adventures in domesticity, natural living for normal people

Make Your Own Germ-Killing Spray + Bonus Printable

Adding to my little “Natural living for normal people” posts. Read more about the basics of essential oils here.

I don’t know about you, but I often need a housekeeping product that meets the following needs:

1. Freshens up fabrics
2. Kills germs
3. Does not smell like death–by–chemical–inhalation
4. Does not cost an arm and a leg

When I first became a dog–owner, I tried Febreze. While it got the job done, the smell of it gave me headaches (even the unscented kind . . . unscented Febreze, not unscented headaches . . . not sure if I’ve ever had a scented headache). And Febreze certainly isn’t cheap.

I did quite a bit of Googling about how to make my own, and after experimenting with different ingredients, I finally settled on this.

What you’ll need:

  • An empty spray bottle (I’ve had these for almost five years and recommend them whole–heartedly)
  • 16 oz. bottle of witch hazel
  • tea tree oil
  • eucalyptus oil
  • your favorite citrus oil (I usually use lemon)

germ spray supplies

What to do:

Um, well, it’s really pretty easy. I always reach this point in a post and wonder why I have a blog.

Empty the bottle of witch hazel into the spray bottle. Add 40 drops of each essential oil. Give it a quick shake or two, and you’re good to go.

germ spray with label

It’s not something you have to use immediately. It stores well and doesn’t morph into a funky fragrance or anything.

I use this on our sofas, rugs, and the shower curtain (fabric part, not the liner). I also spray it on the mattress and pillows when I’m washing the sheets as well as on the duvet when I’m washing the duvet cover. I’ve even sprayed down my car upholstery with it when it needed a little refreshing.

The fragrance of the essential oils is more prominent than the witch hazel, but in all honesty, you’ll still be able to smell the witch hazel. Personally, I prefer this to the perfume–y scent of the storebought stuff. In any case, the smell dissipates pretty quickly, taking any undesirable pet–, kid–, or cooking–related smells with it. My kitchen is next to my bedroom, shared doorway and everything—I know, I know, architecture is complicated—so I can attest that this stuff will get eau de garlic out of your pillowcases.

I tried a vinegar–based version, but this one is my favorite. I use vinegar all over the place for just about every cleaning need, but I prefer the smell of witch hazel + essential oils when it comes to fabrics.

And don’t lose sleep, gentle reader; I’ll be sharing lots of uses for vinegar in upcoming posts.

The cost break–down:

Bottle: $2.00 (free if you reuse a bottle you already have)
Witch Hazel: $5.99
Drops of essential oils: $0.02

TOTAL for first bottle: $8.01
TOTAL for future bottles: $6.01

I find that a bottle will last me anywhere from 8–12 months, depending on how often I use it.

The pin–able:

germ spray to pin

The printable:

Just for fun, I’ve included a PDF of the label I used on my bottle. You’ll find labels for a 16 oz. or 8 oz. bottle, and they’re in one of my favorite fonts, Pea Gentry from Kevin & Amanda.

Well, there you have it! An all–natural way to freshen up your home for not a lot of cash. Let me know how it works for you.

Labels for Germ-Killing Spray


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