A friend of mine passed along the following recipe for a hard surface cleaner:

  • 5 oz hydrogen peroxide
  • 5 oz white distilled vinegar
  • 4 oz water
  • 18 oz Everclear / golden grain

Here's my question: I have 190 proof Everclear that I'd like to use with this recipe, but I want to make sure the above solution is at least 60% alcohol, per the CDC's guidance on DIY household cleaners. How can I calculate the % alcohol that will result by using the above recipe with a 190 proof Everclear, hoping that it's at least 60%?

  • 1
    Hi Will, Welcome to Lifehacks. Be sure to visit the Help center and the Tour to get the most out of our rather wacky community. You'll also get a rep badge for the effort.
    – Stan
    May 3, 2020 at 20:28
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    Surely buying these ingredients would cost more and be more dangerous than just buying a dedicated disinfectant! Welcome to lifehacks indeed, but please carefully consider the sort of questions we answer here. Questions should be about how to solve a problem using products intended for other things. The way this question is couched, it should have been posted on maths stackexchange rather than lifehacks. "How can I make my own disinfectant?" is a lifehacks question, "if a 95% alcohol spirit is 50% of a mixer what percentage alcohol is the drink?" is not a lifehacks question.
    – Caius Jard
    May 5, 2020 at 4:37

1 Answer 1


Let's use volume to find the percentage of alcohol that would result from mixing your recipe:

Your 190 Proof "Everclear" is 95% alcohol. That means that 18 ounces of Everclear is 17.1 ounces of pure 100% ethanol alcohol.

The total volume of your recipe is 32 ounces.

17.1 ounces of alcohol in a 32 ounce volume is roughly 53.43% alcohol by volume.

You want to have a solution that is at least 60% by volume so you must cut the total volume without reducing the alcohol. The hydrogen peroxide and the distilled vinegar both contain water so removing some water would reduce the volume without reducing the alcohol.

Removing the 4 ounces of water will make a 28 oz disinfectant solution of a little over 61% alcohol by volume given the composition of your ingredients.

VERY Important: The solution contains enough acid that when mixed with another common household material (bleach) will release toxic gas (chlorine) to hurt or even kill you.
Do NOT mix chemicals contrary to the indications in the safety warnings on labels.

Good luck

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    Worse than that, it the mixture of hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid likely form a low level of peracetic acid. This substance is a very strong disinfectant, but also a strong irritant to eyes and respiratory passages. One shouldn't use any formula off the internet without verifying it is safe to use -- and this one might not be.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    May 4, 2020 at 19:14

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