Kill Germs Without Bleach

Kill Germs Without Bleach:

Has it started at your house or office? It has for us–the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, germs-flying-everywhere season is here. As you know, we don’t use antibacterial soap–but that doesn’t mean that it’s a germ free-for-all at our house.

So how do I keep the germs away? We don’t use Lysol or bleach. I don’t want us breathing in those toxic fumes, especially since bleach has been implicated in cases of asthma. (source)

Believe it or not, you probably have the two items you need to disinfect your kitchen and bathroom in your house right now. Can you guess what they are?

Kill Germs Without Bleach:

Yep, you’re looking at hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar.

How do you use them? Just spray the hydrogen peroxide on the surface, followed by the vinegar. Let them sit for a few moments, then wipe.

By themselves, they’re somewhat effective in killing bacteria. But in tandem, they’re a powerhouse against salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. (sources: ,

Both are safe for kids to use, with no harmful fumes or vapors. And in addition to being nontoxic, they’re significantly cheaper than bleach or Lysol!


You can put a spray nozzle onto the store containers or repackage into other spray bottles. Be sure to keep the hydrogen peroxide in an opaque container so it doesn’t degrade.

Don’t mix the two in a single container–oddly enough, when combined they aren’t as effective as when they’re used one at a time.

If you don’t like the vinegar smell, use citrus vinegar instead of plain white vinegar.

This article was shared on Make Your Own Monday, Your Great Idea, Small Footprint Friday, Simple Lives Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Fabulously Frugal Thursday, Unprocessed Fridays, Party Wave Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Fat Tuesday, The Thrifty Home, and Wildcrafting Wednesday.

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  1. says

    Hello Brown Thumb Mama! I thought you would say alcohol instead of vinegar! I use vinegar and baking soda all the time! Now I will try this method! And it’s per the gov’t! Thanks for sharing and have a great week! Blessings from Bama!

  2. says

    You can also add some essential oils to boost their power and change the smell. Not sure if you can add EOs to Peroxide but I know you can add them to vinegar. I love to add Lemon or Cinnamon (or both) to mine.

  3. says

    Yes! We do this too. I normally use just peroxide on the kitchen and bathroom sinks and countertop on a weekly basis, but if anyone’s been sick I use the vinegar too.

    I also use peroxide to disinfect toothbrushes after illness (or if they get yucky in hot humid weather) when they are relatively new so we don’t want to replace them yet. Just put the brush bristle-end-down in a cup, pour in peroxide deep enough to 3/4 cover the bristles (it will bubble up between them to the top), let soak for at least 10 minutes, then rinse in warm water.

  4. smallftprints says

    Great tips! I’ve been using vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for quite a while … they work!! And (knocking on wood) we rarely get sick. Thanks, again!

  5. Em Bea says

    I use peroxide and a little water with lemon EO to clean countertops and the bathroom. It works well. I guess I need to pick up a jug of white vinegar!

  6. says

    so…do you spray the peroxide on then leave it for a few minutes and wipe off then spray the vinegar on and leave for a few minutes and wipe off or just put the peroxide on then the vinegar on top of the peroxide let sit and wipe off…not clear

    • Pam says

      Spray one on, let it sit for a few minutes, then spray the other. Let it sit and then wipe if you want to. I wipe the baby’s crib but don’t wipe the bathtub, for example.

  7. Janice Brooks says

    Do you know if you can use vinegar or peroxide in stored drinking water? I hate to put those drops of clorine bleach into water that we are storing for emergency use or for WTSHTF… kinda runs counter to my ‘organic’ way of thinking. Thoughts?

  8. jax says

    My children and I are allergic to bleach. We have always used homemade lavendar vinegar or lemon vinegar. I will try this combo in the kitchen and bathroom for added benefit. Thanks for posting.

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