Health & Wellness

Make Your Own Lysol and Febreze at Home

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DIY Disinfecting and Fabric Refresher Sprays

**March 2020 Update**

Amidst all that is going on in the world right now surrounding the spread of COVID-19, this post has gotten a lot of traffic. I want to ensure that those of you visiting this page for an alternative to Lysol get just that! As you will read below my recipes normally call for vodka as the base, but I recommend swapping that out for isopropyl alcohol (70% or higher) if you are using it for combatting the spread of COVID-19. Isopropyl alcohol does have a strong smell in my opinion, but it dries odorless and safely disinfects your home during this time. 

I like to have a fresh and clean home and I do my best to keep it smelling pleasant in spite of having a house full of boys! I used to be an avid user of both Febreze and Lysol. Febreze was my go-to product to refresh fabrics around our house that cannot be easily washed (i.e. the couch) and I would spray Lysol on everything trying to keep germs at bay during cold and flu season. When I found out how many chemicals were in Febreze and Lysol I really felt bad that I was using them around me and my family so frequently. I started searching the web to find a solution that would accomplish what both products did while not putting my family in contact with such harmful chemicals.
 
Most of the recipes that I discovered called for vinegar, witch hazel or isopropyl alcohol (AKA rubbing alcohol) which are great for many uses around the house. However, each of them leaves a scent behind that I really don’t care for. Who would want to use a spray around their house that leaves an unpleasant odor? Hydrogen peroxide is another ingredient that I commonly find in DIY sprays, but it is known to bleach fabrics and nobody wants that! 
In comes vodka, the perfect base for both of these sprays! Why vodka you ask? Vodka is clear, dries odorless, kills odor-causing bacteria, sterilizes and deodorizes. Who knew right?? Vodka also has a high alcohol content (about 40% on average) so that the spray will dissipate a lot faster than say just using water. So when you spray it on your couch, the vodka will dry pretty quickly while also leaving behind the scent and properties of the essential oils.
 
I find this recipe to be so much easier than the DIY recipes that call for soaking lemon peels in vodka for weeks on end. I do not want to send you in a direction that you would find overly cumbersome when it doesn’t have to be. I have tried this recipe in the past, and to me, it also left a scent and yellow tint that I did not care for; not to mention the fact that I had to wait weeks for it to be ready. I guarantee these two recipes will only take minutes to put together and still smell amazing.
 
Now keep in mind the vodka you use for this recipe does not have to be expensive. Please do not go out and buy a bottle of Grey Goose to make these sprays—buy the cheapest vodka your local store sells! If you find that it is not economical for you to use all vodka in these sprays then I would try to do a 50:50 ratio with vodka and filtered water—the spray won’t dry as quickly as straight vodka but gets the job done just fine.
Now on to the recipes…

 

DIY Disinfecting Spray (Lysol)

5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

  • 15-20 drops Young Living Thieves essential oil
  • 15-20 drops Tea Tree essential oil
  • 15-20 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • 16 ounces Cheap Vodka substitute Isopropyl Alcohol (70% or higher) for a true disinfectant
  • 16 ounce Dark colored glass spray bottle

Instructions
 

  • Drop essential oils in 16 ounce dark glass spray bottle.
  • Fill glass spray bottle with vodka or isopropyl alcohol.
  • Shake well and use on all surfaces you want to disinfect and freshen.
A few things to note in the recipe above:
  • I like to add Grapefruit Seed Extract because of its antimicrobial properties, but it is optional and can be replaced with any other disinfecting essential oil
  • You can also replace Young Living Thieves oil with Plant Therapy Germ Fighter. This essential oil blend has similar qualities, but a slightly different smell.
 
My DIY disinfecting spray is a blend of oils that are shown to have amazing disinfecting properties, but you are free to substitute them with other oils you have researched to have disinfecting properties—just add about 50-60 drops to your glass spray bottle before adding the vodka.
 
Here are a few popular disinfecting essential oils you can substitute in the recipe above: Tea Tree (AKA Melaleuca), Lemon, Lime, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Clove, Thyme, Oregano (be careful with this one, the smell is very strong), Eucalyptus

 

DIY Fabric Refresher Spray (Febreze)

5 from 1 vote

Ingredients
  

  • 15 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops Lemongrass essential oil
  • 10 drops Orange essential oil
  • 10 drops Vanilla essential oil
  • 16 ounces cheap vodka
  • 16 ounce dark colored glass spray bottle

Instructions
 

  • Drop essential oils in 16 ounce dark glass spray bottle
  • Fill glass spray bottle with vodka
  • Shake well and use on all surfaces or fabrics you want to freshen or deodorize
The DIY Fabric Refresher Spray is the exact same as the disinfecting spray, but a different combination of essential oils. The recipe above includes my favorite essential oil blend to use to refresh my fabrics around my house, but everyone has different taste and what smells good to me may not smell good to you so feel free to use any combination of 50-60 drops of essential oils in your recipe.
 
What are some essential oil combinations you use and love in your home? Have you tried either of these recipes? Let me know how you liked them!

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12 COMMENTS

  • Cynthia

    This is NOT an effective “disinfectant” which is a scientific term for ability to kill bacteria and viral particulates at a certain percentage. Vodka does not have a high enough alcohol percentage and you are not using a stabilizer to be able to use this term. Please update to include this vital information for public safety. Thank you!

    Ps : I do love the recipe for a “cleaner” 🙂

    • Mary
      AUTHOR

      Hi Cynthia! I agree and have updated the post to recommend the use of isopropyl alcohol (70% or higher) as a base in this recipe to use as a disinfectant.

      • Mary

        If I’m using 190 proof Everclear can I dilute it in half with 8 ounces of everclear and 8 ounces of water?

        • Mary
          AUTHOR

          Hi Mary! 190 proof Everclear is about 95% alcohol so you can create your spray one of two ways:
          1. Combine 1.5 cups of 190 proof Everclear with 1/4 cup of water (creating a solution that is above the 70% alcohol that the CDC suggests)
          2. Or you can just use the Everclear with the essential oils.
          Just be careful with either recipe as the very high alcohol content and can tarnish some materials/surfaces.
          I hope that helps!

  • edenerotikashop.hu

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!

    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post
    to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Mary
      AUTHOR

      I appreciate the support, thank you!

  • Deborah Moore-Belcon

    5 stars
    Great advice here and love the recipes. Do you mind if I use it on my company page on Facebook? 24 Hour Maintenance &Janitorial Services that’s the page will love to share this amist this virus now . Going to try this out.

    Thank you
    Deborah Moore-Belcon

    • Mary
      AUTHOR

      Yes, thank you for sharing and for the support! I truly appreciate it!

  • Debbie

    Which recipe do I use on my clothes as an antibacterial disinfectant? I have tried to find the Tide antibacterial fabric spray with no luck. So, I am resorting to making my own. Is your fabreeze recipe antibacterial and safe to use on clothes? The essential oils would not stain the fabric in any way?

    • Mary
      AUTHOR

      Hi Debbie! While these sprays are both great on a variety of surfaces around your house including fabrics like your non-leather couch—I do not use these sprays on my clothing and wouldn’t recommend them for that use. I would suggest the best way to disinfect your clothing is to wash them according to the care instructions on the tag. I hope this helps!

  • Tamekia

    Hello, thanks for the recipe. What’s the significance of the dark glass bottle? Does it make a difference if it’s glass or one the plastic bottles that spray out like an aerosol can?

    Thanks so much ☺️

    • Mary
      AUTHOR

      Hi Tamekia! Most sources recommend a glass bottle for storing essential oils. Storing essential oils in dark amber or cobalt blue colored glass can prolong the life of the oils, while plastic containers can be damaged and deteriorated by them. You are free to use any container you have available, but please keep these points in mind when you are using and storing DIY items containing essential oils. Hope that helps!

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