Fans of DIY cleaners or those who want to avoid chemicals have probably know recipes with citrus and vinegar, but today we’re here to talk about thyme that contains thymol which is known for its antimicrobial properties. So if you grow this aromatic herb in your garden in the window box, you can add it not only to your dinner but also to your natural cleaning solution. Let’s learn together how to make a DIY thyme disinfectant spray!
What is thymol and what is it used for?
Thymol is the base ingredient in several natural cleaners approved to get rid of most common germs that many of us are worried about. It is used as a preservative in foods but also in cosmetic products as it can reduce inflammation and infection.
Thymol-based cleaners are antibacterial, and antifungal offering a wonderful natural way to disinfect and refresh your kitchen if the solution is prepared homemade, without harsh chemicals.
- therapeutic grade essential oil, harvested from France and steam-distilled to perfection for the purest thymol oil
- can be used for skin use, cleaning, for diffusers for home or for massage
- diffuse or topical
Thyme plant is the source of thyme essential oil that contains several compounds including thymol. You can buy ready-to-use bottled thyme essential oil but if you have this fresh smelling herb fresh growing in your kitchen garden or some dried herb in your home, you can use that too to make your natural kitchen disinfectant. Simply infuse the fresh or dried thyme and then mix that into the cleanser.
Thyme disinfectant ingredients
2 tablespoons dry thyme or a handful of fresh sprigs
3 Tablespoons Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, 60% or higher
1 cup water
2 teaspoons liquid castile soap
Optional: Lemon or citrus slices, mint, or rosemary to your liking
Alternative: 1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide (3%) instead of rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol vs. hydrogen peroxide
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a 60-90% concentration of alcohol is necessary for a homemade disinfectant to be efficient. You can find isopropyl alcohol, aka rubbing alcohol, locally in most supermarkets and also online. It’s a great option, as it is multipurpose and is easy to pick up at the grocery store in high enough percentages of alcohol to remove germs.
- approved for hand and skin application
- no methanol, heavy metals or harmful organics
- can be used in the production of sanitizers
An advantage of alcohol-based cleaners is that they dry fast without leaving a lot of streaks on your counters. As a note, rubbing alcohol is flammable, so wait until after it has dried to light a candle or fire up your gas burner.
The EPA sings the praises of hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant for all sorts of things, so this is another option that is cheap, readily available, and multi-use around your home. Hydrogen peroxide may be harsh on bare skin, so use gloves when wiping and rinse thoroughly if any of the mix comes into contact with your skin.
How to make a DIY thyme disinfectant spray
Muddle thyme: add fresh or dry thyme to a container and cover with the rubbing alcohol/hydrogen peroxide. Add optional ingredients to the infusion, if using; if you are not a fan of thyme’s aroma, you may want to add some other ingredients to make a scent you like. Lemon and other citrus fruits are popular in homemade cleaners, and so is rosemary, basil, and mint.
Leave to infuse overnight. Strain mixture and add to a spray bottle with the rest of the ingredients. Shake before use. Store on the counter or in the fridge.
How to use your thyme cleaning spray
This solution is effective against food-borne pathogens like E.coli or salmonella so it is excellent to disinfect kitchen surfaces, utensils, and cutting boards that were contact with raw meat or eggs.
Since this is not a chemical mixture, it doesn’t work “on contact” like some of the harsher cleaners. This just means it is not effective instantly, so make sure to let this DIY thyme disinfectant spray sit for 10 minutes on hard surfaces before using to ensure proper sanitation. Also, wipe your surface free of crumbs or dust before using the mix.
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