DIY: Make Your Own Sanitizing Solution

If your local stores are running low on cleaners and disinfectants, here’s the Alberta Health Services’ guide to making your own cleaning solution.

To prevent grocery store shortages going forward, Alberta Health Services provided some useful guidelines on how to make a chlorine sanitizer solution at home.

You will need:

1. Ordinary household bleach. Don’t use bleach with fibre guard or fresh scent (if you don’t have household bleach, you can use commercial chlorine solutions, quaternary ammonia solutions or iodine solutions instead)
2. Teaspoon or tablespoon
3. Spray bottle or bucket labelled Sanitizer

If you’re using chlorine solution, mix 1/2 to one teaspoon (2 to 5 mL) bleach into one litre of water.

If you’re using household bleach, mix one to two tablespoons (0.5 – 1 ounce) bleach into one gallon of water.

For other types of solutions, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. And remember not to mix bleach with soap. The homemade solution strength will also weaken over time. For more information on making cleaning solutions at home, visit the Alberta Health Services website.

Although disinfectants do not claim to kill viruses such as COVID-19, cleaners can help limit the transfer of micro-organisms. For high-touch surfaces such as door handles, toys and phones, Health Canada recommends cleaning these often with either:

  • regular household cleaners or
  • diluted bleach prepared according to the instructions on the label, or in a ratio of
    • one teaspoon (5 mL) per cup (250 mL) or
    • four teaspoons (20 mL) per litre (1000 mL)
      (assuming bleach is 5% sodium hypochlorite, to give a 0.1% sodium hypochlorite solution).

Health Canada also warns to never attempt to make hand sanitizer at home due to health risks such as skin irritation, increased sensitivity or allergies. You can find more guidelines on hard surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers on the Government of Canada website.

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