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Homemade Fly Repellent – Keep Flies Away with Pine sol

This homemade fly repellent formula uses the common household cleaner Pine Sol. 

We all know how bothersome flies can be in any outdoor gathering. Keeping them away often means using harsh chemicals.

What if I told you that a common household cleaner, Pine-Sol, could be used to do this job? The reason it works is because of pine oil that is in  the original Pine Sol.

But not just any Pine Sol works. Read on to discover which version to use and why this fly spray works.

Fly on a leaf and bottle of Pine Sol with words Keep flies away with Pine-Sol!

Keep flies away with Pine Sol!

Close up of a fly on a white background.

Sometimes, common household products can be used in unusual ways to treat insects. I recently tested Borax and apple cider vinegar in a quest to kill ants. Find out the results of my Borax ant killer tests here.

We recently had a huge graduation party for my daughter and the flies were a problem for us. At the time, I did not realize that one way to keep flies away from my tables was to use the household cleaner Pine sol.

I did a bit of research on the subject and now I am sold!

Why does Pine-Sol repel flies?

Pine oil is quite expensive, but very effective at keeping houseflies away. You can test this by putting a few drops on a cotton ball and placing it near flies. They should quickly fly away.Pine oil and lavender oil on a purple towel

Other essential oils that are reputed to repel flies are lavender oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and lemongrass oil.

I made a homemade mosquito repellent recently with some essential oils. See the DIY essential oil mosquito repellent formula here.

Since this worked out so well, I decided to see what I could find about repelling flies.

Pine oil and flies

A recent study showed that using pine oil is very effective at repelling flies, even after 24 hours.

The findings about keeping flies away applies to concentrated pine oil, but what about Pine Sol? The product has a strong pine scent. Does it contain pine oil?

Unfortunately for those wanting to make a homemade fly repellent spray, the answer is “it depends.”

The original Pine Sol, a widely used pine oil based cleaner, contained 8-12% pine oil, along with other ingredients. Alas, two things have happened over the years. The original formula of Pine Sol is no longer sold in stores and Pine-Sol has changed!

Today, the cleaners that are branded as Pine-Sol contain no pine oil. However, in response to consumer requests for the original formula, Clorox, the owner of Pine Sol, has made available a product containing 8.75% pine oil. This product is not sold in stores, but is available to online purchasers.

Trying to find the Pine-Sol product with 8.75% pine oil is a challenge if you are shopping locally.

The reason you cannot find the original product in stores is that pine oil is quite expensive to manufacture. This is the main reason it was discontinued in the Pine-Sol brand.

Share this homemade fly repellent post on Twitter

Have the flies got you bugged? Use the common household product Pine-Sol to keep flies away this year. Head on over to The Gardening Cook to find out how to do it. #flyrepellent #PineSol 🦟🦟🦟 Share on X

Homemade fly repellent spray

If you have some of the original Pine-Sol, you can make this homemade fly repellent easily and quickly.Bottle of Pine-sol homemade fly repellent on a counter near a succulent in a planter.

This spray is great for outdoor and indoor use. Flies seem to HATE pine-sol. To make the fly repelling spray, mix the original Pine-Sol with water, at a ratio of 50/50 and put it in a spray bottle. Use to wipe counters or spray on the porch and patio table and furniture to drive the flies away.

Note: Please take notice that this homemade fly repellent spray is not meant to be used on children,  on your skin or near food. Treat Pine-Sol fly repellent spray just as you would any other chemical in your home.

Pets in particular are a problem,, since Pine-Sol is toxic to them. This fly repellent should not be used around any household pets.

What methods have you used to keep flies away for outdoor parties?; Please leave your comments below.

Label your homemade fly repellent bottle

Print out the instruction card below, which has a label for your spray bottle. Use a glue stick and attach the label to the bottle so that everyone will be aware of what is in the bottle.Fly on a green background with words Pine-sol homemade fly spray.

Pin this homemade fly repellent for later

Would you like a reminder of this post to keep flies away with Pine Sol? Just pin this image to one of your household boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.Plant and clear bottle with a label and the text reading "Pine-Sol fly spray."

Admin note: This post on how to keep flies away with Pine Sol first appeared on the blog in June of 2013. I have update the post to add all new photos, more information on pine oil, a project card and a printable label.

Yield: ! bottle of fly repellent spray

Homemade Fly Repellent with Pine Sol - Keep Flies Away!

Pine-sol homemade fly repellent

The original Pine-Sol product contains pine oil which is know to repel flies. Make your own homemade fly repellent with this formula to keep flies away.

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $2


  • 12 fl oz Original Pine-Sol formula
  • 12 fl oz Water 


  • 24 oz spray bottle
  • Glossy Photo Paper
  • Printable label (shown below the instructions)


Make the fly spray

  1. Mix the original Pine-Sol cleaner with the water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Pour into the spray bottle.
  4. Use the fly repellent spray on tables, screens and other hard surfaces outdoors.

Print the label

  1. Load your printer with the glossy photo paper.
  2. Print out the label, trim, and attach to your bottle with a glue spray label


Keep the spray away from pets and children. This formula is not meant to be used on skin.

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Monday 5th of June 2023

Does lavender pine sol work as well ?

Carol Speake

Tuesday 6th of June 2023

Pinesol sold in stores today contain no pine oil which is needed for the formula. However, in response to consumer requests for the original formula, Clorox, the owner of Pine Sol, has made available a product containing 8.75% pine oil. This product is not sold in stores, but is available to online purchasers.


Thursday 29th of September 2022

Please remember that Pine-sol is toxic to cats!


Monday 5th of September 2022

Tried this on all surfaces in kitchen and window sills and doors. Wiped down surfaces in garage and patio. Worked for about 5 minutes and they were back with friends. Very disappointed.


Friday 19th of August 2022

Before doing this, find out (or just remember) if anyone in your household or any of your guests have a chemical sensitivity. I just came home to discover that my partner had sprayed this on the house & screen doors. I'm now barricaded in the one bedroom that the stench isn't invading, having an allergic reaction to it. Burning eyes, airways and lungs, coughing, and migraine. Sometimes just ignoring the flies is preferable to spraying toxic chemicals all over the environment. Also, please do not do this if you have pets. Their noses are much more sensitive than ours.

Victoria Ciancia

Sunday 23rd of May 2021

The pine sol doesn't work for me.


Friday 21st of January 2022

@Kristi, Agreed, I rubbed Irish Spring soap on everything I could in our Garage, that is always inundated with flies in the Summer. I checked it after about an hour, 98% flies gone. We leave the door up, in the Summertime.


Monday 16th of August 2021

@Victoria Ciancia, A bar of Irish spring soap works to keep them away. Hang by string or set soap on a dish or plate.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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