There are some people who wish they could shower in disinfectant. Often times, those people have children, which harbor germs like nobody’s business. There are others who simply loathe public restrooms, public transport, bars, restaurants, and other places that contain bacteria in all sorts of places. The point is that while showering in disinfectant may seem like an attractive plan to be germ-free, it isn’t the healthiest plan for your skin or overall health.
Most disinfectant sprays that you purchase in the store contain harmful ingredients. If you are conscious of this and desire to clean the home in a non-toxic way, there are DIY options that also help you kill germs. Certain chemical disinfectants can disrupt endocrine function and lead to numerous respiratory illnesses. Not to mention the intimidating caution warnings about the product touching your face or eye area. There are chemical-free, healthy alternatives to classic disinfectant sprays, and the recipe in the article is an excellent place to start.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 70% isopropyl alcohol is now woven into the fabric of our everyday language. Typically, isopropyl alcohol ranges from 60-90% alcohol content, with 10-40% being purified water. Isopropyl alcohol works fast to fight against bacteria, viruses, and fungi, with higher concentrations being desirable because of the bactericidal nature. 70% solutions, however, easily penetrate the cell walls of microorganisms more completely. Once isopropyl alcohol enters the cell, it coagulates the proteins and causes the microorganism to die. Higher alcohol percentages may kill bacteria, but require a longer time period for disinfection. That’s why many experts advocate for 70% isopropyl alcohol for proper disinfecting.
Is vinegar a disinfecting agent? Although many people use vinegar as an all-natural cleaner, it is more so a cleaner than a disinfectant. As a cleaner, white vinegar contains 5% acetic acid, which works to dissolve grime, dirt, and debris. As a disinfectant, it may only kill or reduce certain types of bacteria, including salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and E. Coli. Should you want to eliminate odors and remove dirt, however, white vinegar is an excellent agent for the job. It’s best to read up about which surfaces to clean and which to avoid with white vinegar, as it may do more harm than good. You don’t want to clean the wrong surface and have to replace it!
Not only do essential oils make a DIY cleaning spray smell amazing, but they also exhibit antibacterial and disinfecting properties. Which essential oils do you choose, though? Well, that will depend on how you want your spray to smell. Great antibacterial essential oils include tea tree, lavender, cinnamon, rosemary, peppermint, and clove. Lavender and lemon essential oil make an excellent pair, but so do peppermint and orange essential oil.
Homemade Antibacterial Spray
- 1.5 cups 70% isopropyl alcohol
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
- 15 drops orange essential oil
- Pour all of the ingredients into a glass spray bottle, screw on the top, and shake to combine. It’s important to use glass because both vinegar and alcohol can eat away at plastic, and you don’t want any spills.
- Spray when ready to use, but make sure that the ingredients are appropriate for the surfaces you clean.