Effective Homemade Bathroom Disinfectant Spray

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A simple, thrifty homemade bathroom disinfectant spray that will leave your surfaces spotless.

Woman wearing cleaning gloves uses a microfiber cloth to wipe homemade bathroom disinfectant spray off of bathtub faucet

I switched to making my own cleaning products, like this homemade bathroom disinfectant, for several reasons. First, I got tired of spending a small fortune to buy products that won’t even tell me what’s in them. It’s my home and health — shouldn’t I know what I’m dealing with?

Also, my son and I noticed that several commercial products made our allergies worse, but homemade cleaning recipes did not. 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

I use this spray as part of my weekly bathroom cleaning routine. It’s an effective germ-fighter, so I feel like using it more often is too much. For touch-ups between weekly cleanings, I stick with my homemade cleaning wipes.


8 oz. water
6 oz. rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
2 oz. Distilled white vinegar.
Add 10 drops of essential oils if desired


Choose Your Scent

I use the same essential oils for both this disinfecting spray and my homemade wipes, but you’re free to mix and match however you like. That’s one of the fun parts about making your own cleaning products: you can develop a signature scent for your home or a different one for every room.

Some essential oils also have anti-bacterial or germ-fighting abilities. Oils with mild disinfecting properties include tea tree, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus. But keep in mind: some essential oils aren’t safe to use around pets, so consult your vet. (Lavender is pet-safe, so that’s what I use.)

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

Not for Food-Preparation Surfaces

I know we all love the thought of cleaning everything with just one or two products. But the germ-fighting needed in the bathroom is different from what’s required in the kitchen. So, this homemade disinfectant is for bathrooms — don’t use it on food preparation surfaces, please.

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Homemade Bleach-Based Disinfectant

If you cannot find rubbing alcohol or prefer not to use it, you can make an effective homemade disinfecting cleaner using bleach. To make a homemade bleach-based bathroom disinfectant, add 2.5 ounces of chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water or, for a smaller amount, stir 4 teaspoons of bleach into a quart of water. Do not use bleach on marble or granite surfaces.

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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?

  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. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for updating this today w researched based info. You’re giving us a great service

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