When I started looking for ways to reduce toxins in my home I evaluated the cleaners and disinfectants I used.
I learned that the Lysol I had been using my whole life was full of toxins.
Ingredients like mipa-borate, ammonium hydroxide, and petroleum gases.
According to the Environmental Working Group, these chemicals can be hazardous to our skin, respiratory, and reproductive system.
Obviously, these ingredients aren’t safe for adults much less for kids so I looked for alternatives.
Note: I wrote this blog post prior to the 2020 outbreak and I’ve made updates by adding videos and additional resources. The information, recipes, and products I’ve listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease and of course in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Find the current EPA recommended cleaners here and CDC recommendations here.
Basic DIY Lysol Recipe
This is one of the strongest DIY Lysol recipes I found which includes several different essential oils but keep scrolling for more recipes including hand sanitizer.
Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are powerful ingredients recommended by the Journal of Hospital Infection for killing germs and viruses.
What You’ll Need:
- 16 oz glass bottle
- 12 oz 70% alcohol
- 1/2 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide
- 30 Drops Tea Tree essential oil
- 15 Drops Lemon essential oil
- 15 Drops Lavender essential oil
- 15 Drops Eucalyptus essential oil
Add all ingredients to the glass bottle and gently shake before spraying on surfaces or into the air. When using on surfaces leave wet for a few minutes and allow to air dry if possible.
Why I Use Essential Oils?
About the time I learned about the toxins in our household products was when I was getting into using essential oils so naturally, I looked for ways to incorporate them.
It was easy to find DIY recipes using essential oils because they are known for their germ-fighting abilities and are safe to use in your home.
They can be used for cleaning, DIY beauty recipes, boosting your immune system, reducing stress, and even in your garden.
I get most of my essential oils from Simply Earth (read my review here), Isagenix, and on Amazon (visit my Amazon shop here).
Want To Buy A Natural Disinfectant Instead Of Using Oils?
I realize that using essential oils may not be for everyone and you may need cleaners that have been “approved” so that you can use them at school or work.
Here are some natural and less toxic disinfectants that you can buy online or find at your local store.
*I am an affiliate for some of these products. Be sure to check the bottom of this post for other discounts on toxic-free products.*
Force Of Nature – is on the EPA’s List of Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19! It kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria with zero toxic chemicals.
Get $15 off & free shipping on Starter Kids and Bundles with code: BYEVIRUS
The Honest Company – natural hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays. Learn more and buy here
CleanWell – natural products using a Thymol-based formula that is EPA approved. Learn more and buy here
UV Light Sanitizers – these may be a viable toxin-free option for hard surfaces and fabrics but not to be used on your body. Learn more here and buy here
What To Do When Someone Is Sick In Your Home?
There are a number of less toxic things you can do to keep sickness from spreading to other family members without resorting to using chemicals in your home.
1.Wash Your Hands
Of course, the first thing is to have everyone regularly washing their hands several times a day and anytime they have come in contact with people who are sick.
Note: According to studies washing your hands with soap or detergent causes the virus to detach from the skin and fall apart. Watch the next video to see why you should use soap when you are at home and hand sanitizer when soap isn’t available.
2. Boost Immune System And Get Rid Of The Germs In The House
Since essential oils help boost your immune system and are great for disinfecting you can accomplish both at the same time.
When someone is sick in our house I immediately turn on the diffusers and wipe down surfaces with our homemade “Lysol” letting it sit on surfaces for a few minutes before wiping it with a clean cloth.
Be Sure To Have A Back-Up Diffuser
There is nothing worse than having your diffuser quit working when someone is sick in the house.
When someone is sick in my home we run the diffuser all day long.
Essential Oil Diffuser
So do yourself a favor and always have a backup essential oil diffuser.
Grab that diffuser if you see it under $20.
It works great. My daughters love how it changes colors and it’s easy to operate.
Stock Up On Your Essential Oils Ahead Of Time
The best thing to do is to have everything you need ahead of time.
If you don’t, you’ll be spraying Lysol because it’s easy to grab.
You can easily get single oils or to keep things simple you could purchase an immune-boosting blend to mix with water in a spray bottle or diffuser.
In the last year, I’ve bought most of my essential oils on Amazon (I’ve put some of the best brands in my shop here), Simply Earth, and Isagenix.
Related: How To Clean Your Home With Essential Oils
Simply Earth Subscription Box Full Of Everything You Need
If you are new to oils or just want to try something different then check out the Simply Earth Subscription Box.
Use my code STACYRUSSELLFREE to get a $40 gift card emailed to you after subscribing to your first box (subscription can be canceled anytime) and FREE shipping.
Each box is $100+ value compared to the big essential oil companies. Plus, you get a FREE Big Bonus Box your first month when you subscribe today.
(you can read my Simply Earth Reviews here)
Best Essential Oils For Killing Germs
These are some of the best single essential oils known for their ability to kill germs and bacteria.
If you have any of these on hand put a few drops in your diffuser while you are reading this. 🙂
Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Essential Oil
Has been researched and shown to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Studies show it may inhibit influenza virus entry into the host cell and can be used as a natural disinfectant to kill germs on surfaces and in the air.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Because of its antiseptic properties, some studies suggest that Frankincense can kill bacteria and viruses, and support healthy immune function in your overall health.
A lab study found that frankincense mixed with myrrh oil can be effective when used against pathogens.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Just a few drops into the air can help kill germs, relieve cough, and clear sinuses.
It has antimicrobial effects against many bacteria, including MRSA, viruses, and fungi.
Thyme Essential Oil
The constituents in thyme oil may protect from bacteria. According to the International Journal of Food Microbiology, thyme essential oil is potent enough to inhibit salmonella.
Lemon Essential Oil
It is thought that regular use of lemon oil cleaners around the house can help lower the chances of bacterial infections.
According to research, lemon essential oil is strong enough to inhibit bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Showed the best antibacterial activity against C. difficile. C.difficile is a bacterium that thrives in toilets, bathtubs, and other objects that may be in contact with feces.
Orange Essential Oil
Studies show the essential oil components of orange peels have antimicrobial activity.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
According to a recent 2018 study cinnamon essential oil and it’s constituents successfully inhibit bacteria by damaging their cell membrane.
Clove Essential Oil
Research shows that E.coli, acne-causing Staph aureus, and pneumonia-causing Pseudomonas aeurignosa are especially sensitive to clove essence.
Related: Over 100 Practical and Easy Essential Oils Recipes You Can Use Today
Best Essential Oil Premade Blends For Germ Fighting
These are 3 premade blends I personally use. They are great to have on hand to take care of all your germ-fighting needs.
- Isagenix Defense Shield (get it here)
- Simply Earth Defender Immune Boost Blend (get it here)
- Plant Therapy Germ Fighter (get it here)
Natural Lysol Recipes
Basic recipes for making your own DIY Lysol include the core essential oils that are great for killing germs plus others to make the scent just the way you like it.
DIY Disinfectant Spray Recipe #1
- 8 oz glass spray bottle
- ½ cup alcohol (70%)
- 9 drops of Clove essential oil
- 9 drops of Tea Tree essential oil
- 3 drops of Cinnamon Bark essential oil
Combine alcohol and essential oils in a glass container. Shake vigorously before use.
Melissa at CleanMySpace.com has a quick DYI disinfect spray tutorial using Thyme Essential Oil.
This recipe is our regular spray recipe for around the home or as a hand spray in the car.
Use alcohol instead of water for maximum disinfectant power.
Justine at Shine From The Inside created this recipe including the following oils in her spray:
- 2 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 3-4 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
- 1-2 Drops Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil
- 1-2 Drops Thyme Essential Oil
- 2 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Tonetra Smith shared her recipe and video below including the following ingredients:
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Vinegar
- 10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 10 Drops Orange Essential Oil
Related: DIY Disinfectant Fabric Spray Recipes
Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipes
I see hand sanitizers in every store but they often have toxic chemicals. They are great if you are in a pinch and need something right away but for long-term use try using your essential oils.
Not only will you sanitize your hands but boost your immune system, too.
Recipe #1 Simply Earth Recipe
This recipe can be found at Simply Earth.
- 2oz Aloe Vera Juice
- 2 tbsp rubbing alcohol, vodka, or witch hazel
- 30 drops essential oil
1. Add all ingredients to your 2oz spray bottle.
2. Replace the spray cap and shake well.
To use: Shake well. Spray onto hands and rub hands together until absorbed.
TheSpruce.com’s easy recipe for hand sanitizer.
- 2/3 Cup 99% Rubbing Alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
- 1/3 Cup Aloe Vera Gel (get it here)
- 8-10 Drops Essential Oil, optional (such as lavender, vanilla, peppermint, grapefruit)
- bowl and spoon
- recycled liquid soap or hand sanitizer bottle
Mix the ingredients together and use the funnel to pour them into the bottle. Screw the pump back onto the bottle and it’s ready to use.
Dr. Axe’s homemade hand sanitizer recipe.
DIY Hand Sanitizer Spray
Topnotch.com published several recipes for hand sanitizers and I especially like this spray recipe.
- 12 fl oz 99% rubbing alcohol
- 2 teaspoons glycerin/glycerol
- 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
- 3 fl oz Boiled water (cooled)
- Empty 16 oz spray bottle
- Mix 12 fl oz of alcohol with 2 teaspoons of glycerol in spray bottle. (glycerol is important to prevent the alcohol from drying out your skin, however, if you can’t get hold of any, continue the process but make sure you moisturize your hands after sanitizing.)
- Mix in 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and 3 fluid ounces of distilled water.
- Shake before using.
Homemade Hand Soap Recipe
Simply Earth homemade foaming hand soap recipe.
Shopping Cart Disinfecting Spray
Diffuser Blends For Immune Support And Killing Germs
Diffusering essential oils can be very powerful and help boost your immune system. Try one of these blends in your diffuser or select a premade blend the next time someone is sick in your home.
#1 Diffuser Blend For Sick Kids
Make this master blend by AromaheadBlog then add 10 drops of the blend to your diffuser when you need to use it.
- 50 Drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
- 25 Drops Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- 25 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 13 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
What are your favorite DIY recipes using essential oils for cleaning and disinfecting around your home?
How much Germ Fighter would you use in this recipe?
Hi Dionne, I have a small spray bottle and usually put about 20 drops in with water.
However, you might find this article by plant therapy helpful. They mention Germ Destroyer when using it for kids. https://www.planttherapy.com/blog/2013/04/04/best-multi-purpose-cleaner-ever/
I will update this post because I actually have both.
Also, I have a new oil called Defender by Simply Earth that I think will work about the same.
Stacy this is such great information! Isn’t it great there are really healthy and safe alternatives to toxic cleaners out there? Thank you so much for sharing some helpful recipes and tips!
Thanks for commenting. Yes, it’s great to have alternatives and that more people are learning about them.
Would witch hazel work in place of water?
Since many people use it for cleaning and on their skin I bet it would be great to add to your DIY Lysol.
Amazing tips you have mentioned