Will This Pine-Sol TikTok Hack Really Keep Flies Away From Your Porch?

Updated: Jun. 10, 2024

Use Pine Sol to keep flies away for good (or at least a good while) with this viral TikTok hack.


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♬ original sound – Clean By Kelcee

Flies are a nuisance when enjoying outdoor spaces for a barbecue, birthday party or eating dinner al fresco. With warmer weather ahead, learn how to keep the flies away with this popular Pine-Sol hack making the rounds on TikTok.

What is the Pine-Sol Hack for Keeping Flies Away?

Mix Pine-Sol and water in a bucket using a 50:50 ratio. Pour the mixture onto your concrete patio and scrub with a long-handled brush. Work in sections until the entire patio has been scrubbed. With this Pine-Sol hack, there’s no need to rinse — just let the patio dry, replace the furniture, and enjoy a fly-free day.

If you don’t want to treat your entire patio, Katie Femia from The Homespun Hydrangea suggests spot-treating outdoor furniture instead. “Clean outdoor tables and chairs with Pine-Sol and a soft cloth prior to use,” she says. Janet Thaeler from Clean Freak and Germaphobe suggests spraying and wiping a diluted mix of one part Pine-Sol and two parts water onto window sills, doors or other problem areas.

Does Pine-Sol Really Keep Flies Away?

Yes, Pine-Sol can keep flies away from your deck. “Products that contain natural oils like pine oil can repel flies,” chemistry professor Bill Carroll says. Despite Pine-Sol no longer containing actual pine oil, “it does contain limonene, which is a component of pine oil” Carroll says.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), limonene is a registered ingredient in 15 different insect repellent and pesticide products. It helps give Pine-Sol its distinct smell, and appears to be the active ingredient working to repel flies.

“Flies love many scents, but pine, lemon, and lavender are not included in that list,” Femia says. She suggests trying Pine Sol formulas that contain lavender and lemon oils for even better results.

In addition to repelling flies with its smell, Thaeler points out that using Pine-Sol to clean floors (like in this hack), also removes any spills or crumbs that could attract flies in the first place.

Is This Pine-Sol Hack Safe?

Yes, using Pine-Sol to keep flies away is safe.

According to the Pine-Sol product page, it is biodegradable and safe for use around pets. However, Thaeler suggests waiting until treated areas have dried before letting children or pets near to be safe. “Like any cleaner, avoid direct contact with your skin, eyes or mouth,” she says. Never spray directly on food or tableware.

When diluting for this Pine-Sol hack, only mix Pine-Sol with water. Do not combine with other chemicals or cleaning products, as this could create toxic gasses. Also, avoid using Pine-Sol on a wood deck with unsealed, oiled or aged wood.

About the Experts

  • Bill Carroll, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor of chemistry at Indiana University. The former vice president of industry issues for Occidental Chemical Corporation, he’s currently principal of Carroll Applied Science in Dallas, Texas.
  • Katie Femia is an author, gardening expert and creator of The Homespun Hydrangea, a lifestyle blog offering recipes, DIY tutorials and product reviews.
  • Janet Thaeler is an expert cleaner at Clean Freak and Germaphobe, a popular website and YouTube channel devoted to home-cleaning tips, hacks and organizing. She has operated the site since 2018 and has over 240,000 subscribers.