The pandemic has pressured most of us to become somewhat germaphobe, especially after experts revealed that the novel coronavirus can stay on different surfaces for a long period of time. However, after months of using toxic and strong chemicals, it can leave a hole in our pockets.

That’s not all, chemicals found in household disinfectants aren’t just expensive, they also are harmful to pets, children, and the environment. Natural options are as effective as their toxic versions but are quite slow-acting, so they definitely need to be left longer to kill germs. Here are some of them:

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is sometimes used to clean wounds but as it turns out, it can also disinfect many things. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained that although it isn’t as effective as bleach, it can kill bacteria and viruses.

Hydrogen Peroxide clean surfaces

Serenethos/Shutterstock Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean different surfaces

You can find the 3 percent concentration to disinfect or dilute 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide in 2.5 parts water. Make sure that you let the solution sit for a minute or two before wiping the surface with a cloth.

Hot Water

There’s a reason we cook meals properly and we wait for them to reach a boiling point – and that’s to kill the germs. The same goes for disinfecting as hot water can help eradicate pathogens.

Hot Water can clean surfaces

Kungverylucky/Shutterstock Water needs to reach 140 to 150 degrees

The only thing to remember is that the water needs to reach 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit to effectively kill bacteria and viruses, the World Health Organization said. It is better to add another disinfectant or soap when washing clothes or dishes.

However, never try to disinfect your body with boiling water because it will only result in burns.

Vinegar

One of the cheapest on this list is vinegar, which is famous for its disinfecting properties. However, it’s not as effective as hydrogen peroxide in killing viruses.

This kitchen staple has acetic acid, which has been known to reduce bacteria on different surfaces. Distilled vinegar, which is usually found in grocery stores, has only 4 to 7 seven percent of acetic acid.

What you can do is to add water to it (1:1). Leave it on a surface for 30 minutes before wiping clean.

Alcohol

Experts have found alcohol effective in eliminating germs and bacteria and is less harmful than toxic chemicals in disinfectants. It kills pathogens by breaking down the cell walls of the ‘enemies’ but in order to do that, we need high concentrations (60 percent or more).

Alcohol can clean surfaces

Viktorious-73/Shutterstock Alcohol needs to be at least 60 percent in concentration

As a disinfectant, add two parts isopropyl alcohol to one part water. After applying to the surface, let it sit for 30 minutes before wiping.