Green cleaning is on the rise, but do natural cleaning products really work? When it comes to disinfecting your home, the answer is yes and no. There are plant-based disinfectants that are going to be effective at really disinfecting these high-touch surfaces….but whipping up a kitchen pantry solution you saw on Pinterest probably won’t do the trick. Learn more about when natural disinfectants are a good idea and when not to use them if you really want a sanitized home.

How to Find Effective Natural Disinfectants

Those Pinterest-board recipes that involve baking soda, lemon juice, or white vinegar are tempting–especially if you find yourself out of a favorite cleaning supply–but the hard truth is they don’t have enough oomph to really disinfect a dirty surface.

The most effective natural disinfectants will have ingredients such as thymol, which is a botanical oil from the thyme plant. When used correctly, thymol kills 99.99 percent of germs and bacteria. Thymol has been proven effective, and it’s also been used for thousands of years by ancient cultures in Europe and India, so you know that it works.

Other natural plant oils that are proven effective include tea tree oil and lavender oil.

There can be a lot of products on the shelf that claim to be natural and effective, but another way to cut through the noise and find the best product is to look for one that bears the Safer Choice label from the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA.

Using Natural Disinfectants

To keep your home clean, you need to focus not only on surfaces like tabletops and counters but on anything high-touch, including doorknobs and light switches. A checklist approach can work well if you delete cleaning to different members of the household. With a list, everyone can focus on the same core areas for a reliable and effective deep clean.

Before using any unfamiliar cleaner, take a minute to read the product instructions. Some cleaners are designed to be applied then removed in seconds, while others need to penetrate for a certain amount of time to really work. If you don’t apply the product the right way, it isn’t going to do the work you need it to do.

Another issue is that many people expect a disinfectant to do the double-duty of cleaning and disinfecting when in reality, they need to clean the surface, then disinfect. By taking the time to wipe down the surface with soap and water before you apply the natural cleaner, you’ll find that you get better results.

Get Help Maintaining a Clean House

Whether you are using chemical or natural cleaners, cleaning is hard work. If you’d like a little help cleaning deeper, reach out to get an estimate. We serve the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas and tailor every estimate to the size of your house.