DIY Homemade Cleaners: Disinfectant

Making your own cleaners can be fun and economical.  This series is all about must-have ingredients, recipes {free printable}labels {free printable}, and how to make homemade cleaners. I hope it’s giving you some ideas for how you can simply make your own cleaners at home!  Moving down the list, today I’m sharing how to make a disinfecting cleaner.  I don’t use a disinfectant on all surfaces, but I like to have an effective (and natural) recipe for one when I need it.

Disinfectant Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar (vinegar alone has natural germ-killing properties)
  • 2 cups of hot water (hot water to dissolve the ingredients properly)
  • 1 teaspoon Arm + Hammer Washing soda (not necessary, but I like the extra cleaning kick that it provides to the solution)
  • 10 drops Melaleuca essential oil (also known as tea tree oil) – this is a natural oil that is notorious for killing germs.  Yes, the tea tree oil has a strong scent, but it also has strong cleaning power.

Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle, spray surfaces, let sit for 10 minutes and wipe clean with a cleaning cloth or paper towel.

A couple notes on homemade cleaners:  Generally vinegar and castile soap are not a great combination, but this ratio and with this amount of water, I have found that it is a great combination and adds a nice punch to a regular floor cleaner.  It’s a good idea to test any homemade cleaners in an inconspicuous spot to make sure that it’s safe on the surface you are intending to use it on.  Vinegar and granite and/or marble don’t mix – the acid in the vinegar will eat away at your granite and marble.

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Click here to see all the posts in this series.



  1. I know when you use tee tree oil you need to let it sit for 10 minutes. Is there an alternative natural disinfectant that doesn’t require the 10 minute waiting period?

  2. If I remember correctly eucalyptus oil is also a good disinfectant.

  3. I use white vinegar and a bit of bi-carb soda to clean out blocked drains in the sink and basins!

    Thanks for the great tip!

  4. Have u ever heard of making your own washing soda by just putting baking soda in the oven on 400 Fahrenheit? do u know if it works?

    • L.L. I make my own washing soda all the time that way!Its great to just buy one large bag of baking soda at Costco and have it double as washing soda.

  5. Where can I buy tea tree oil? Would Walmart/Target or a grocery store carry this or will I have to look for a specialty store? Thank you!!

  6. Hi- I know I’m late to this post, but I just discovered your site and have been loving it! I shared it with my husband and we’ve started implementing your cleaning routine (or a modified version of it, anyway) and think we may finally achieve the dream of a clean and organized house! Anyway, my question: how long can this keep for? Thanks!

  7. Kristen says:

    Hey I was wondering with your recipe and since you are using Essential Oils do you have to use a glass spray bottle or no? Just curious. I’ve been looking into making my own cleaners with the EO’s and everything I’ve read says to use glass spray bottles.

  8. I’d love to try out this recipe, but I am wondering if this will keep for a while? So that you can make some and use it for a couple of months before it goes “inactive” and you need to make a new batch?

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