10 Natural Disinfectants For Your Home

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10 Natural Disinfectants For Your Home
Essential oil – Couleur ; Baking soda – evitaochel – pixabay.com

Keeping your house clean and fresh is not always an easy task. Sometimes sweeping and scrubbing is not enough and people reach for the powerful cleaning agents. However, chemical disinfectants can be too harsh on surfaces or worse; they can be dangerous to your health. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives you can use to clean, disinfect, and deodorize your home safely. Here are some of them”

Hydrogen Peroxide

A common household disinfectant used worldwide, hydrogen peroxide is a very versatile cleaning aid to use around the house. You can use it diluted to disinfect toothbrushes and kill the bacteria on fresh fruit and vegetables. It is also effective in bleaching tile grout, removing surface stains, cleaning toilets, and preventing mold / mildew growths in your bathroom. The antimicrobial properties of hydrogen peroxide are so powerful that hospitals use it in high concentrations to disinfect and sterilize medical equipment. [1] The lower concentrations sold for home use are generally safer than household bleach when used properly – and it does not contain the toxic chlorine. As a bonus, cleaning surfaces with hydrogen peroxide is safe for pets and in fact, it is regularly used in cleaning dog kennels. [2]


Being a food ingredient, you can’t get much safer than by using vinegar as a disinfectant. Vinegar contains acetic acid, a potent disinfectant responsible for its sour and pungent smell. The antimicrobial action of acetic acid is well documented. People in ancient days used it in the medical field to treat wound infections [3] and it has even been used diluted as a vaginal wash. [4] Spray and wipe vinegar on surfaces to kill bacteria and to remove stains. You can also combine water and vinegar in a bowl and put in a microwave so that the steam can clean and disinfect the inside.

Clove Essential Oil

Cloves have a strong antimicrobial activity, even capable of inactivating E.coli. [5] To use clove oil, fill a spray bottle with 3 cups of water, 4 tablespoons of vinegar and 10 drops of clove essential oil. Avoid spraying it near pets as it can cause irritation and it may be toxic to them in large amounts. The smell of clove can be overpowering and it should not be used undiluted.

Cinnamon Essential Oil

A fragrant oil you can use as a natural disinfectant is cinnamon oil. Cinnamon, just like cloves, has strong antimicrobial properties [6] and even doubles as an ant repellant. Best of all, it gives off a warm refreshing scent around the house while attacking germs.

Baking Soda

Although not as potent as the other disinfectants on our list, baking soda is still a useful cleaner in the house. [7] Due to its abrasive texture, it can be used in combination with other natural disinfectants to enhance its cleaning power. You can use baking soda to scrub tiles, stains, and to absorb nasty odors from laundry hampers and the fridge.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is famous for its relaxing scent, but what most people don’t know about lavender is that it’s also an effective antibacterial and antifungal. In fact, cosmetic companies use it in their products as a both a fragrance and a preservative to keep bacteria from growing. [8] To use lavender oil, simply dilute a few drops in cups of water a spray on the surface you want to deodorize and disinfect.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil has been used for centuries for its healing and antiseptic properties. It has been proven to be strong enough to kill harmful bacteria found in the skin and wounds. You can add tea tree to your own blend of spray deodorizer for an added antimicrobial effect making it perfect for trash hampers and the bathroom.

Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme is a common culinary herb and is also available as an essential oil. Similar to tea tree, thyme also has antimicrobial properties you can use in your household spray.

Citrus Oils

Lemon, Lime and Orange essential oils are staple ingredients in household cleaning lines. The citrus oils found in these fruits are known for their energizing scent and grease fighting ability. Add citrus oil to your mop water to clean tough to remove grease stains and to deodorize your floors.


Vodka is a high alcohol content liquor. Due to this, it retains the disinfectant properties of alcohol. Someone brought you a nasty bottle of cheap vodka that has been sitting there for a year? Use it as a cleaning agent! Add vodka to your spray bottle together with other essential oils to make a spray disinfectant. Just be careful when using it around wood – since alcohol can destroy the wood varnish.


[1] The Use of Hydrogen Peroxide for Disinfection and Sterilization Applications
(2014). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470682531.pat0885/abstract

[2] Canine Parvovirus (2017). https://sheltermedicine.com/library/guidebooks/canine-parvovirus/disinfection-how-do-you-get-rid-of-it

[3] Efficacy of 1% acetic acid in the treatment of chronic wounds infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa: prospective randomized controlled clinical trial (2016). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25851059

[4] Vaginal Douching: Evidence for Risks or Benefits to Women’s Health (2002). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2567125/

[5] Microbicide activity of clove essential oil (2016). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25851059

[6] Efficacy of cinnamon bark oil and cinnamaldehyde on anti-multidrug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the synergistic effects in combination with other antimicrobial agents (2016). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4888607/

[7] Disinfectants: A guide to killing germs the right way (2013). https://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/stories/disinfectants-a-guide-to-killing-germs-the-right-way

[8] Antimicrobial activity of lavender, tea tree and lemon oils in cosmetic preservative systems (2009). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19508298

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