All-Natural Anti-Bacterial Spray

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homemade natural antibacterial spray

Anti-bacterial…

It’s everywhere. Sprays, soaps, hand-sanitizer, trash bags, cutting boards…

It seems anything and everything can be “anti-bacterial”-ized these days. But what does that actually mean? Are we supposed to be killing any and all traces of bacteria in our everyday lives? What about good bacteria? I think I remember learning a little something about those guys back in high school biology…

So, What’s the Real Story?

The truth is that manufacturers of commercial cleaning products play on our fears of hygiene issues by convincing us that we need the latest and greatest spray that miraculously “kills 99.9% of bacteria” in our home. Umm, excuse me?!? 99.9% of bacteria? No thank you!

The introduction and widespread use of anti-bacterial products for home use has inevitably led to drug-resistant bacteria. That’s right, bacteria that has mutated and become completely immune to antibiotics. Not only that, but these products also kill the good bacteria that are supposed to keep the bad bacteria under control.

Of course, anti-bacterial products have their place in society; they were originally used exclusively in hospitals and other healthcare settings, where risk of infection is very high. However, now that they’ve made their way into ordinary households, their use and overuse is doing much more harm than good.

Lysol is a popular brand of antibacterial spray and I’d venture to guess that your kitchen or bathrooms have been graced with its presence at one point or another. In reality, sprays like Lysol are very hazardous to our health. They contain ingredients like formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, and phenylphenol, a skin, respiratory and mucous membrane irritant, according to the CDC.

What Are We Supposed to Use?

Good old soap and water is just as effective at killing germs – and it’s cheaper, less hazardous, and doesn’t require the use of protective gloves or safety goggles.

homemade natural antibacterial spray

But when you need to quickly spray down your counters or other surfaces, making a homemade, all-natural “antibacterial” spray is the way to go. Instead of nasty, toxic chemicals, I like to harness the powers of essential oils. The oils I use each have individual properties which make them great choices for an antibacterial spray:

  • orange: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral
  • lavender: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial,
  • eucalyptus: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal
  • tea tree: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal

Make sure you use 100% pure essential oils (NOT just scented oils). You can find essential oils at your local health food store, or you can purchase them online from Amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs.

homemade natural antibacterial spray

Below is the recipe that I’ve formulated, but feel free to play around with it to suit your own tastes. Some find the strong scent of tea tree or eucalyptus oils to be a bit overwhelming, so you may want to decrease the amount you use in your spray (or eliminate them completely).

NOTE: The bottle that’s in the picture is a plastic bottle. Ideally, we should be using glass bottles when working with essential oils (or any oils, really!) because the oils can break down the plastic over time. Mountain Rose Herbs carries some great glass bottles and spray pumps (misters) that I’ll be ordering very soon!

 
All-Natural Anti-Bacterial Spray
The power of essential oils is used to make this all-natural anti-bacterial spray for countertops and other surfaces.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup water, distilled or filtered
  2. 5 drops orange essential oil
  3. 3 drops lavender essential oil
  4. 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  5. 2 drops tea tree oil
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a spray bottle.
  2. Shake well before use.
  3. Spray on countertops and other hard surfaces and let air-dry.
  4. Store in a cool, dark place.
Nature's Nurture http://naturesnurtureblog.com/

 

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Sarah UmmYusuf is a former school teacher turned stay-at-home wife and mama with a passion for all things simple, natural, and homemade. She loves the natural world, and believes the solutions to many of the world’s ailments lie in nature. Her blog, , began as a way to document her family’s journey to a greener home, but has since become a thriving community and resource for those wishing to take small steps towards a more eco-friendly, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Comments

  1. says

    Our society needs to start going the other way, and use natural products. It is frustrating how deceived our society is by big companies, and we have to move the other way. Thanks for the post!

    • Sarah says

      Indeed, Sonja! We really need to take the developments of modern day and make them work WITH the wisdom of the past, instead of working against it. I still can’t believe how much of the products we bring into our home are not even necessary!

    • Sarah says

      It’s ridiculous, isn’t it, Kendra?! When we realize everyday that more and more of the products we bring into our homes don’t even need to be there in the first place!

  2. Theresa says

    People need to get back to nature in every aspect of life, not only in cleaning. I was placed on antibiotics to clear up an infection—which caused a different infection and because of the second antibiotic all my good bacteria were also wiped out and I can down with a terrible case of throat and esophageal thrush. The dr wanted to give me more medicine. Instead I took one drop of tea tree oil and the next morning, the thrush was gone. If you want to get the best, purest essential oils that are free from alduteration go to http://www.doterra.com. You won’t regret it.

    • Sarah says

      Theresa, I’m so sorry you had to go through that, but I also thank you for sharing that experience with us. And wow, I never knew TTO works for thrush – thanks! I’ve heard a lot about doterra oils, been meaning to check them out when I get a chance :)

  3. says

    I grew up outside of the U.S. and the running joke among my family is that kids back home don’t get sick because we let them eat a little bit of dirt from time to time. But there is some truth to it. We are making our kids’ immune system weak by killing “99.9%” of bacteria. Great post Sarah!

    • Sarah says

      Thanks! Glad you like it, Stephanie! You’re absolutely right about eating dirt though! My 13 month old actually did this a few weeks ago, and aside from washing out his mouth and hands with water, that was it really. There was no freaking out that he ate germs or anything like that. Eating and playing in dirt is just a normal kid thing to do – we have to let them live a little so they exposed to the less harmful things, in order to strengthen their bodies to fight off the stronger diseases later on!

    • Sarah says

      Yes Kristin, I think EOs have become a personal obsession LOL – I have so many and I’m always on the lookout for more! :)

    • Sarah says

      They really are “essential” for making your own homemade products – from cleaners, to bath and body products. Such a worthwhile investment, and they last for a very long time b/c you’re only using a few drops :)

  4. Jessica says

    Hi Sarah– Just wanted to let you know that you get credit for turning another ignorant fool (me) into a green domestic goddess! :) I love your site and have referred many friends to it as well in hopes of spreading the knowledge (and the love!) However, being new to all of this, I have encountered an issue…..I purchased some tea tree essential oil at a local shop, but I have some issue with only adding in a drop or two, as it is in a glass twist cap bottle (and it’s only 2oz., so the opening is rather small) so when I was adding it to my solution it didn’t “drop” out, but it sure made a mess! any suggestion to a clueless one such as my self as to how to prevent this? Thanks!

    • Sarah says

      Haha, well that’s awesome Jessica! I’m so glad you’re finding the site useful :)

      As for the tea tree oil, that actually shouldn’t be happening. Is the opening for the bottle just a straight opening, or is there a plastic thing inside to help it come out in drops? I don’t know if I’m explaining that right LOL, so here’s a picture of what it should look like:
      http://images.promotionsonly.com.au/product/essential-oil-bottle.jpg

      If yours doesn’t look like that, then you got a defective bottle and should go back and exchange it. If it does look like that, then maybe the plastic piece is a little loose and just needs to be pushed in more?

      Hope that helps! Let me know…

    • Sarah says

      Hi TJ, I’ve actually used this to spray on myself both over my clothes and as a quick spritz right after I’ve gotten out of the shower and I love it! Essential oils are mostly safe to use topically if they are diluted in either a carrier oil (like olive or coconut oil, etc.) or in water (like in this spray). If using as an all-over-body type of spray, you may also want to try using either distilled water or witch hazel, in place of the water.

  5. Carly S says

    I’ve recently been trying to go the all natural route and making my own cleaning and beauty supplies and I had a quick question about your spray…. After you spray it on your hard surfaces do you wipe it with a clean cloth or just let it sit and air dry? Thanks for your post!!

    • says

      That’s a great question! I usually just let it air dry. But sometimes I need a surface to be dry right away so I can use it again so in that case, I’ve wiped it up with a cloth. Either way is fine, Just be sure to give it a good shake before spraying to help the oils mix with the water.

  6. Damon says

    Hi Sarah

    Could a spray like this work as antibacterial spray for sports equipment. I currently use febreeze antibacterial, but I would like to use a chemical free product going forward since I sweat with this stuff on.

    • says

      I wish I knew the answer to this too…my daughter plays hockey and I don’t want to use the febreeze either…Since it has to stay on the equipment and not be washed off, I’m hoping for a good essential oil disinfectant spray! I think I might just try this anyway…

  7. Crystal says

    Do you use the sweet or bitter essential oil in your spray? Is there are difference in smell/use! Thanks!

  8. Linda says

    I love this recipe! It smells great…I’m using it as an air freshener. Works fantastic in the bathrooms. Thank you very much for sharing it. :)

  9. RAckell says

    My cat may have ringworm (not confirmed yet) I definitely do not want to use bleach to disinfect my whole house. Do you think this will kill off ringworm spores?

    thanks!

    • says

      Honestly, I’m not sure at all. You may want to do a google search for ringworm and essential oils to get a better idea of which oils, if any, can kill of the spores. Good luck!

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