Natural Disinfectant / Bleach Cleaner {31 days to cleaner living}

Germs are kinda gross. And while I think that a healthy body can often times fight off many different types of viruses and bacteria, I’m not one to test my body (or my families). We like to share here in our house – but sickness is something we try to keep to ourselves as well.

I gave up bleach* years ago, and that seems to be the go-to standard for killing everything around. The other option is anti-bacterial soaps and sprays that contain things like triclosan and other chemicals to kill the germs. I prefer to avoid both.

natural disinfectant

When we have an illness that strikes our house (hello stomach bug and strep throat that hit last month), or I’ve been in the kitchen dealing with raw meats on the counter, I grab just a couple of bottles from my natural cleaning kit.

Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) and Vinegar

I keep a spray bottle of both in the cupboard and never actually mix them together. If you do, the hydrogen loses all it’s……hydrogen. Or something.

Just note that the hydrogen peroxide needs to be kept as a single ingredient and stay in a dark-colored bottle, preferably the one you bought it in. (I just found it a couple of weeks ago IN a spray bottle already. Previously, I just bought a spray nozzle and screwed it right on to the top instead of the cap)

To use:

1. Spray hydrogen peroxide over surface.

2. Spray vinegar over surface.

3. Let sit for a couple of seconds and wipe clean.


  • When I’m washing off things like door knobs, light switches, and toys, I get a cloth wet with vinegar and just follow the sprayed hydrogen peroxide with a wipe of the cloth.
  • You can also add in 10-20 drops of tea tree oil to each cup of vinegar in the bottle for extra anti-bacterial/anti-fungal power.


*if you’re still needing bleach for whitening clothes, try a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, and water as found on Crafty Little Gnome. Spraying the clothes and directly line drying will help boost whitening power as well.


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Also? I don’t have my own laboratory so I’ve never been able to research the effectiveness of this cleaner or figure out how it works compared to bleach. But in our home, this is the alternative we use.

What do you use to disinfect your home?

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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.


  1. I used this method when I was potty training my kids and had to clean out their potty chairs (or occasional accidents). But I haven’t really used it since- I find vinegar with a liberal dose of tea tree oil, hot soapy water, and good food handling practices to be sufficient.

  2. Jessica says:

    THANK YOU! I just bought some white towels for my house, because my mother-in-law suggested it. She said…that way you can just bleach them when they get dingy! And I thought, great! Then after I bought them, my growing natural-green consciousness realized, oh no! I’m trying to stay away from things like bleach! You’ve just solved that by reminding me that there are in fact natural ways to bleach…and disinfect.

    Thank you so much for all of the information you put out there for the rest of us. I hope you know you are a direct answer to prayer today. I’ve been asking the Lord for help in this area as I try to go natural in my new home. We’re preparing to start having kids and I want to prepare a natural home for them! Thanks!

  3. I just keep a spray bottle of diluted white vinegar, with drops of tea tree oil in it. Occasionally, I’ll add wintergreen as well, because I like the smell. :) I was already aware of the sun’s bleaching power because people in the cloth diapering world talk about “sunning” the diapers to whiten them – in fact, when your little one is still breastfed and not on solids, the sun will take out “breast milk poop” COMPLETELY. It’s pretty amazing. I’ll have to check out the peroxide for laundry, though, since now that my Wee Goon is older and eating food, I’m starting to run into staining and I don’t want to use bleach. :(

  4. I’ve heard/read that you can dilute hydrogen peroxide 1:1 with water to stretch it even more, and it still disinfects, but is that not true? That’s what I’ve been using, but if it’s not actually working, then I will definitely switch to straight hydrogen peroxide – it’s so cheap anyway! I just saw those spray bottles at Meijer and thought they were great!

    donielle Reply:

    @Emily @ Live Renewed, I don’t know about diluting it. Everything I’ve read says that if you take it out of the opaque container, or add other ingredients, it loses it’s “life” quite quickly.

  5. I started using hydrogen peroxide a few years back after reading a Mercola article on it. I do kind of the same thing you do – I just screw on a spray nozzle to the bottle it comes in, and keep that under my kitchen sink. It’s nice to have around when my crazy raw meat germ phobia kicks in and I have to douse everything in peroxide before I feel safe again. I’ve never used both vinegar and peroxide at the same time, though… seems like you should just need one or the other? Funny – I actually just posted about my favorite uses of vinegar! Thanks for the article – the previous owners of our house left a bottle of bleach in the laundry room, and there it still sits. I should just toss it – not sure why I don’t! I guess I just hate the thought of it going out and contaminating the world. :) But I guess eventually someone is either going to use it or toss it, so I might as well toss it!

  6. I used this for years to clean rat and rabbit cages. It really killes the smell of urine buildup!

  7. When cleaning up after raw meat; I rub the area down with salt then finish with a vinegar/ tea tree oil spray. The salt dries out the bad germs killing them and the spray is extra back up. The spray is also necessary for cleanning up the salt. :)

  8. Hey Donelle,
    Just a couple of things I want to point out for you. Number one, I have researched the hydrogen peroxide and vinegar products used as a disinfectant and although I have no laboratory studies to show it, I understand it is an effective disinfectant. However, in chemistry, when two products are mixed, they often become a completely different chemical as is the case with these two. They produce an extremely toxic gas when mixed together. It can be extremely toxic to small children and elderly. That includes spraying them on the same surface even if you are spraying them separately. Please be careful. Also, hydrogen peroxide will remove color from fabrics much like bleach. (It used to be used to bleach people’s hair) So, be careful. And… vinegar is 5% acetic acid and corrosive to natural stone so it will etch the finish of granite counter tops or anything similar. So, be careful. I use a lot of vinegar and baking soda to clean along with basic soap and water. When a disinfectant is needed, I use Vital Oxide. You can find it online and read up on it, It is expensive but if you read the label the dilution ratios make it very economical. A gallon lasts me at least 6 to 9 months. It is colorless, odorless, does not remove color from anything, is non corrosive and is safe enough to use on a food contact surface without rinsing, while strong enough to kill many harmful bacteria, viruses and blood borne pathogens. I hope you will check it out!! Good luck in all your endeavors!! And best of health, Billie

  9. I would like to suggest one of most effective and powerful natural disinfectants in the world, Ceylon Cinnamon Leaf Oil. It smells great and needs very little (1% Cinnamon Oil to water or hydrogen peroxide) oil to make an amazing disinfectant that kills everything. It is also well known to give you a quick pick me if you have the winter blues and keeps away black ants and other insects. And it’s virtually stain proof unlike bleach.


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