Homemade Bathroom Disinfectant


Looking over my list of homemade cleaners, I realized I hadn’t posted my recipes for homemade bathroom disinfectant spray. Time to fix that!

I switched to using homemade cleaning products for a number of reasons. First, I got tired of spending a small fortune to buy products that won’t even tell me what’s in them.

Also, my son and I both have allergies. We noticed that several commercial products made our allergies worse, but homemade cleaning recipes did not bother us as much.

Still, because maintaining good indoor air quality is so important to overall health, I open windows or turn on exhaust fans when using homemade cleaning products and recommend that you do, too.

Homemade Bathroom Disinfectant

Woman wearing rubber gloves and an apron holding bottle of homemade disinfectant spray and a cleaning cloth

Clean Before Disinfecting

Cleaning and disinfecting aren’t the same thing and it’s crucial to understand the difference. As the CDC explains, cleaning physically removes grime and some but not all germs.

Apply disinfectants after cleaning a surface. This second step kills lingering germs, which helps lower the risk of spreading infections.

Woman wearing rubber gloves and holding a bottle of homemade disinfectant spray

Homemade Bathroom Disinfectant Spray

Katie Berry
Use to disinfect bathroom surfaces after cleaning.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 3 mins
Waiting Time 5 mins
Course homemade cleaner
Servings 2 cups


  • Spray bottle


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol at least 70 percent strength
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar (see note) no substititions
  • 10 drops essential oils (optional) Oils with mild disinfecting properties include tea tree, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus. (Keep pets away until dry.)


  • Pre-clean the surface with hot, soapy water and dry it.
  • Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and swirl.
  • Spray the surface until thoroughly saturated. Wait 5 minutes then wipe dry, or let air dry.


NOTE: Do not use vinegar on marble, granite, or other natural stone surfaces. Instead, omit the vinegar and increase the rubbing alcohol to 1 1/2 cup.
Keyword bathroom disinfectant, disinfecting, homemade cleaner
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Safety Tips

It’s important to understand that even homemade cleaning recipes need to be used properly. Just because you make them yourself doesn’t mean you can ignore common sense! So, follow these tips:

  • Don’t spray this homemade disinfectant into your eyes, mouth, or open wounds.
  • Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol is flammable. Do not store or use this mixture near an open flame — including near bathroom candles or while smoking.
  • Store any unused homemade bathroom disinfectant in a cool, dark place out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Also, keep kids and pets away from surfaces to which you’ve applied this homemade disinfecting spray until it’s thoroughly dry.
  • This spray is intended for use in bathrooms. If you use it on any other surface — especially on food-preparation surfaces — you should clean the surface with soapy water prior to use.

Bleach-Based Disinfectant Recipe

If you cannot find rubbing alcohol or prefer not to use it, you can make an effective homemade disinfecting bleach solution.

The recipe for a homemade bleach-based disinfectant is:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR
  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Tips on Disinfecting with Bleach

  • Always check the expiration date on the bleach container since old bleach loses its effectiveness.
  • For that same reason, you must also make a fresh batch every time.
  • As with homemade bathroom disinfectant, it’s important to use proper ventilation when applying a bleach-based disinfectant.
  • Do NOT apply it immediately after using vinegar or ammonia-based cleaners, or you’ll create lethal chlorine gas.

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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. What disinfectant is safe for food surfaces, such as kitchen counters that are quartz -silestone?

  4. Stephanie Hermelee says:

    I may have missed this somewhere, but what to use for disinfecting wipes if we can’t get alcohol?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Stephanie,
      Good question! I’ve updated the post to include a bleach-based disinfecting spray recipe. If you cannot get rubbing alcohol to make homemade disinfecting wipes, you should use the bleach-based cleaning spray recipe instead.

      You’ll need to make a fresh batch daily so it stays effective.

  5. 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!

  6. Hi,

    On this recipe, you recommend increasing the rubbing alcohol to 1/2 cup and omitting the vinegar if using on granite. However, the recipe indicates there is supposed to be 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, so do you mean increase the total rubbing alcohol to 1.5 cups, or is there a typo somewhere?


    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Becky,
      That should’ve read increase it to 1 1/2 cups. It’s correct now.

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