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Use Natural Disinfectants for a Germ-Free Spring Clean

March 4, 2024

Use Natural Disinfectants for a Germ-Free Spring Clean

Spring is a time for renewal and fresh starts. As the weather warms up, I like to do a deep clean of my home to banish the germs of winter and welcome the freshness of spring. However, commercial cleaners and disinfectants often contain harsh chemicals that can negatively impact health and the environment. That’s why I rely on natural disinfectants to get my home spick and span while avoiding toxic ingredients.

Why Use Natural Disinfectants?

Conventional disinfectants like bleach, ammonia, and antibacterial cleaners contain chemicals that can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to headaches, asthma, and other health issues. Many conventional cleaners also contribute to indoor air pollution.

Natural disinfectants made from plant-based ingredients like essential oils, vinegar, and tea tree oil can eliminate germs without exposing you and your family to worrisome chemicals. They are also biodegradable and better for the environment. Here are some key benefits of using natural disinfectants:

  • Safer for health: Natural disinfectants are non-toxic and don’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute indoor air. They won’t trigger asthma attacks, allergies, or other health issues like conventional cleaners.

  • Kid and pet friendly: You don’t have to worry if kids or pets are exposed to natural disinfectants. They are gentle enough to use around young children and animals.

  • Better for the environment: Natural cleaners break down quickly and won’t persist in the environment. They are safer for waterways and wildlife compared to conventional disinfectants.

  • Cost effective: Many natural disinfectants like vinegar and baking soda are very affordable. You can also easily make your own natural cleaning solutions.

Top 5 Natural Disinfectants for Spring Cleaning

Here are my top picks for effective, non-toxic disinfectants to use this spring:

1. White Vinegar

Vinegar is a versatile disinfectant and cleaning agent. It can kill 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of germs, including flu virus strains. Mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water to clean and disinfect surfaces. The acidic vinegar cuts through grease and grime.

2. Tea Tree Oil

The antiseptic powers of tea tree oil make it a potent natural disinfectant. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to all-purpose cleaner or mix 5-10 drops into a spray bottle filled with water. Tea tree oil works well for sanitizing countertops, doorknobs, and other surfaces. Don’t ingest it or use undiluted on skin.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

As a powerful oxidizing agent, hydrogen peroxide destroys bacteria, viruses, and stubborn mold and mildew. Use a 3% solution, available at any drugstore, and let it sit for at least one minute before wiping clean. Hydrogen peroxide is safe for cleaning and disinfecting most surfaces.

4. Lemon Juice

The citric acid in lemon juice cuts through grease and kills germs. Mix equal parts lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping down counters, appliances, mirrors, and other areas. The fresh, zesty scent of lemon is an added bonus!

5. Essential Oils

Many essential oils like clove, thyme, cinnamon leaf, and oregano oils naturally deter germs with their antimicrobial compounds. Add a few drops of your chosen disinfecting oil to an all-purpose cleaner or diffuse the oils in the air to purify. Always dilute essential oils before using on surfaces.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Here is a room-by-room checklist to keep your spring cleaning on track using natural disinfectants:


  • Clean countertops with diluted tea tree oil or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Scrub down the sink and faucet with baking soda.
  • Disinfect cutting boards with lemon juice solution.
  • Remove grease from appliances using vinegar.
  • Spot clean cabinets and drawers.
  • Sweep and mop floors with vinegar solution.


  • Scrub the tub, tiles, sink, and toilet with baking soda paste.
  • Disinfect surfaces with diluted tea tree oil.
  • Remove soap scum using vinegar.
  • Clean mirrors and windows using vinegar or lemon juice mix.
  • Mop and sanitize floors with a hydrogen peroxide solution.

Common Areas

  • Dust furniture using a microfiber cloth.
  • Vacuum upholstery and carpets thoroughly.
  • Mop hard floors with diluted vinegar or tea tree oil mix.
  • Disinfect doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls with diluted hydrogen peroxide.
  • Open windows to air out rooms when using strongly scented natural disinfectants.


  • Wash all linens, curtain, pillows, etc on the highest heat setting appropriate for the fabrics. Add 1⁄2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle as a natural fabric softener and static cling reducer.
  • Clean the exterior of the washing machine using diluted vinegar solution. Run an empty hot cycle with 2 cups of vinegar to disinfect the interior.


Natural disinfectants like vinegar, essential oils, and lemon juice allow me to banish germs safely without using harsh chemicals. As I gear up for spring cleaning this season, I look forward to sprucing up my home using these effective, non-toxic solutions. With the right natural disinfectants and a bit of elbow grease, I can welcome the freshness of spring with a clean, healthy home.

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