DIY Disinfectants

DIY Disinfectants by Emma Barhydt

While the best choice may be cleaners recommended by the CDC, if stores are out of disinfectant wipes, sprays, and Purell, there are other ways you can disinfect your home and hands without using name-brand products.
*Note on Safety First: Never mix bleach with anything other than water. You may create a poisonous gas that is significantly more likely to kill you or leave long-term damage than COVID-19.

Soap and hot water.
This method is good at removing dirt and grime and while it gets rid of some germs,the other methods on the list are more effective at getting rid of COVID-19 specifically.

Use a towel soaked with white vinegar if you have it or (any vinegar if you don’t) to wipe off a surface or spray the surface and let air dry for best results. Don’t worry. The smell of vinegar will dissipate once it dries.
Hydrogen Peroxide.
You can use Hydrogen Peroxide in the same way you would use vinegar. While it may seem like a good idea at first, mixing hydrogen peroxide and vinegar actually negates both of their disinfectant abilities, so do not do that. Hydrogen Peroxide will likely turn the skin on your fingers white so you may want to wear gloves but it is not harmful to the skin.

Vodka that is 90 proof or higher works as an effective disinfectant. Apply and let dry so the alcohol can do its job.

Mix up to 3 tablespoons of bleach in one gallon of water to create an effective and inexpensive disinfectant. Apply and leave on for three to five minutes, or let air dry. Never mix bleach with other chemicals.

For your hands, nothing beats washing them with soap and warm/hot water for 20 seconds. However, if you can’t get to a sink, hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol will work in a pinch. It seems these days like Purell is worth its weight in gold, but you can also make your own at home.
Homemade Hand Sanitzer
Mix two parts rubbing alcohol or 100 proof vodka with one part aloe vera gel. Be careful though, adding more than the 2:1 ratio of alcohol can damage your skin. The 2:1 ratio of alcohol to aloe keeps the alcohol content around 60%, at the same level as Purell.

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