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Homemade Natural Disinfectant

In an effort to save some money, and keep toxins out of our home, I have been searching for a natural disinfectant cleaner for our bathrooms and kitchen, that I could make myself. I have read that you can mix vinegar and water and add rosemary or tea tree essential oils and that helps with the disinfecting. Has anyone tried this??? I don’t know how much I trust regular online searches when it comes to my family’s well-being.

Thanks Mamas!!

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The recipe that you listed is pretty much the exact recipe that I've been using for almost a year now. I take 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup water, about 3 drops of tea tree oil and 3 drops of thyme oil. It's a great disinfectant - thyme kills just about anything. The vinegar smell dissipates very quickly. I feel great knowing that I'm not spraying toxic chemicals in my house.

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Here is a great website for the "Many Uses of Vinegar" - http://www.versatilevinegar.org/usesandtips.html

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The recipe that you listed is pretty much the exact recipe that I've been using for almost a year now. I take 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup water, about 3 drops of tea tree oil and 3 drops of thyme oil. It's a great disinfectant - thyme kills just about anything. The vinegar smell dissipates very quickly. I feel great knowing that I'm not spraying toxic chemicals in my house.

1 mom found this helpful

Here is a great website for the "Many Uses of Vinegar" - http://www.versatilevinegar.org/usesandtips.html

1 mom found this helpful

Tea tree oil is an excellent disinfectant. It is effective against bacteria, viruses and molds. In fact, a hospital in California did a study where they used tea tree oil to clean with for a month, and it was just as effective as their normal bleach-based cleaner. If you only want to disinfect, just water and TTO will do it. Vinegar is good for cutting soap scum on mirrors/showers. It is also a fairly good disinfectant on its own. Other essential oils have cleaning and disinfecting properties, and some I use just to keep things smelling fresh and pleasant.

One thing to keep in mind when switching to a natural cleaner - Windex and othercommercial window cleaners contain wax. When you first switch to a natural cleaner, you might see streaking on your windows/mirrors. This does not mean your homemade cleaner is not working - it is just trying to clear the wax buildup. Try adding a couple drops of castille soap (Dr. Bronner's is a very common, easy to find brand) to your window cleaner just until the buildup is cleared.

Microfiber cloths are also very effective for cleaning without even using chemical cleaners. I use microfiber cloths and plain water to clean my mirrors, and it works great. Follow the washing directions carefully for microfiber, and wash them by themselves to maintain their effectiveness. The ones in the auto section of WalMart or Target are much cheaper than the ones in the cleaning section, and they are exactly the same thing. If you have a Sam's Club membership, theirs are the cheapest - about $11 for 25 large ones versus $2-4 apiece for the ones in the cleaning section of most stores!

On final thought, both baking soda and vinegar are good for cleaning; however, remember that baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid. Cleaning recipes that combine the two will not be as effective, since they neutralize each other. Keep researching online; there are a ton of great recipes available. If you want to contact me directly, I think I have some stored in my computer that I would be happy to send you.

Best of luck,
S. L

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
It's amazing how nature provides so much of what we need and I applaud you for making this change.

Most Oils are antiseptic and inhibit the growth of bateria, lemon oil in particluar.

To create a spray for cleaning and disinfecting or a solution for mopping floors, etc
2 1/2 cups water
10 drops of lemon oil
8 drops of eucalyptus
5 drops of rosemary
3 drops of lemongrass
use to wip down cabinets, sinks, tubs, toilets, doorknobds, fixtures, etc to protect from bateria

1 C baking soda
2 drops of peppermint
5 drops of rosemary
3 drops of lavender

Fungus and Mold prevention
2 1/2 cups of water
10 drops of Tea Tree oil
add to spray bottle and shake well

For high QUALITY, NO filler oils, I trust this site

There are so many things you can do with essential oils, if you'd like more cleaning recipes, let me know.

I hope that helps and happy cleaning!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
I hvae used half white vinigar and half water before. I didnt like the mixture on glass or windows though. You can go over them when dry and rub the film and it does come off. I worked house cleanig for people who loved the vinigar and water mix and said it was the best cleanr. It does take a while to get used to the vinigar smell in your home.The tee tree would probably make a wonderful smell added to the vingar you could try it. I have also used lemon juice and water. I never felt comfortable about using the vinigar on by bathrooms. I have been told that vinigar will disinfect. I like to get a big bottle and just put a drop of bleach in it.I was told by a dentist I worked for that just a drop of bleach in water will do the job you dont need to use alot .That was what they used in the old days. It is not as toxic as the heavy comercial cleaners. Boy it is cheap to make! Oh baking soda and water mixed with water is great. Youi can mix it in a bottle.This is my other favorite. Store cleaners are expensive and toxic!
I hope this helps.
Good luck,

I have used vinegar & baking soda for countertops, sinks & my glass top stove and the mixture works great. I still have many store bought cleaners I am working my way through and once I am done with them I will be using the vinegar & water mixture as it is healthier and cheaper. I am not sure about the disinfecting status of the mixture though.

Have a GREAT day!


Hi M.,
Good for you! I make all of my own cleaning products too. Vinegar is great for so many things.

For a cheap disinfectant have you tried Hydrogen Peroxide? You can dilute it as well. If you are cleaning a bathroom or shower, you can use is to treat mold, bacteria and viruses. Plus, you can buy a bottle for about .50 cents.

Take care,

I too like the natural cleaning, it is so much safer for my son.
I found a store online that is cheeper than the department stores, and they make it here in Idaho.
The disinfectant uses thyme, tea tree, and lemon.

Good luck finding what you want for your house. I have included the link to more information if any one wants to check it out.


mother to Kai

I have heard that vinegar and water is a good cleaning agent on hardwood floors.

I also make disinfectant. The nice thing about my recipe is that it also doubles as a fruit & veggie wash (cleans dirt and kills bacteria at a fraction of the cost of the stuff you buy in the grocery store).

I wouldn't use tea tree oil on food, but it's great for floors/countertops. We use tea tree oil for cuts, scrapes, pimples and other skin irritants too.

1 Cup white vinegar
1 Cup water
1 Tablespoon baking soda (be careful adding to vinegar...it foams up!)
20 drops of grapefruit seed extract

Grapefruit seed extract is about $8-9 per bottle. I buy mine at Natural Grocers and I think its about 8 ounces, so one bottle lasts a LONG time.

I make an all purpose countertop / glass cleaner as well. If you want to make it a disinfecting one, just add some of the grapefruit seed extract or tea tree oil to it.


2 cups water
1/3 teaspoon castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner's brand--also cheap at Natural Grocers)
3 tablespoons white vinegar

I use vinegar & water. 1 to 1 solution. It works quite well.

You can use baking soda and/or vinegar for just about anything. The other responses are great... here are a few that they haven't said that I've used... I'm also still in the process of making the switch.
Use like drain-o
Pour some baking soda down the drain then vinegar follow by running lots of hot water...warm it up before you pour baking soda/vinegar down or use boiling water. It works on small clogs or done w/regular cleaning to help keep drains clog free (and helps if your kitchen sink ever gets smelly!!)
Laundry (i have friends that do this, but haven't tried yet)
Sprinkle some baking soda in when washing to help get rid of stains, smells, and soften fabric.
I've also read that vinegar can be used as a fabric softner, but it scares me a little.
vinegar/water mixed to clean windows...its not my fav yet, but my son likes to "help" clean windows and I don't want him near the windex
Those are all the things that i've tried.
Oh and yes tea tree oil is a disinfectant as well as vinegar.

I use vinegar in my bathroom It works great on keeping the mold out of my basement bathroom, ( we are renting The bathroom has no fan in it)

I clean/disinfect with tea tree oil. I buy it from Young Living and dilute it with water. Since I have started using young living products we rarely get sick and when we do it does not last long. I am a Young Living distributor - let me know if you want to try it.

Straight white vinegar works great. The smell is a little funcky for a short time but that quickly disappears.

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. Rosmary works well, but I recommend Thyme. A natural disinfectant. I know many people who use only vinegar & water for their household cleaning.

Bleach is sooooo toxic. Good job on responsible non-toxic cleaning & saving money!!!

Yes, vinegar will disinfect and the rosemary or tea tree oil will help with the smell. However, I've used vinegar before and even adding water and rosemary won't take away the smell of rotten eggs... Depending on what you use it on - say wood, you'll end up with a dull finish. They have natural disinfectant cleaners at Safeway for $3 that clean, smell nice and leave a nice shiny finish. I suggest buying that. The smell isn't worth it.

we use 1/2 vinegar w/ 1/2 water in a spray bottle. i read somewhere that vinegar is a better disinfectant than chlorine bleach on many kitchen germs. for scrubbing (i.e., ajax) we use baking soda on most everything. for the toilets - vinegar and baking soda combined - the carbon dioxide that's formed (the foaming) helps w/ scrubbing the bowl. like others, we're working our way through what's in the house (versus taking it to a household haz mat disposal) but I won't buy anything except bon ami (a non-toxic ajax like cleaner), vinegar, and baking soda again. the vinegar/baking soda has even worked great on some carpet stains! and actually, we have an unhealthy obsession w/germs in our homes (thanks advertising!) - keeping things clean and wiped down w/vinegar is more than enough. I do use a light bleach/water mixture if we've had a gastro-intestinal and that's probably overkill but if I've just done how much poop or vomit laundry? I'm not taking chances!

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