Thursday, February 18, 2010

Make Your Own Clorox Clean-Up

We know we're supposed to sanitize our kitchen counters and other areas of the home to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. tells us that "Disinfecting with an EPA registered product such as Clorox® Clean-Up® Cleaner with Bleach has been shown to kill 99.9 percent of E. coli, Staphylococcus (staph) and Salmonella, plus other potentially harmful germs including viruses such as influenza (the "flu" virus), rhinovirus (one of the causes of the common cold) and rotavirus."

The Clorox website also informs us that "antibacterial dishwashing liquids and hand soaps destroy or inhibit growth of bacteria on skin, but they are not formulated for killing viruses or other germs on hard surfaces. Sanitizing and/or disinfecting hard, nonporous surfaces, especially in the kitchen, is a good way to reduce the risk of spreading germs by touch."

To banish these pesky invaders from our homes, we can buy Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner with Bleach for about $3 at the store, or we can make our own. Sorry, Clorox, but I prefer to save those dollars and make my own. It's a cinch. (And I'm still buying your bleach).

Here's what you do:
  • Buy a spray bottle, easily found at the Dollar Store (or Target or Walmart; sometimes the travel section bins will have some for $1).
  • Fill it with cool water.
  • Dip the dry sprayer stem in bleach, coating at least 3/4 of the stem.
  • Immediately dip the coated stem in the water bottle.
  • Repeat, dipping stem in bleach and water bottle two more times (total of three times).
  • Attach bottle lid tightly and shake.
  • Make fresh weekly (recommended) (I make it every two weeks).
Lest you think I am just making this up, so surely that small of an amount cannot really effectively sanitize, this recipe comes from our state university's health sciences division and has been thoroughly tested. A small amount of bleach (I would estimate this to be less than a half-teaspoon) is highly effective.

After spraying, I recommend allowing it to air dry if possible. When not possible, spray and allow to sit for about 30 seconds at least, and then wipe.

Happy Cloroxing!

Visit Frugal Fridays for more frugal inspiration!


  1. I make my own Anywhere spray, too! I actually did the math on the back of the bottles to find that the Anywhere spray was 1/10th the strength of straight bleach. So I mixed up my own solution with water and bleach 9:1. And then after all that work and feeling so proud of myself, my mom (a hospital nurse) informed me that hospitals have used a ten percent bleach solution for years! Chlorox may have decided to bottle it and sell it but they didn't make it up. ;) (Or so says my mother..)

    Great post, and I think I'll be popping back over for Messy Mondays!

  2. Thanks for the tip! I'll have to give this a shot.

  3. I agree with Amber above- Hospitals do use a 10% bleach solution! (I worked as an RN in a hospital for 9+ years).

    I own a home business and I go through Clorox/lysol wipes like crazy. Even though I buy them on sale with a coupon, I'd love to find a more frugal way to do that.

    Do you know how to make them into wipes? And wipes that are stable for a few weeks at the time? (I don't want to have to mix it every time I use it).

    This is a great idea! I'll try this for wiping down my bathrooms and kitchen counters. You haven't had any trouble with only mixing it every two weeks?

    Can't wait to peek around your site! I've got 3 little people under 5 and could really use some help with my house. I've got Laundry down pat... it's floors, dishes, dusting, etc that I can't figure out how to get done. And still be a Mama. And homeschool. And blog. And, and, and. :) I can't wait to read everything you've written!!

    (Here from FishMama's, BTW)


  4. Hi Amber & Lauren,
    Thanks for the info about the 10% bleach solution. It's good to know the exact amount to use!
    Lauren, I think you could try to make your own wipes by taking a roll of thick, good quality paper towels, cutting it in half, removing the card board tube, and then laying them flat in an old diaper wipes tub, filled maybe halfway (or 3/4ths) with the 10% bleach solution. Or you could probably just rip off several of the select-a-size sheets and do the same thing. They would probably keep for a few weeks. I've never tried it though (but I have tried making my own diaper wipes this way--minus the bleach solution) :)

    But...if you can get the wipes on a good sale, I am not sure this would save you that much in the way of time and money (since the paper towels can be a bit pricey).

    What I think would work just as well, though, is to make up a spray bottle of bleach solution, and spray it wherever you would normally use a wipe, and then wipe it up with an old rag or really cheap washcloth. I have a multi-pack of cheap washcloths from Walmart that I use for cleaning. Then I just toss them in the washer with a little more bleach to clean them. (I would buy white since the bleach will take out the color). :)
    Let me know if you try the wipes! I'm curious how they would work!

  5. I found a gentler sanitizer that (so I've read) some hospitals use as well. It's called Grape fruit seed crush and I love it! It has 100s of uses and since it must be diluted, it lasts a long time. I buy mine at Since it's also a natural antibiotic, I don't have to worry about spraying it in the kitchen at all!

  6. Love this post... I recently decided I wanted to cut back my household product expenses and this will be added to my list on how to do it, along with making my own shampoo and tooth paste!

  7. This is great!
    I use something similar with rubbing alcohol & water.
    Excited to try this mixture.
    Thank you.

  8. Found your blog at organizing junkie and love it! I'm going to try this!

  9. So with this it sanitizes, but I love the clorox clean up it cleans tough messes. Does this solution do that? I like how it really cleans my stove. Is yours more for just sanitizing?

  10. Thanks so much . I clean a few houses and this will be a good savings!

  11. Using dish detergent in this recipe is dangerous, however, I use laundry detergent since you use it with bleach.