We are never going back to store bought antibacterial cleaner after trying this DIY antibacterial cleaner. It’s affordable, great smelling, non-toxic, and best of all environmentally friendly. But don’t just take our word for it, whip up a batch for yourself. Your will not be disappointed!
This antibacterial cleaner is so easy to make we doubt you will buy brand name cleaner ever again. It contains only three all natural ingredients: lemon, orange, and distilled white vinegar. You’ve probably heard people raving about using white vinegar for cleaning but why use it as an antibacterial cleaner? Its the acidic nature of vinegar that does the trick.
It does this by chemically changing the proteins and fats that make bacteria and viruses dangerous. Studies have shown it to be very effective at tackling common household bacteria and viruses such as the common cold and the flu. Be aware though, its not effective on all types of germs. Salmonella from raw meat can stand up to white vinegar, so don’t use it to clean places raw meat has touched.
But that shouldn’t have you rushing for the store bought stuff. Just wash the surface with hot soapy water first. After you’ve given it a good scrub, hit it with the disinfectant. While studies have shown the effectiveness of disinfectants most scientists still recommend washing with warm soapy water as the best way to get things clean. Nothing beats a little elbow grease.
Be sure to buy distilled white vinegar. If the label does not say distilled it means it was probably created as a petroleum byproduct which means its not environmentally friendly. Distilled vinegar is made from distilling alcohol which is a natural process that does not release as much green house gas as creating acetic acid does.
Its not just the vinegar that gives this cleaner its antibacterial punch. The lemon peel steps it up a notch. The oil found in the skin of lemons have powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial effects. The oil has also been shown to prevent the growth of bacteria. Some studies have even recommended lemon as a potential food grade anti-microbial cleaner for use in food production. You might find that this cleaner leaves a little oily residue behind from the lemons but that’s okay because it helps to slow the growth of bacteria. If you don’t like that feeling just dilute the solution with a little water.
The orange peels also add antimicrobial properties to the solution. The essential oils from oranges may actually inhibit the growth of salmonella. WE added them for their pleasant smell.
We love how far a spray or two of this cleaner goes. We cleaned our whole kitchen counter and sink with 3 or 4 sprays. I especially love how affordable this antibacterial cleaner is. All of the ingredients cost less than $5 total but we will get probably get 10 plus batches from what we bought. So the cost of one batch is just pennies on the dollar.
We are never going back to store bought antibacterial cleaner!
DIY Antibacterial Cleaner
- 1 lemon
- 1 small orange
- Glass container like a mason jar
- Enough white vinegar to fill your container
- Peel the skin of the lemon and the orange. We used a small knife to do this. We cut the ends of the fruit and then sliced the skin off using the knife. You could also use a peeler or a zester. Try to leave as much of the white flesh (the pith) on the fruit; you’re only after the skin. Depending on how you peeled them you may need to slice the peels into smaller pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster the oils will be released into the vinegar.
- Place the peels in a glass bottle or jar. We used a 2 quart mason jar but you could use any glass container with a lid.
- Pour enough vinegar to fill your container. There should be almost no air left in the container.
- Place the container in a cool, dark place for 1-2 weeks. If you cut your peels smaller, it will take less time.
- After 1-2 weeks, strain the liquid (we used a small strainer and a cheese cloth) and pour it gently into a spray bottle. You can dilute with a little water if you would like but too much dilution will lessen the antibacterial power.
- Spray on hard surfaces. DO NOT USE ON GRANITE!! see our note below on granite and marble counter tops.
Granite and Marble Counter Tops
You can’t spray just any old cleaner on granite and marble counter tops. A properly installed granite or marble counter will have been coated with a sealant. The sealant actually makes them pretty resistant to bacteria. You really only need to use soapy warm water and a dish rag to clean them, even if meat touches them. If you feel you need to disinfect them, a solution of water and Isopropyl alcohol left on for a few minutes will do the trick. You can use our DIY Green Window Cleaner. You can also buy special marble and granite safe cleaners, but you don’t have to – and they are probably not very greener!