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Coronavirus: 3 Homemade Recipes for Disinfecting Surfaces #FlattenTheCurve

In this article, we will cover how you can make your own surface disinfectants three different ways to help you restock your cleaning closet, disinfect your home, make those countertops shine, and give you some peace of mind.

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The current outbreak of the 2019 Coronavirus brought with it both an uptick in frenzied cleaning, as well as the public rushing to stock up on all things claiming to help disinfect viral infiltrators.

And, while it is great that people are proactively disinfecting their homes and workplaces, this has made finding appropriate cleaning agents difficult for some, leading people to look into making effective cleaning items for themselves.

Luckily, there are some common household ingredients that can be properly combined to make solutions that studies suggest are effective for disinfecting viruses.

In this article, we will cover how you can make your own surface disinfectants three different ways to help you restock your cleaning closet, disinfect your home, make those countertops shine, and give you some peace of mind.

Which cleaning agents are effective against Coronavirus?

Human coronaviruses tend to be pretty persistent on certain surfaces and may hang around for quite a while on inanimate objects, just waiting for someone to touch, hold, or accidentally bump into it.

Surfaces such as metal, glass, or plastic may be of particular concern, as human coronaviruses may last as long as 9 days on objects made out of these materials. Although, all commonly touched surfaces, regardless of the material, should be thoroughly disinfected regularly to help reduce the risk of viral spreading. Many of the commonly used cleaning products at stores seem to work well to disinfect viruses -  if you can get your hands on them. And, while not every product has been officially studied on this exact form of coronavirus (COVID-19), the EPA has issued some guidance as to which cleaning products in the stores are likely effective against the coronavirus: Here.

If you already have some of the items on this list on hand, you should go ahead and use these products first before diving into mixing up your own.

But, if your cleaning supplies are dwindling and you are ready to make your own, studies suggest that solutions of 62%-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1%-0.5% sodium hypochlorite (found in bleach) are effective disinfectors for human coronaviruses.

These three ingredients are relatively inexpensive, may be easier to find than your usual go-to all-purpose cleaning agent right now, and can be diluted down with water to give you the strength you need.Choose one of the three formulas below to mix up based on what you have on hand at the moment, which items you can find at your store, or just whichever one you prefer to clean with.

Formula 1: Homemade Bleach Surface Disinfecting Solution

1 Part Bleach (most available household bleaches are 5-6% sodium hypochlorite, check your label for strengths and use one in this range) 9 Parts Water *Final Product is 0.5% Sodium Hypochlorite*

Formula 2: Homemade Hydrogen Peroxide Surface Disinfecting Solution

  1. 1 Part 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (most available household Hydrogen Peroxide solutions are 3%, check your label for strengths and use one of this strength)
  2. 5 Parts Water
  3. *Final Product is 0.5% Hydrogen Peroxide*

Formula 3: Homemade Alcohol Surface Disinfecting Solution

  1. 9 Parts 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (Check your Isopropyl Alcohol label for strengths and use one of this strength)
  2. 1 Part Water
  3. *Final Product is 63% Alcohol*

Instructions for making all solutions:

  1. Wearing gloves and eye protection, carefully mix together both ingredients of your chosen solution to dilute the cleaning solution.
  2. Funnel into a clean spray container for easy use.
  3. Alternately: You can funnel the ingredients directly into the final container and gently mix.
  4. When not in use store in a cool, dry area away from open flame and out of reach of small children and pets.

Cleaning VS Disinfecting

Cleaning and disinfecting are different, but both should still be done to thoroughly remove “germs” from your household items.

Cleaning may be done with soap and water, and generally refers to the removal of visible dirt, grease, or grime from surfaces.

Cleaning should be done before disinfecting if a surface is visibly soiled.

Cleaning does not “kill” germs such as bacteria or viruses, but it may reduce their numbers by physically removing them.

Disinfecting should be done next, and this does not mean you are getting rid of the visible dirtiness of a surface, but that you are applying a disinfectant to help “kill” the germs on a surface after it has been cleaned.

These two should be done together, as just spraying a disinfecting agent over a visibly dirty surface may not sufficiently disinfect the area. So, clean, then disinfect.

Where should you use disinfectants?

These 3 solutions above are meant for surfaces, and may not be appropriate for fabric, floors, or carpets due to the risk of staining or bleaching.

Keep these solutions away from your skin, eyes, and mouth. Use these solutions like you would use an all-purpose cleaning solution, targeting places that are touched often.

High-risk surfaces that you may want to use these solutions on include: handles, doorknobs, sinks, countertops, desks, light switches, and toilets.

Apply the solution generously to thoroughly cover the surface, and then allow to dry fully.

Storage and safe usage of homemade disinfecting solutions

All cleaning agents, homemade or not, should be stored out of reach of children and pets.

Be sure to wear disposable gloves and eye protection when making and using cleaning agents to avoid irritation to your hands.

Open a window to allow proper ventilation when using cleaning agents, and let the product dry fully before touching the surface.

In general, disinfecting agents should not be mixed as there is sometimes a potential for dangerous chemical reactions to occur, as in the case of ammonia or chlorine reacting with bleach to form dangerous ammonia gas or chlorine gas.

Disinfecting agents like bleach may have the potential to stain or discolor fabrics, carpet, or surfaces that they are applied to, be aware of the risks of staining or spot test to see if the agent may damage your furniture, items, or surfaces before applying.


With the current looming threat of coronavirus leading everyone to stock up their cleaning supplies, it can be difficult finding your go-to products.

So, with a little savvy and know-how, you can safely and easily whip up some of your own, likely with ingredients you already have on hand.

Follow the instructions in this article to make cleaning solutions which are in-line with the strengths recommended by studies as disinfection agents, to avoid making a solution which is too weak, or too strong.

Even homemade cleaning solutions can be irritating to your skin or eyes, so take care when making these dilutions and wear gloves and protective eyewear while mixing and using.

Making sure that you are disinfecting with validated ingredients at the right strength is a great way to make sure you are doing everything you can to stop the spread of infectious diseases, so grab your measuring cups and a few empty spray bottles and have your counters and high-contact surfaces squeaky clean in no time.

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