Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!

The Lysol vs Thieves Experiment (and a DIY Thieves Cleaner Recipe!)


Right around the time I started falling in love with Thieves oil and all it could do I stumbled upon an experiment that another YL member did comparing Thieves oil to Lysol spray and the results were astounding to me! It is too good not to share!!! This is not my experiment, it was conducted by Elisa Fantaci Collins from Cape Coral, FL and shared with her permission.

Lyso vs Thieves 

Lysol vs. Thieves Experiment

Elisa used a pre-packaged bacteria kit that you can buy online. This is what she said about the process (I added the step numbers to make it easier to follow):

1. Got the plates
2. Created the squares of paper towel
3. Used thieves oil 2 drops it pretty saturated the paper squares. Used Lysol spray. Saturated the squares
4. Put one square in each dish
5. Swabbed areas (long swabs came with kit, in sealed package)
6. Rubbed the contaminated swab around the dish. I kinda went up to and under the paper towel. Continued till I was done. Did bathroom floor around toilet, my laptop keyboard, my cell phone, and the front door handle. I then left one as control and swabbed the inside of my mouth for the extra Thieves one. I use thieves in my mouth for a gum issue and would not use Lysol!!!
7. Followed directions in kit
8. Turned taped dishes inside down covered with a sheet of paper
9. Observed and photographed

**I have to admit, I’m surprised by how much bacteria grew in the Lysol dishes! I’m feeling pretty good about my Thieves recipes now!

Want to do your own experiment? I found a bacteria growing kit like the one she used here:…/…

Now that you know how awesome Thieves oil is at preventing bacteria growth don’t you want to know how to clean with it!?! Of course you do!

One of the main reasons I was so excited to add Thieves oil to my collection was because of it’s ability to prohibit bacteria and fungal growth as well as its immune enhancing properties and the variety of ways it can be used to disinfect and clean! Our cleaning products is one of the biggest ways toxic chemicals enter into our home and I’m excited about being able to start ridding our home of some of these products.  Young Living makes a concentrated Thieves cleaner that many people swear by and I’m sure it’s an amazing product! But before I spent my money on a product that I wasn’t sure I’d love (or that the hubby would be willing to use) I figured I’d make my own to try it on for size.  There are dozens of DIY Thieves Cleaner recipes out there.  I wanted to create one that was “all purpose” and could be used in both the kitchen and bathroom so I modified several recipes to come up with my own.  Although Thieves oil and water would be sufficient to create a disinfecting spray cleaner, I chose to include vinegar and tea tree oil in my cleaner to provide additional mildew killing power for use in the bathroom.  This is my recipe.

DIY Thieves Cleaner:

  • 1 all-purpose empty spray bottle – I bought my at the Dollar Tree, they have 22 oz fill-lines or can be filled even further if you fill up into the neck of the bottle*
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar (DWV)
  • 2 cups distilled water – I actually used bottled water, although all recipes call for distilled**
  • 10 drops each of Thieves oil and Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) oil – buy them here

* Most essential oil recipes call for glass bottles because the essential oils can breakdown the plastic over time.  Also, amber glass protects the integrity of the essential oils.  I elected to use plastic because it was what I had on hand and was less likely to get broken if dropped.

** As near as I can tell the biggest issue with water in recipes is that tap water has bacteria in it that can create additional bacteria growth in your DIY products.  There doesn’t appear to be a great deal of difference between distilled and purified bottled water as both will reduce contaminants in your recipes.  And lets face it, most of us have bottled water on hand and very few of us keep distilled water.  I didn’t want to run to the store so I elected to use bottled water. For more on using water in DIY recipes, check out Crunchy Betty’s “DIY 101: Working with Water.”

One thing to consider about my recipe is that it does contain a fair amount of vinegar.  I’ll be honest, vinegar smell doesn’t really bother me but my husband hates it! After I cleaned the bathroom using my spray he came in to check it out and must have a nose like a bloodhound because all he said at first was “All I can smell is vinegar!” But my cleaner passed the bathroom test! He’s not convinced yet since “soap scum is easy to remove” so I’ll have to use the cleaner in the kitchen and see how it handles kitchen grease before he will be a true convert.  (Update: I have since used my cleaner in the kitchen and it passes muster with cleaning power but he still complains about the vinegar smell) Also, I may consider cutting down the amount of vinegar in future batches to see if it’s less offensive, because I know he won’t use it if he is offended by the smell.  Adding lemon or orange eo may be another option to make it smell better while also boosting cleaning power.  Play around with ratios and let me know what works best for you!

Virtually Vegan Mama has a great blog on DIY Thieves cleaners with three different variations that I used for inspiration when creating my recipe.  I like that she gave so many options of ways to modify the basic recipe. Her recipe variations are:


Basic Thieves Cleaner:

  • 1 drop of thieves essential oil for each ounce of water


  • 1 drop for every ½ ounce of water (for a stronger solution)

Variation 1: Makes 8 oz.

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 8-16 drops thieves essential oil

Variation 2: Makes 8 oz.

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons castile soap
  • 8-16 drops thieves essential oil


  1. Pour thieves essential oil into a dark glass spray bottle.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Shake well before use.
  4. Store in a cool, dark place.

Do you clean with Thieves or do you have another all natural DIY cleaner recipe that you love? Share your thoughts (or recipes) below!


Author: shadowhawk1231

A wife, a mother, and an all natural DIYer!

3 thoughts on “The Lysol vs Thieves Experiment (and a DIY Thieves Cleaner Recipe!)

  1. Pingback: Clean Your Home Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals) this Summer! | Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

  2. Pingback: How To Clean Your Toilet Naturally (without Toxic Chemicals)! | Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

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