Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

By Rachel Tiemeyer
August 20, 2011
Simple and effective, this homemade disinfectant works wonders and saves you money!

In an attempt to reduce toxins in our homes and save money, we’ve  become official wannabe hippie pioneer women.  Well, at least I like to think I am.  Polly, have you been converted yet?

Below is my homemade disinfectant recipe, which I found here.  I use this on my kitchen counters and bathrooms.  I just spray it generously on the counter/toilet/etc and wipe with a damp cloth.  The tea tree oil makes it smell just like something that is clean and lends an extra antibacterial property to the concoction.  I would err on the side of putting a few more drops than you think needed, since the smell dissipates over time.

Simple and effective, this homemade disinfectant works wonders and saves you money!

Wondering where to get the products mentioned in the recipe? Borax is in the laundry detergent aisle at Walmart. However, tea tree oil and castile soap is cheapest on Vitacost. (If you use my referral code link when you make the purchase, you’ll get $10 off too!) You can also get it at a health food store, but it does cost more.

The best part?  Each 32 fl oz bottle only costs about $.20!  Be sure to rinse and save any of your cleaning agent spray bottles, since I’ve found that the ones from Walmart do not work.  I repeat…do not buy the spray bottles at Walmart.

Like this DIY all-natural household product? Try another thrifty, non-toxic solution that’s worked for us!

Homemade Disinfectant All-Purpose Spray


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons borax
  • 6 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 1/2 cups hot water (I use distilled water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid castille soap
  • a few drops of tea tree oil


  1. Mix all ingredients in a pitcher, stirring well.
  2. Using a funnel, pour mixture into spray bottles.

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8 replies
  1. Adriane says:

    This combination of products will not be effective. Vinegar is an acid and castille soap is a base. By combining the two, you unsaponify the soap and the products essentially cancel each other out. See this post by Lisa Bronner for reference: Ihttp://www.lisabronner.com/a-word-of-caution-about-vinegar-and-castile-soap/

  2. CAROL says:

    Hi Polly and Rachel!

    I volunteer at a local animal shelter and was wondering if this homemade recipe can be used to clean and disinfect kennels, floors, and even be used to mop the floors with? We are trying to come up with a better cost effective system as most of the day is spent cleaning for a few of us. If you have any other tips for making a pet friendly cleaning/disinfectant I would more more than great-full.

    Thanks so much!

    • Rachel says:

      Polly may have thoughts on this, but from what I’ve read more recently Hydrogen Peroxide makes for one of the most potent, all-natural, and cheap disinfectants. You may want to google that. Hope that helps!

  3. F.A. says:

    Why use distilled water if the solution is supposed to be able to kill germs at the end?! you can also replace borax with hydrogen peroxide so that it doesn’t leave a lot of streaks on surfaces.

    • Rachel says:

      I usually make a big batch, pour all of mine in spray bottles and use it up over the course of 6 months or so. It should be fine to store for quite a while.