It’s important to note that sanitizing something is different than merely cleaning it.
Cleaning gets rid of germs and reduces the chance of infection. Disinfecting uses a chemical to get rid of germs that might remain after cleaning.
Both cleaning and disinfecting are important to remove the chance of spreading disease.
CDC and FDA recommended disinfectants
- ⬥ Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
- ⬥ Bleach
- ⬥ Alcohol (at least 60% strength)
Hand and surface sanitizer recipes
1. Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
Use either full strength or diluted to a 0.5% solution to decontaminate surfaces.
- ⬥ 1/4 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
- ⬥ 1 cup of water
- ⬥ Spray bottle
Combine and shake to mix well. Use as a hand sanitizer or to clean a surface by spraying, then letting the solution sit for a minute before wiping the excess.
- ⬥ 2/3 cup isopropyl alcohol (70%-99%)
- ⬥ 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel
- ⬥ Well sealed dispenser
Combine alcohol with the aloe vera gel in a tightly sealed dispenser. When applying to your skin as a hand sanitizer let it sit for at least 30 seconds to kill any germs or viruses.
Authorities recommend the following strengths:
- ⬥ 70% isopropyl alcohol (CDC) 75% (FDA)
- ⬥ 60% ethanol alcohol (CDC)
It’s also possible to combine alcohol with water, but it can dry your skin out, hence the reason for using aloe vera gel.
To use alcohol as a cleaner mix with water, ensuring that you don’t go below the recommended strengths to ensure that you’re adequately sanitizing surfaces.
Hint: Alcohol can easily evaporate, so make sure the container you use is well sealed.
3. Bleach (cleaner only)
- ⬥ 1/3 cup of bleach
- ⬥ 1 gallon of cold water
- ⬥ Bucket or another container
Always wear gloves when using bleach. Use within 24 hours of mixing as the solution can weaken over time.
Apply to high touch surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, remotes, countertops, faucets, etc. letting it sit for at least 30 seconds (preferably 10 minutes).
Be cautious when using as bleach will damage some materials.
Note: NEVER mix with ammonia as it can create toxic vapors.
Gentle sanitizing solutions
Bleach, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide are effective, but they can also be harsh.
The following cleaning and sanitizing recipes are multi-purpose and can be made with items that may already be in your pantry.
4. Vinegar mix
Vinegar is a good multi-purpose cleaner, however, don’t use it on marble and granite; its acidic nature could etch these natural surfaces.
A good mixture that will clean and disinfect is:
- ⬥ 1 ¼ Cup Water
- ⬥ ¼ Cup White Vinegar
- ⬥ ¼ Cup Vodka
- ⬥ 15 Drops Peppermint or Lemon Essential Oil
Add each ingredient to a spray bottle (glass works best), then shake to combine. Let sit at least 10 minutes to give the disinfectant time to work. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
Sodium borate (Borax) is a great, natural cleaner that works well on tough stains.
- ⬥ ¾ Cup Borax
- ⬥ 1 Cup White Vinegar
- ⬥ 10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
- ⬥ 5 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
As before, add all of the ingredients to a spray bottle, then shake to combine well. Let sit 10 minutes before rinsing or wiping.
Hint: This works well as a toilet scrub – it will clean, deodorize and leave your bathroom smelling wonderful
6. Simple countertop cleaner
As you know, kitchens tend to get dirty quickly, so you will tend to use a lot of cleaners to keep things tidy and clean.
That’s why this DIY cleaner is great for this room; it’s inexpensive and easy to make.
- ⬥ Hydrogen peroxide
- ⬥ Water
Combine equal parts of both ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to combine.
Spray and wipe as needed, just as you would with a commercial cleaner.
7. Disinfectant wipes
If you’re a fan of disposable wipes but don’t like the waste, here’s the perfect recipe for you.
- ⬥ 1 cup water, filtered
- ⬥ 1 cup white distilled vinegar
- ⬥ ½ cup alcohol
- ⬥ 15 drops lemon essential oil
- ⬥ 8 drops lavender essential oil
- ⬥ 4 drops bergamot essential oil
- ⬥ 1 mason jar
- ⬥ 15-20 pieces of cloth, cut into small rectangles or small washcloths/rags
Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar and shake to combine. Then, add the cloth or washrags to the jar and press down on them until they are saturated.
Store in a dark place.
To use them, pull out what you need, squeezing out the excess back into the jar. Put the cloths in the wash when done.
- ⬥ Glass
- ⬥ Stainless steel
- ⬥ Tile
- ⬥ Linoleum
- ⬥ Porcelain
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