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Best Disinfectant Spray

Updated: Nov 13, 2023 6:23 AM
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The best disinfectant spray destroys bacteria and keeps your home and workplace free from illness-causing germs. Choosing the wrong one can mean the difference between prolonged sickness and good, overall health. Our evaluation focused on eco-friendliness, effectiveness, ingredients, scent, and ability to work on hard surfaces and soft surfaces. If you need knives or cooking pans, then you need to read our kitchen products guide.

After more than 18 hours of research, our top pick goes to the Lysol Disinfectant Spray. This disinfectant spray works on hard and soft surfaces to kill 99.99% of germs and prevent mold and mildew from forming. It also deodorizes using several scents to match the occasion. Keep reading to learn more about the Lysol Disinfectant Spray and six others that meet our strict grading criteria.

Top 7 Best Disinfectant Spray Compared

 #1  Lysol Disinfectant Spray – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This disinfectant spray kills up to 99.99% of illness-causing germs and eliminates odors.

  • Best quality
  • Good on hard and soft surfaces
  • KIlls 99.9% of germs
  • Does not remove stains
  • Poor degreasing

Aside from the Lysol name, we appreciate its ability to kill odors. Simply spritz into a damp gym bag or dirty sneakers and it leaves a fresh, clean smell. It also prevents mold and mildew from forming for up to a week.

Related: Also see our best disinfectant guide.

This disinfectant spray comes in several scents with exotic names such as Vanilla & Blossoms, Summer Breeze, and Crisp Linen. Each fragrance is not overwhelming, slightly lingering for up to 15 minutes after applying. Though most scents are pleasant, a fragrance-free formula would be nice for sensitive noses. Even the best kitchen appliances get germy and filthy, but lysol cleans them up. The best duster may get rid of surface dirt, but it won’t eliminate germs.

 #2  CleanSmart Disinfectant Spray – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: This spray offers a chemical-free formula and an easy-to-use trigger-style spray dispenser. It is an excellent choice for anyone that wants to avoid harsh fumes and chemicals.

  • Most eco-friendly
  • Trigger-style dispenser
  • No strong smell
  • Flimsy spray trigger
  • Easy to break the cap

Thanks to its saline water and electricity makeup, this disinfectant spray breaks down into a simple saline solution, leaving no bleach, alcohol, or ammonia residue. It can be used to disinfect infant and toddler toys, including pacifiers and playpen balls. It also works well on food contact surfaces such as cutting boards and countertops.

Related: Check out our best dredge shakers.

We love its spray trigger, which dispenses in a stream or mist form to cover a small or large area quickly. A lockable bottle knob and twist cap also make it hard for toddlers to open. Although it is natural, we prefer they do not ingest it. It is not the best spray bottle due to the trigger, but it works.

 #3  PURELL Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray – Best Disinfectant Spray Coronavirus

WHY WE LIKE IT: This disinfectant spray is a dynamo, killing 99.99% of germs, including norovirus and strep in 30 seconds.

  • 30-second kill time + EPA certified
  • Good on hard and soft surfaces
  • No rinsing needed
  • May leave a white residue
  • Does not remove stains

Applying this disinfectant spray is really easy using the spray trigger, which dispenses a stream and mist. In our research, each spray left no streaking or smudging and did not need to be rinsed off. We also love the fact it comes in a 12-pack of 32-ounce spray bottles, which should easily last a year or more with daily use.

Thanks to this disinfectant spray’s EPA-certification, which offers approval for its ability to kill more than 20 organisms, we feel really confident using this product. Most bacteria are completely wiped out in less than a minute, such as the common cold, flu, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis, C, and salmonella. It also works very well on food contact surfaces. That includes those kitchen gadgets like toasters and juicers.

 #4  Citrus II Germicidal Deodorizing Cleaner – Best for Air

WHY WE LIKE IT: This disinfectant spray sanitizes like a dynamo, featuring a citrus base and bleach and alcohol-free formula. It is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys a fresh, clean smell as much as good sanitizing.

  • Best smelling
  • Eliminates bad odors
  • Doesn’t use any harsh chemicals
  • Sometimes leak-prone bottles
  • Some may think a strong smell

This deodorizing cleaner is proven effective with all kinds of bacteria, including Hepatitis B, C, salmonella, and e-coli. It works well on all types of surfaces, including vinyl. Mold and mildew growth are also prevented with a few spritzes of the product.

We like the fact this deodorizing cleaner comes in a 3-pack of 22-ounce bottles, which should last several months with everyday use. A pressure-sensitive, mist, and stream spray trigger is effortless to use. If you are looking for a trustworthy cleaner, look no further than this one. The best all purpose cleaner should clean a variety of things in your home.

 #5  Seventh Generation, Fresh Citrus and Thyme Disinfectant Spray – Best Smelling Disinfectant Spray

WHY WE LIKE IT: This germ killer uses a botanical-based formula that kills up to 99.99% of bacteria and viruses. It is a popular choice if you want a pleasant smelling spray with hints of oregano, spearmint, and eucalyptus.

  • Smells really good
  • Kills 99.99% of germs
  • Easy to spray
  • Spray may be too powerful for some
  • Does not smell much like citrus

Don’t underestimate this disinfectant spray’s plant-based formula, good for killing salmonella, flu, and cold viruses without the use of chemicals. Its active ingredient, Thymol, is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (CPA) and claims equal effectiveness to bleach. It also kills odor-causing bacteria, whipping stuffy gym bags into shape.

This disinfectant spray comes with a compressed air can and a powerful nozzle, spraying a large surface area with one pass. It leaves no streaks or residue, so rinsing and wiping off is not needed. This is especially great with sanitizing children’s toys, such as hard-to-reach ball pits. Speaking of hard to reach, the best disposal cleaner handles the garbage disposal.

 #6  Formula 409 35306 Cleaner Degreaser Disinfectant – Best Stain Remover

WHY WE LIKE IT: This disinfectant in a 4-pack and kills 99.99% of germs and is excellent and removing stubborn stains.

  • Kills 99.99% of germs
  • Removes stains well
  • 98% natural ingredients
  • Slight bleach smell
  • So-so value

Thanks to its degreasing formula, stains disappear quickly. In our research, dried pasta sauce and wine stains on a white countertop quickly disappeared after several wipes with a wet sponge. It also performed well with removing colored pencil markings on a tile floor. No rinsing was needed.

This disinfectant comes in a four-pack of 32 oz spray bottles, which is good to last for several months with everyday use. Its formula, which uses 98% natural ingredients, is entirely safe to use in food prep areas, schools, and daycares. With no harsh fumes, we are really comfortable using this around children and pets. Your bathroom essentials list should always include cleaners like this and the best antibacterial spray.

 #7  Lysol To Go Disinfectant Spray – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: This disinfectant kills 99.99 percent of germs and works on soft surfaces such as beds and pillows. It works great if you are looking for a travel-sized spray to take anywhere.

  • Travel-sized pack
  • Great value
  • Eliminates 99.99% of germs
  • Too small for the household
  • May be mistaken for eyeglass cleaner

Thanks to this disinfectant spray’s small 1-ounce size, it meets airline regulations to carry onboard. With airplanes known for bacteria breeding grounds, it is suitable for spritzing seatback trays and bathroom toilets. It is also easy to use – simply hold it upright 6 inches away and spray the surface for 3 to 4 seconds before letting it air dry.

This disinfectant spray can be used to disinfect all kinds of surfaces, including food-contact surfaces like cutting boards and trash cans. It is also helpful with eliminating odors, perfect for quick spritzes in your car.  The size of the product makes these the best plastic spray bottles for cleaning on the go!

How We Decided

In determining the best disinfectant spray to buy, we considered its germ kill rate, ingredients, application, and safety. Most of the picks on our list kill 99.99% of germs, which include illness-causing germs (cold and flu) as well as hospital-grade bacteria like salmonella and e-coli. Ingredients are also a consideration. Many of our picks, like the Cleansmart series, use a water and salt solution (hypochlorous), which breaks down into pure saline after applying. No harsh fumes, ammonia, or bleach works around pets and children.

Safety is an important consideration. Many disinfectant sprays cause eye and skin irritation. Others carry harsh fumes that could affect sinuses if not used correctly. Disinfectants like the Formula 409 cleaner and degreaser is made up of 98% natural ingredients, making it safe for use around children and pets.

Disinfectant Spray Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Germ Kill Rate
    Look for disinfectant sprays with a germ kill rate of 99.99% percent. Note, some disinfectant sprays are also more capable of killing different types of germs than others. Hospital-grade formulas like the Purell Professional Service spray kills tougher strains such as norovirus and strep in 30 seconds. Others, like the Lysol Disinfectant spray, kill more than 200 illness-causing germs, including the common cold and flu.
  2. Application
    Our favorite disinfectant sprays type use nozzles or triggers that can dispense cleaner as a stream or mist to cover a small or large surface area. This is especially useful when sanitizing enclosed items, such as shoes and gym bags.
  3. Bottle Type
    Bottle type is very important. Aerosol cans can spray very forcefully and quickly, covering a large surface area in seconds. Smaller bottles, like the CleanSmart to Go, use spritzers that respond to pressure. A light press releases droplets and a full press releases a full spray.
  4. Chemicals vs Natural Ingredients
    Generally speaking, we recommend disinfectant sprays that use natural ingredients, especially around children and pets. These include the Cleansmart to Go’s saline solution and the Citrus II’s bleach and alcohol-free citrus base.
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