Which disinfectant spray is best?

Keeping a tidy house is hard work, but areas like kitchens and bathrooms are the toughest to clean. Kitchens and bathrooms are breeding grounds for germs, so you need a potent disinfectant to clean them properly.

Disinfectant sprays are easy to use and an effective way to eliminate all kinds of bacteria. The best sprays, including the Microban Sanitizing and Antibacterial Spray, are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and provide long-lasting bacteria-killing effects.

What to know before you buy a disinfectant spray


Most disinfectant sprays begin to work their magic within a few minutes after being applied on a surface, but the best ones take effect within 60 seconds. Some sprays work for up to 24 hours after application and are suitable for the dirtiest areas, such as bathrooms. However, some lose their efficacy in under an hour and are better for kitchens and bedrooms.


The most potent disinfectant sprays are meant to be used on hard, nonporous surfaces, such as toilets, bathtubs and sinks. However, some are multipurpose and can be used on soft surfaces, such as sofas, pillows and mattresses, to sanitize and deodorize them.


Because disinfectant sprays are designed to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, you can imagine how many chemicals they contain. Many disinfectant chemicals can be harmful if inhaled or if they make direct contact with the skin. Sprays that contain such chemicals are naturally the most potent for sanitizing and cleaning purposes, but they’re not always the safest for yourself, children, pets or the environment.

What to look for in a quality disinfectant spray

Environmental Protection Agency approval

Products that are EPA-registered have essentially been reviewed to confirm the accuracy of that product’s primary claims and that it shouldn’t pose a threat to your health. Although it’s always a good idea to look for EPA-registered antimicrobial sprays, be aware that just because the EPA hasn’t approved a disinfectant spray doesn’t necessarily mean it’s hazardous.


No disinfectant product is perfect, so you’ll never see any spray claiming on the label that it can kill 100% of germs. Although it’s likely inaccurate, most claim that they can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria, which is as close as you’ll get to ridding your bathrooms and kitchen of germs.

In addition to killing bacteria and viruses, some sprays are also effective against mold and mildew, which can pose a health threat if they’re left untreated in your home. Moist areas like bathrooms are common areas for mold to form, so it’s good to use the proper disinfectant in such places.


If you suffer from allergies or a condition like asthma, steer clear of scented sprays. Many sprays have subtle fragrances that can be delightful if you don’t have any of those medical conditions.  However, they can irritate those who do and those with sensitive noses. Additionally, if you spray too much of a scented spray, the scent may linger for hours. If the scent isn’t a pleasant one, you might not like how your house smells for a while. 

How much you can expect to spend on disinfectant spray

Many disinfectant sprays are available in bundles of two or more bottles. However, you can expect to pay $4-$10 for one unit.

Disinfectant spray FAQ

Does EPA-registered mean the product is environment-friendly?

A. EPA registration is primarily concerned with short-term and long-term adverse effects on human health. Although environmental safety is a concern, the EPA avoids using terms like “environment-friendly” because there’s no way to determine or quantify the validity of such a claim.

Do disinfectant sprays kill viruses that cause illnesses like the common cold or flu?

A. Most are effective at killing 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. However, some aren’t as effective against viral germs, so it’s best to read the label carefully before buying to be aware of the product’s primary claims.

What’s the best disinfectant spray to buy?

Top disinfectant spray

Microban Sanitizing and Antibacterial Spray

Microban Sanitizing and Antibacterial Spray

What you need to know: This is a powerful surface cleaner with disinfectant properties that kill 99.9% of bacteria and work for up to 24 hours.

What you’ll love: It’s an EPA-approved cleaner that disinfects, kills bacteria and deodorizes with a pleasant citrus scent. Surfaces can be touched without reapplying since it creates a multi-layer protective shield that starts to work within 60 seconds.

What you should consider: It’s difficult to apply from more than a few feet away because it doesn’t spray like an aerosol mist and instead shoots out a foamy stream.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top disinfectant spray for the money

Lysol 12 Pack Disinfectant Spray

Lysol 12 Pack Disinfectant Spray

What you need to know: This bundle comes with 12 cans of disinfectant spray by an industry-leading brand.

What you’ll love: This spray kills 99.9% of germs, viruses, mold and mildew on hard surfaces. It also eliminates odor-causing bacteria and can be used on soft surfaces, such as couches and strollers, to sanitize them.

What you should consider: Although the crisp linen scent is subtle and pleasant, spraying to cover larger surfaces may irritate those with an acute sense of smell.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Zep 12 Pack Freshen Surface Disinfectant Spray

Zep 12 Pack Freshen Surface Disinfectant Spray

What you need to know: The brand isn’t as recognizable as others, but this spray flies under the radar as a customer favorite. It can be used on various surfaces and in all kinds of environments.

What you’ll love: This spray meets the standards of the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists for disinfectant products and effectively eliminates bacteria, viruses, fungi, mold and mildew. It is easy to use and has a delightful spring mist scent.

What you should consider: Some find the scent overbearing if too much spray is used in a smaller area.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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