People are now keener about washing their hands and disinfecting their house more than ever. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), sanitized hands and home surfaces are a primary way of preventing COVID-19 from spreading. As a result, supermarkets and stores are running out of stocks of alcohol, sanitizers, and disinfectants.
If you have experienced this, it is to think of creating a DIY disinfectant of your own. It is a possible option if you can’t get a hold of any from your nearby stores. However, not all recipes for a homemade disinfectant that you will see on the internet will be useful in fighting coronavirus. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but you still need to make sure of your safety along the process.
To help you in creating your DIY disinfectant, here are some tips and tricks for the perfect concoction to prevent COVID-19 spreading.
Cleaning Products for Destroying Coronavirus
For home surfaces, before you proceed in making a homemade disinfectant, look around if you have some of the following cleaning products that are effective in killing coronavirus:
- Soap and Water
Using a towel or cloth, scrub surfaces with soap and hot, clean water. Soap and water, as simple it might be, help break the virus’s protective layer. After cleaning, discard the cloth or soak it in soapy water to destroy any remaining virus that has survived.
- Isopropyl Alcohol
Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol are effective in killing off coronavirus on home surfaces. It can be used on most surfaces, though it may cause discoloration to those made from plastic. Clean the surface with soap and water before applying the alcohol solution. Do not dilute the solution to be effective. Let it soak on the surface for at least 30 seconds to disinfect it.
- Hydrogen Peroxide
Household (3 percent) hydrogen peroxide is effective in breaking down coronavirus in a short time. It is not corrosive so that you can use it in metal, but it can discolor fabrics. The solution is also ideal for applying in hard-to-reach crevices. You can spray it on the area, and there’s no need to wipe it off as it decomposes into oxygen and water. Use it undiluted and let it sit for at least a minute on the surface.
How to Make DIY Disinfectant for Your Home?
Let’s say you have run out of disinfectant, or there are no more available in stores, you may opt to create your own. The CDC has come up with an easy recipe for a homemade disinfectant that needs only two things: bleach and water.
The ratio of bleach to water will depend on how much solution you need. Here are some measurements that you can follow:
- 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water
- 1 cup (240 ml) of bleach per 5 gallons (18.9 L) of water
- 4 teaspoons per quart of water (for smaller portions)
Put the bleach in the container (either a spray bottle or jar) before adding the water to prevent the bleach from splashing on you. Place the lid tightly and shake the container gently to mix the solution.
When using bleach, do not add other cleaning products as it can damage or discolor sensitive surfaces. The combination may also cause harmful effects to your health. Here are some substances that you should not mix with bleach :
- Ammonia converts the chlorine in bleach to chloramine gas, which, when inhaled, causes coughing, shortness of breath, or pneumonia.
- Acidic compounds like vinegar or window cleaner create chlorine gas once mixed with bleach. Overexposure to such gases can lead to chest pain, vomiting, and even death.
- Alcohol, once mixed with bleach, turns to chloroform, which causes fatigue, dizziness, and fainting.
Make sure to wear gloves when cleaning with a bleach solution. Also, wear clothes and footwear that you won’t mind getting bleached in case of a spill. If you have long hair, remember to tie. If any bleach spills on your skin, wipe it off immediately using a damp cloth.
Like other disinfectants, clean the surface with soap and warm water, then apply the bleach solution afterward. Let it set on the surface for five minutes and air dry. For surfaces for food such as countertops or trays, rinse the solution with warm water and air dry as well.
Homemade disinfectant, like bleach solution, loses its disinfectant power once exposed to heat, sunlight, and evaporation. With that said, the solutions need to be made fresh each day you use it and discard the leftover.
Another recipe for a DIY disinfectant spray is also made from items that you have in your house. Fill 2/3 of a container with alcohol, then add 1/3 of aloe vera liquid. Mix them, and you can use it as a home and hand sanitizer. Spray it on doorknobs, phones, and other areas that need to be sanitized.
Homemade disinfectants are short term remedies; it is not a substitute for washing your hands and using commercially distributed sanitizers. Follow CDC’s guidelines on handwashing and home sanitation. As much as you can, stock up on cleaning products that will be enough for your home.
Take extra caution before following tutorials for DIY disinfectant online. Making your own cleaning solution needs precise measurements of ingredients to work, or else it may even cause harm. By following the tips above, you will end up with a concoction that is both effective and safe. At the same time, it will be good to consult your local health care professional before using any home remedy on you or your family.