Non-toxic Disinfecting: Tips for disinfecting / sanitizing your home safely



If you are still using Clorox Bleach for cleaning / sanitizing, please consider the following:

  • To start: Clorox Bleach is more expensive than 3% Hydrogen Peroxide.
    • Did you also know bleach (chlorine) was invented in the late 40's. It was used to kill our troops.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide was invented during WWI in the 20's. It was used to save and help cleanse the needs of our troops and hospitals.


Cleaning and disinfecting is one of the most important steps you can take in controlling infectious diseases. Below are some examples of disinfectants available on the market. Follow the directions on the label carefully for the best results.

  • Thoroughly clean and scrub objects before applying disinfectants. Disinfectants cannot work on top of caked-on dirt and manure, so thoroughly wash surfaces before disinfecting.
  • Apply disinfectants using brushes, sponges and spray units. Allow adequate contact time (follow manufacturer’s instructions.)
  • Dispose of used disinfectant according to local regulations.


Examples of Disinfectants

  • Hydrogen Peroxide - Hydrogen Peroxide solution is great for disinfecting water, a foliar spray, as well as chemical free cleaning and bleaching. More info & directions
  • Roccal ®: Mix with water.
  • Nolvasan® (chlorhexidine diacetate 2 percent): Mix 3 fluid oz of Nolvasan per gallon of water.
  • Household bleach
  • Purell® hand pump for hand disinfection
  • GSE


  • Some of the disinfectants listed above are TOXIC to pet birds. Do now use spray disinfectants around your birds. Wash any treated areas carefully before allowing access to your bird.
  • Trade names mentioned here do not constitute an endorsement, guarantee, or warranty of these products. AvianWeb bears no responsibility resulting from the use of the described products. These procedures are not guaranteed to prevent highly contagious diseases from affecting your birds; however, they will reduce the risks.

AnchorHydrogen Peroxide:

The following information is for educational purposes and is not meant to treat or prescribe. GreenAndHealthy.Info is sharing what others have told us has worked for them as they pursue health for themselves, their pets and their plants..

  • Water Disinfectant / Directions: Merck's Index indicates that hydrogen peroxide can be used as a water disinfectant. Always use 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide in a dilute solution. Never use it as a concentrate without diluting it first. To make a 3% solution, mix 1 ounce 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide with 11 ounces of water.


Drinking Water of Farm Animals:

It was in 1985 that the first dairy farmer began injecting hydrogen peroxide in the water system of his entire farm. The water on his farm was polluted and mastitis was a problem with his herd. After continual use since that time, this same farmer has noticed with satisfaction the healthy state of his cows. In April 1988, the butterfat content of his Holstein cows was up to 5.3%. Another farmer who weighs the milk from every cow at every milking, reported that his milk production increased from 6 to 8 pounds per cow per milking. Others have reported their bacteria count has gone down to less than 2,000 per cubic centimeter. Many other farmers are continuing this experimental process.

Directions: Use 8 ounces of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide per 1000 gallons of water of 30 ppm. If you do not have an injector, start out by using 1 teaspoon of 35% hydrogen peroxide in the drinking cups at the stanchion. This same ratio is used for all farm animals: cows, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, rabbits and birds, increasing the oxygen level to the blood and cells. When hydrogen peroxide has been used for cattle, an increase in milk production and an increase in butterfat content have been reported. Farmers have also reported less mastitis in their herds. Hog farmers have reported less mastitis in their herds. Hog farmers have reported their hogs using less feed in a shorter growing time (as much as 30 days less). Turkey and chicken growers reported increased weight per bird using less feed. A man in Wisconsin has told us that he has had the best reproduction rate of his buffalo by using hydrogen peroxide in their drinking water.

Peroxide application into the well water, or city water can best be accomplished by a metering device, which keeps the application more constant and thorough although manual application can be a second best. The rule of thumb is 8 to 10 oz. of 35% hydrogen peroxide to 1000 gallons water.

Further information on Hydrogen Peroxide



GSE is a thick liquid concentrate that can be purchased at health food stores and online. Research found GSE to be an effective natural antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-protozoan, anti-viral and antiseptic disinfectant. As an additional benefit, GSE also has good anti-parasitic properties. The active ingredient of grapefruit seed extract is non-toxic and effectively eliminates strep, staph, salmonella, E. Coli, candida, herpes, influenza, parasites, fungi, and more. Laboratory tests found that GSE is 10 to 100 times more effective as disinfectant than chlorine, colloidal silver (Colloidal Silver Generator - Make Your Own), and iodine. The USDA tested GSE and found it effective against four animal viruses: Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine fever, Swine Vesicular Disease, and Avian Influenza.

When the FDA tested grapefruit seed extract in 1990 with 200 patients who had internal parasitic infections, they found that it gave more symptomatic relief than any other treatment. Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil found the substance to be 100% effective in skin disinfection when used as a pre-surgical preparation compared to a 72% effectiveness rate for alcohol. Breeders swear by its effectiveness against Giardia.

I don't think there is a more effective yet environmentally-friendly disinfectant than GSE. I use it for:

  • Three to four drops per gallon of water prevents the growth of algae in incubators, bird baths, water fountains, humidifiers, etc,
  • I prevent sprouts from going moldy by adding GSE to the rinse water;
  • GSE is great for cleaning up babies after feedings. It cleans their feathers and kills any bacteria and other disease pathogens. A few drops of GSE in a cup of warm water suffice;
  • Cleaning and sterilizing Brooders & Intensive Care Units, incubators, and feeding utensils;
  • One drop per eight-ounce water dish keeps your bird's drinking water free from pathogens;
  • For disinfecting hard surfaces apply GSE full strength leaving it on for about 30 minutes and rinsing.


Disinfecting in the Bird Nursery (VETARC)

The bird nursery is perhaps the place where hygiene is most important. Bacteria are common causes of disease in baby psittacines and in other groups. This is partly because these birds lack the mature defense systems of the adults and their homeostatic mechanisms are easily disturbed leading to stress, infection and death.

The general bacterial flora of psittacine guts is essentially gram positive. A variety of gram negative bacteria are particularly problematic in causing disease, these include E.coli, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, and Pseudomonas, a number of which will pass through birds but any stress may lead to an overwhelming infection. Isolation, Identification and treatment based on sensitivity patterns are essential for successful avian medicine. The aviculturist can have a major role to play in prevention of infection.

Artificially incubated chicks can acquire infection in the incubator. Fecal contamination on one egg can be spread by means of the humidifying

The first precaution is to wipe the eggs gently prior to placing in the incubator, to remove gross contamination. In the washing solution use a suitable disinfectant/cleanser. For this type of use the disinfectant should have certain properties:

- it must be safe and non toxic
- it must have good cleansing properties
- it leaves a biocidal coating on the egg eg. Amprotect Egg Wash

To prevent possible cross contamination from adult birds or other eggs, hands should be either gloved with 'sterile gloves' or treated with a suitable disinfectant. Here the disinfectant may have slightly different properties:

- it hould be non-irritant to the skin
- it should be easy to use eg. Amprotect Hand rinse

The water in the humidifier is a great risk as this can be a major means of infecting eggs with Pseudomonas. Regular changes of water help reduce the risk as do the other measures mentioned but the potential value of the eggs within the incubator warrant taking extra care. A suitable disinfectant such as ARK-KLENS can be incorporated in the water.

Infertile eggs and those with non-viable embryos should be removed as soon as possible, otherwise they will act as growth sites for bacteria. 24 hours prior to hatching, the egg may be transferred to a shallow tray in the hatcher which has been previously washed in a disinfectant such as Ark-Klens, this means that the newly hatched chick enters a clean world and that bits of egg shell with membranes etc

Immediately after hatching, the 'umbilical' region of the chick should be swabbed with a diluted tamed iodine preparation eg. Tamodine to reduce the risks of subsequent infection.

The two major worries of parrot breeders at this stage are Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) caused by a circovirus and Psittacine Polyomavirus/ Budgerigar Fledgling Disease (BFD) caused by a papovavirus. These can both be egg transmitted and chicks usually hatch successfully but may infect others in the same brooder. Both diseases may manifest at Fledging, PBFD mainly with feather lesions and death, Polyomavirus

In the bird room, the cages inevitably become contaminated and harbor infection, nestlings can become infected in nest boxes and so veterinary help in detecting carrier birds may be very important. Some parent birds may carry infections in the crop which are not found on fecal sampling. The risks presented by carrier birds are very great if practicing cross-fostering etc as some large breeders do, this can be very risky unless top-notch hygiene is practiced and the stock is known to be free of carriers. Warm bird rooms where birds are fed fresh or cooked foods can build up infections very easily, so disinfection by spray to wash down cages and walls is important.

Cooked mash can turn into a culture of Pseudomonas in well under 24 hours! So uneaten mash should be disposed of if not consumed within 6 hours. It is important to remember that bacterial growth can occur in bottled water, particularly that produced in the home by filtration. Its safety of use, combined with its cleansing properties make Ark-Klens a suitable disinfectant in intensive bird rooms. Weekly or monthly use of Tamodine-E as a thorough disinfectant is worthwhile.

Kitchen hygiene is very important, syringes used for feeding birds should be soaked in disinfectant as should all other utensils including bowls and even blenders or food processors. Ark-Klens is ideal for this and should be rinsed off afterwards.


GreenAndHealthy.Info strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!

Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.

GreenAndHealthy.Info strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!