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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)
- 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
- 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)
- 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
- 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