Does Pine-Sol Kill Fleas? Household Chemistry Repellent

Pine-Sol is a kind of household chemistry that is used to clean grease and heavy soil stains. Launched in the 1930s, it contained pine oil as the main ingredient. Nowadays, there are a lot of variations based on the original recipe.

This product is famous for its versatility, and it can be used on various surfaces for cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing purposes. No doubt it eliminates germs, but does Pine-Sol kill fleas? Here, you will find the answer.

Guide on Using Pine-Sol for Fleas

  1. Spray the product on the doorsteps and windowsills.
  2. Put 1/4 cup of it into the gallon of water.
  3. Wash hard floors, wardrobes, and cabinets.
  4. Rinse the floor with water.
  5. Shampoo the carpets, and add 1/8 cup of Pine-Sol to water when rinsing.

Does Pine-Sol Kill Fleas?

Pine-Sol was designed as a detergent; it is not a traditional insecticide. However, the combination of ingredients makes this product not only a multi-purpose cleaner but also a popular solution to repel insects. You can find a variety of recipes on how to use it to get rid of wasps, flies, cockroaches, etc. Fleas are no exception, and the combination of ingredients affects all the insects in the same way.

How Does Pine-Sol Affect Fleas?

Hands of a woman looking for cat fleas

To be sure that Pine-Sol deters insects, let’s figure out how it works and what it consists of. This is a water-based remedy with pine or eucalyptus oil. Here is a list of additional components and their purposes:

  • C10-12 alcohol ethoxylates and sodium C14-17 secondary alkyl sulfonate act as the cleaning agents. They have grease-eliminating properties and can be also found in laundry detergents, for example;
  • Glycolic acid removes soap scum and scale deposits;
  • Dimethicone/silica/PEG stearate varieties are used mainly as defoamers;
  • Caramel paints the liquid, which allows you to control the amount of the product when preparing the solution.

According to the research, pine and eucalyptus can only repel insects, but these oils are not able to kill them due to the low concentration of the active substances. In practice, deterring parasites means that you have to carefully treat every surface they might live on, including carpets, soft furniture, curtains, and other fabrics. Adult fleas also can be found on hard floors. However, you can’t cover all these surfaces with pure essential oil. The only way you can use it is to prepare a water spray that reduces its concentration to a minimum.

Siphonaptera flea under light

Unlike sprays based on water, Pine-Sol contains two types of alcohol. Except for its main grease-cutting functions, it is also able to kill insects. You can’t use pure alcohol around your house for obvious safety reasons. This combination was supposed to be good-smelling household chemistry, but it turned out to be an effective insecticide.

Whichever way of killing and deterring fleas you choose, it always implies cleaning. Fleas pass four stages of development: an egg, a larva, a cocoon, and an adult flea. Eggs represent about half of the population, and unlike larvae and cocoons, they can’t cling to surfaces. Therefore, you should prioritize removing them. Given that, no wonder that Pine-Sol shows impeccable results when fighting fleas:

  • Alcohol kills fleas at any stage of development due to its destructive properties;
  • A clean house smells like pine or eucalyptus, which repels insects from coming back;
  • Pine-Sol is safe for treating various surfaces, including wood, cement, ceramic tiles, and carpets.

How to Use Pine-Sol to Get Rid of Fleas

Thorough cleaning with Pine-Sol is enough to get rid of fleas, but I always advise using two methods at one time to get the best result. Applying this remedy is the most effective solution along with regular vacuum cleaning:

  1. First, treat all the doorsteps and windowsills in your house to make sure you won’t bring fleas to your home again.
  2. Mop hard floors with Pine-Sol solution (1/4 cup of the product per gallon of water) and pay attention to the wardrobes and cabinets.
  3. Shampoo the carpets and rinse them with 1/8 cup of the mixture.

This product fits almost all surfaces except for worn wood, aluminum, marble, and copper. You’d also better avoid using it on dishes or cars.

Is Pine-Sol Safe?

As with any household chemistry, Pine-Sol is relatively safe if you follow the instructions. To avoid poisoning, skin irritation, and chemical burns, you should prevent the product from directly contacting the skin and mucous membrane. However, it can be dangerous for pets. Both essential oils and alcohol can seriously hurt animals since they have no enzymes to process them. If a pet swallows this product, it can lead to difficulty in breathing, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, and even death.

FAQ About Using Pine-Sol on Fleas

Flea drops in blue packaging

By now, you already know the answer to the question: “Will Pine-Sol kill fleas?” However, some issues might still bother your mind. Let’s address the most common concerns people usually have about using Pine-Sol to fight fleas.

Can Pine-Sol kill dogs?

Pine-Sol contains alcohol and pine essential oil, both of which are dangerous for pets. If the harm caused by alcohol is obvious, essential oils seem to be safe as a natural remedy. Is Pine-Sol pet safe? No, dogs and cats don’t have the enzymes needed to absorb them. Swallowing essential oils can provoke serious health issues, and combined with alcohol and other chemicals, the treatment can lead to death.

Can you bathe in Pine-Sol?

No, you can’t. Pine-Sol is household chemistry but not shampoo. It contains two types of alcohol and burns the mucous membrane in direct contact. This cleaner can irritate the skin and harm the airways if you use it beyond the instruction.

How long does it take for Pine-Sol to kill fleas?

In direct contact, Pine-Sol kills fleas in 10-15 minutes. Yet, any method can’t remove 100% of fleas at one time. You should treat your home at least twice to notice the result and keep it clean in the future to prevent these insects from appearing again.

Can Pine-Sol Kill Fleas at Once?

Pine-Sol is an effective remedy that repels almost all types of insects. It contains pine or eucalyptus essential oils, and this combination provides effective results. It seems to be safer than insecticides and more affordable. However, as with any chemical product, it has certain restrictions, especially if you have pets. This solution is dangerous for cats and dogs because they can’t absorb the components it contains. Swallowing Pine-Sol can lead to serious intoxication and even death.

Have you already tried any alternative to the insecticides? Do you think the combination of cleaning and repelling properties is effective in a single product? Please, share your suggestions.

Also Read:


  • What Are the Ingredients in Pine-Sol? (Staff Writer)
  • Repellency Effect of Essential Oils of some Native Plants and Synthetic Repellents against Human Flea, Pulex irritans (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae)
  • Essential Oil and Liquid Potpourri Poisoning in Dogs (Renee Schmid, DVM & Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT Pet Poison Helpline; Dr. Charlotte Flint, DVM)


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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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