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These 3 household items you can use to disinfect your home and office might surprise you.

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

During the pandemic, hundreds of readers asked us what they could use to disinfect their homes since almost all cleaning products were sold out for months.

Store-bought products and everything on Amazon were gone!

Readers came to Chemistry Cachet asking, what can I do instead?

The good news is there are a few household items you can use to disinfect things like counters, door knobs, kid toys and any hard surface that is used frequently.

We do videos on Instagram about these products often, but here is a quick guide for you.

Rubbing Alcohol

The most all-purpose, versatile household item to disinfect, which is rubbing alcohol. Alcohol is great to use in a homemade cleaner, but for disinfecting you want to use it in a pure form.

After you thoroughly clean the hard surface (surface must be clean before disinfecting), spray pure rubbing alcohol on the area. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes, then wipe off.

I always keep rubbing alcohol on hand!

Hydrogen Peroxide

The second household item you can also disinfect with is hydrogen peroxide. In fact, peroxide has many cool uses around the home, but it makes a safe option for toys or food surfaces.

You can find food grade hydrogen peroxide to use on anything you will eat from like cutting boards. It can also be sprayed onto fruits or vegetables that need to be cleaned.

We have a DIY Lysol Spray you can make with peroxide too! It is just a great tool to keep around your home.

Drinking Alcohol

The last household item that disinfects is drinking alcohol.

Now, this is your last option because it isn’t as good of a disinfectant as the other two options, but it is a really important thing to know if you need to disinfect in a pinch.

Important things to keep in mind when it comes to disinfecting with this type of alcohol is it must be 120 proof to be the recommended 60% alcohol for proper disinfecting.

Ethanol is a water loving molecule, while still having hydrophobic properties, so if you leave the bottle open too long, it can soak up water making it dilute. This doesn’t always happen, but it is possible.

This is why it will be your last resort disinfectant.

During the height of the pandemic, people weren’t able to find store-bought disinfects, rubbing alcohol, or peroxide at the store for months. So, knowing this little tip about drinking alcohol is a handy thing to keep in mind

Alexis Rochester is an investigative chemist, blogger and founder of Chemistry Cachet. She shares science-based skin care, cleaning, gardening and health tips. She was diagnosed with RA at age 10, so she has a passion for pain management tips and research, along with sharing her journey through this disease. When she’s not writing for Chemistry Cachet, she is taking Pilates or Barre classes, and also received her Barre teaching certification this year! She grew up in Stephenville and recently moved back with her daughter, husband and bulldog. You can find her posting pictures and fun stories daily on Instagram. Also look for Chemistry Cachet on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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