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Natural Disinfectants for Germ-Free Spring Cleaning

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Natural Disinfectants for Germ-Free Spring Cleaning

Spring is here and it’s time for some deep cleaning to banish winter germs from your home. While harsh chemicals may seem tempting, there are many natural disinfectants that can get the job done without exposing your family to toxins. Read on to learn about some of my favorite all-natural cleaning solutions for a healthier and germ-free spring cleaning.


One of the most versatile natural disinfectants is plain old white vinegar. It’s inexpensive, non-toxic, and highly effective at killing bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.

To make an all-purpose cleaner, mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water in a spray bottle. Use it to clean countertops, floors, windows, appliances, and other hard surfaces. The acidic vinegar dissolves grease and grime easily.

For extra disinfecting power against salmonella and E. coli, add 15-20 drops of tea tree oil to the vinegar solution. The tea tree oil provides added antibacterial benefits.

Vinegar can also keep cutting boards germ-free. Simply wipe them down with undiluted vinegar after each use.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another household staple that doubles as a natural disinfectant. At 3% concentration, it can kill a wide range of pathogens including salmonella, E. coli, and norovirus.

To sanitize surfaces, combine 1 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup white vinegar and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Mist onto counters, appliances, sinks, and other areas, then scrub with a paper towel or sponge. Rinse thoroughly.

For disinfecting wood cutting boards, wipe them with undiluted hydrogen peroxide. Let sit for several minutes before rinsing. The peroxide will bubble away contaminants.

Lemon Juice

Thanks to its acidic pH, lemon juice is a citrus-fresh disinfectant that can destroy cold and flu viruses. It’s also effective against salmonella and E. coli bacteria.

Mix equal parts lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. Use on cutting boards, countertops, and other kitchen surfaces. For heavily soiled areas, let it sit for a few minutes before wiping clean.

Lemon juice can also disinfect wood cutting boards. After each use, rub a cut lemon half over the surface, let sit 10 minutes, then rinse clean. The acidity kills germs while the vitamin C freshens the wood.

Castile Soap

Plant-based castile soaps make excellent natural cleaners. Unlike traditional soaps, castile soap is made from vegetable oils like olive, coconut, or hemp, and doesn’t contain petroleum-based ingredients.

Look for liquid castile soaps that contain thyme oil, as it provides extra disinfecting power. Mix 2 tablespoons of castile soap with 4 cups water in a spray bottle. Use on hard surfaces or as an all-purpose hand soap.

For heavy duty disinfection, make a stronger concentrate of 1/3 castile soap and 2/3 water. Scrub into surfaces and let sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. The thyme oil will kill SARS-CoV-2, E. coli, salmonella, and other germs.

Essential Oils

Many popular essential oils contain antimicrobial compounds and make excellent natural disinfectants. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Tea tree oil – Broad spectrum antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal. Add to vinegar solutions.

  • Eucalyptus oil – Antiviral. Use in spray cleaners.

  • Oregano oil – Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal. Add to castile soap solutions.

  • Thyme oil – Antiviral, antibacterial. Add to castile soap mixes.

  • Clove oil – Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal. Use in spray cleaners.

Only use 100% pure, high quality essential oils. Check that they are safe for cleaning and follow dilution guidelines. A little goes a long way for disinfecting.

Isopropyl Alcohol

For disinfecting surfaces that can’t tolerate bleach or vinegar, isopropyl alcohol is a good alternative. It kills a wide array of pathogens including coronavirus.

To make a 75% rubbing alcohol disinfecting solution:

  • 1 part 91% isopropyl alcohol
  • 1 part purified water
  • A few drops essential oil (optional for scent)

Mix together in a spray bottle. Mist onto surfaces and let air dry. It’s safe for disinfecting electronics like phones, remote controls, keyboards, and tablets.


With these all-natural solutions, you can give your home a germ-free spring cleaning without using harsh chemicals. They’re inexpensive to make, safe for families and pets, and highly effective at eliminating viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Be sure to label all bottles clearly and keep them out of reach of children.

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