear, so kids may think it's water.  



Combine the vodka or rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and distilled water in a container.  I used my 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup.  


Add essential oils.  Stir well.

To use, clean surfaces to remove dirt and grease.  Then spray surfaces and let sit for 10 minutes to kill germs.  Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.  

There's no need to rinse when you use this recipe.  

Pour into a spray bottle.


If conditions are right, bacteria and germs can double in as little as 20 minutes.  Be sure to hit the most common places where germs linger.  

I always disinfect the following places:
  • Door knobs
  • Handrails
  • Garbage cans
  • The soap dispense
  • Toilet handle
  • Light switches (I spray on a cloth and wipe them)
Don't forget to disinfect your car, too!  Spray the door handles, shifter, and steering wheel.  

If you or your kids use a desk for work or homework, give the pens and pencils and other office supplies a good spritz to kill germs.  

disinfecting spray

All Purpose Cleaner
Best Essential Oils for Cleaning
Natural Air Freshener

Newsletter Signup
Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm in Ohio with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, five goats, several chickens, and homing pigeons. She loves Gilmore Girls, coffee, and her kids. Not in that order.