The world faces an easily transmitted disease, and the cure or vaccine is yet to be developed. Keeping our bodies and surroundings clean has become more important than ever.

We’ve turned to different sanitizing and cleaning tools. The most common and accessible: alcohol.

Below are DIY disinfectant formulations that make use of it.

Cleaning with Alcohol: DIY Disinfectants for Your Home

The Difference Between Isopropyl and Ethyl Alcohol

Ethyl and isopropyl alcohol both have disinfectant properties but they have slight differences in chemical structure. And so, their uses also differ.

Isopropyl is more commonly known as rubbing alcohol. It is used as an antiseptic. On the other hand, ethyl alcohol is the kind present in beverages, soaps, and wet wipes.

Is Alcohol Effective at Killing a Virus or Bacteria?

These two types of alcohol destroy bacteria and viruses through the same mechanism—they dissolve lipids and denature proteins, which are the very make up of microorganisms. With that said, both are effective germicides against certain strains of bacteria and viruses.

DIY rubbing alcohol
Photo by Noah on Unsplash

It is important, however, to dissolve both in water to make them more potent in infiltrating protein-rich microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria. The usual concentration used is 70% alcohol using 95% alcohol volume and one part distilled water.

DIY Alcohol Disinfectants

1. DIY Gel Hand Sanitizer

This “recipe” mixes common ingredients you can find at home or at the nearby grocery:

  • 2/3 cup (at least) 70% rubbing alcohol (if you’re using a higher concentration, add 1-2 part water)
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera extract

2. DIY Spray Hand Sanitizer

If you’re not a fan of the sticky texture of a gel sanitizer, you can try this spray formulation instead.

P.S. You need glycerin. In case it’s not available, you can do still create your hand sanitizer. Just make sure to moisturize your hands after application so they don’t dry out.


  • 1 cup 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 teaspoons glycerin
  • .375 cup distilled water
  • a few drops of essential oil of choice


  1. Mix isopropyl alcohol with glycerol in a spray bottle.
  2. Add hydrogen peroxide and distilled water. Shake well.
  3. Add the essential oil and shake again.

3. Homemade Disinfectant Spray

diy alcohol disinfectant
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Cleaning surfaces is a must, especially in the time of a pandemic. Here’s a recipe you can use to create your own multi-purpose disinfectant spray.

Note: This formulation is not recommended for use on marble and granite surfaces.


  • 1 1/2 cup 70% isopropyl alcohol or 100 proof vodka
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 50-60 drops essential oil of choice (recommended: tea tree oil)


  1. Mix vodka (or rubbing alcohol) and essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake gently.
  2. Add the vinegar and shake.

4. DIY Disinfectant Wipes

Disinfectant wipes are quick solutions to dirty kitchen and tabletops, gadgets, canned or bottled groceries, and package deliveries. This DIY project soaks a paper towel roll in the formulation inside a resealable glass container.


  • 1 paper towel roll
  • 1 cup 70% rubbing alcohol
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap

5. DIY ‘Lysol’ Spray

You can create your own anti-viral spray for home surfaces instead of lining up at the stores for a few bottles. This makes use of three anti-viral and antibacterial ingredients: alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and essential oils.

diy lysol spray
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash


  • 1 1/2 cup 95% ethyl alcohol
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1/2 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide
  • 30-45 drops essential oil/s of choice


  1. Mix water and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Shake gently.
  2. Add the essential oil/s and shake.
  3. Add the ethyl alcohol and do one last shake.

These DIY disinfectant recipes can be used for surface and hand cleaning but remember:

According to the World Health Organization, regular and proper handwashing is still the best way to rid your skin of disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

And don’t forget to boost your immunity with proper diet and supplementation and regular exercise.