There are a ton of people making their own hand sanitizing gel, sprays, cleaners, etc. But what is actually effective regarding the disinfecting of surfaces? Now, I’m a huge believer in green cleaning products. But a cleaning product is very different than a disinfectant.
The CDC has the following information regarding cleaning vs. disinfecting on their website:
- Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
(You can find more information from the CDC about cleaning and disinfecting here.)
So what to do when you can’t find something that you think is safe like Lysol or Clorox wipes? Well, while those are bleach or alcohol or hydrogen peroxide based (three of the four things that can disinfect and sanitize a surface to kill this virus, the other is ammonia) they also have artificial fragrances and the sprays have propellants. Some of these can be harmful to both humans and house pets.
So how can you have a clean product? How can you even make something that will work?
According to the CDC, Center for Disease Control, you need to use a 70% solution with isopropyl alcohol, a diluted bleach solution, an ammonia solution (do not suggest you use this at home, there are better options) and 3% hydrogen peroxide.
(You can find more information about specific products aside from alcohol and bleach here.)
Now, if you are one of the lucky ones that can find bottles of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 3-6% hydrogen peroxide then you can make your own cleaning solutions and stop running around looking for those Clorox wipes! Just be sure to not dilute them further. The percentages listed are very important to their efficacy!
Homemade Disinfectant Spray
Please note, the CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves that you throw away OR reusable gloves that you dedicate to specific disinfecting and nothing else OR wash your hands immediately after cleaning. And given the crisis we are in please leave the gloves to people who are sick and our medical community!
- 3-6% hydrogen peroxide
- Spray Bottle
Pour hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spray over surfaces, entirely.* Allow to sit 4-5 minutes. Wipe down with clean towel.
If you’d like to finish with a nice scent then combine the following:
- 1/4 c. white vinegar
- 1 3/4 c. water
- 30 drops essential oil (I like lemon or orange!)
*NOTE: hydrogen peroxide can bleach things!! That’s why we use it to lighten our hair. If you are worried about it discoloring your counters, or if you have porous counters (stone, marble, etc.) please test a small section first!
Stay safe, Drizzlers. Wash your hands, clean your doorknobs/light switches/kitchen cabinet handles/fridge and oven handles….and more. Take care of each other and don’t forget to smile at your neighbors.