My Homemade Disinfectant Spray Is Never Out of Stock

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I switched to making my own cleaning products, like this homemade disinfectant spray, for several reasons. For one thing, it seemed like the price of cleaning products kept going up every week, and that’s if they were even in stock.

Second, store-bought cleaners don’t list their ingredients. It’s my home and health—shouldn’t I know what I’m dealing with? Now that I’ve added homemade disinfecting spray my list of homemade cleaning products, I do.

Homemade Disinfectant Spray


8 oz. water
6 oz. isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
2 oz. distilled white vinegar
5-10 drops of essential oils (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well.
  2. To clean: spray the surface and wipe with a damp microfiber cloth.
  3. To disinfect: spray pre-cleaned surfaces until they are visibly wet, then wait 5 minutes
  4. Rinse the cleaner off of surfaces by using a fresh, damp cloth or damp paper towels.
  5. Store unused homemade disinfectant in a cool, dark spot away from heat and light. Keep out of reach of children and pets. Discard after 2 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions I’m most frequently asked about this homemade disinfectant recipe. If your question is not answered here, please feel free to leave it in the comments!

What essential oils should I use?

Essential oils with mild anti-bacterial or germ-fighting abilities include tea tree oil, rosemary, orange, clove, thyme, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus. Of these, only lavender is safe around both dogs and cats, so that’s what I use.

What if I can’t find rubbing alcohol?

Although supply problems are clearing up, if you can’t find rubbing alcohol or want to substitute it, try Everclear or another 120-proof liquid spirit.

Why do I have to clean before disinfecting?

Cleaning and disinfecting aren’t the same thing. Too much grime on a surface keeps disinfectants from working properly. Cleaning removes the grime but not all germs. Disinfecting a pre-cleaned surface tackles the remaining germs.

Can I use this in my kitchen?

The EPA changed rules about what is safe to use on food preparation surfaces. They now approve of using isopropyl alcohol cleaners on food preparation surfaces.

But be sure to keep it away from your food and since it’s flammable don’t use it near open flames, including pilot lights on your stove.

So, now you’ve got a homemade disinfectant. Ready to learn how to clean your bathroom efficiently?

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  1. Hi Katie,

    I just bought your book and started following your cleaning templates. You mentioned before that vinegar shouldn’t be used on granite or marble. Will your granite-safe recipe work for disinfecting bathroom as well?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Trang,
      The granite cleaner does indeed have disinfecting properties. 🙂

  2. Just curious, what’s the best essential oil to use? Are they all antibacterial? I used lemon this time. Thank you for taking the time to help others get organized! I clean, but I needed organization.. I am more productive, following these lists.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Tressa,
      The essential oils that I listed all have antibacterial properties, according to this research. Lemon is not listed as containing antibacterial or antimicrobial properties, although I agree that it smells nice.

    2. Mary Iris says:

      5 stars
      Tea tree oil is used for cleaning and medicinal purposes.

  3. Stephanie Carleton says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for updating this today w researched based info. You’re giving us a great service

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re welcome. Stay healthy!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re quite welcome.

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