How to ACTUALLY get rid of fruit flies

Sharing is caring!

Inside: How to actually get rid of fruit flies at the source without using harsh chemicals or leaving a bowl of wine or juice on the counter! Hint: check your drain.

Back for the second post in this simplified cleaning series! In case you missed it, I’m also tackling the challenge of cleaning feather down pillows properly and how to get dog odours out of the couch. Here’s a question that inevitably comes EVERY summer. How to get rid of those disgusting and always breeding fruit flies??!?  UGH.

So here’s how to ACTUALLY get rid of fruit flies 

Today – my friends, I’m here to tell you my super secret, works like a charm, solution. OXYGEN BLEACH. Update: this is not the same as bleach-bleach. Please do not use regular household bleach for this fruit fly killing remedy. Use the non-toxic oxygen based bleach crystals or liquid. I’ve linked to a bunch of options below. Check out this post for how I use Oxy Bleach Powder to clean around the house. 

Here are the types (they will all work in much the same way): 

Note sodium percarbonate is the active ingredient in oxy bleach and should be diluted prior to use!

How to actually get rid of fruit flies in your kitchen!

As with any good monster or alien invasion movie, the protagonists fight and fight through the first 2/3rds of the script only to realize the best way to battle the attacking foe is to determine where they are originating.


In the case of most fruit flies – it’s not the fiery depths of the Earth’s core or the far reaches of interplanetary space… but rather – the SINK DRAIN. Fruit flies are also commonly known as drain flies. For real. They like it in there. Gross, I know. It’s so gross, I have a whole post on how I frequently deep clean our stainless steel sink

Once they breed, they like to sit on, cling to and revel in any other kitchen surface touched by our hands. Our hands carry food and sugars and sometimes sticky stuff, you see.

So here’s how you tackle them.

Fill your sink about 1/3 of the way with hot water from the tap. As it’s filling, add in a cap full of liquid oxygen bleach or a 1/4 scoop of the oxygen bleach crystals. This stuff is the BEST and is totally safe to use. I seriously can’t live without it.

How to actually get rid of fruit flies
The TRICK to getting rid of fruit flies in your kitchen

Then immerse a dish rag into the water. Let that whole shebang sit there for about 10 minutes.

After the 10 or so minutes, use the bleach water soaked rag to wipe down every surface in the kitchen – knobs, door handles, the fridge, stove handle, the blender, juicer, fruit bowl, coffee maker – whatever is touched and potentially ‘fruity’.  Then wipe the sink thoroughly.

After another 10 minutes or so, drain the sink of the bleach water while running hot water at the same time. Thoroughly wipe out the drain and stopper.How to actually get rid of fruit flies

Provided you don’t bring more infested bananas into the house, this should cull the herd! Bonus – this doesn’t waste any wine in a bowl and you don’t have to see fly carcasses everywhere.

Other Methods for Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

These are other tried and true methods, that I’ll admit I sometimes use when things get desperate.

The red wine solution

Pour a bit of dry wine or fruit juice into a shallow dish. Cover said dish with cellophane and poke holes in the top with a fork. The flies will get in, drown and die. The downside of this is you’re left with a gross bowl of dead fly carcasses. I only use this method under duress.

The fly paper solution

Only once in my life have I had to use this and it was when we’d been on vacation for three weeks and the sink wasn’t 100% clean before we left and we came home to fly city. It was nasty. The fly paper hangs from a ceiling or light fixture, attracts the flies and they stick to it. Then they languish there to die. And at the end, you have this gross sticky paper full of dead flies.

Other fly trap hacks you can try

If none of these cut it, you might want to turn it up a notch on your fly trap situation. Here, The Prairie Homestead explains how to DIY a fly trap. And Fabulessly Frugal has another verion that’s do-it-yourself as well.

Good luck!

Here are some other fabulous Cleaning & Organizing posts for you!

DIY Natural Glass Stove Top Cleaner | How-to

Inside: How to make an effective and simple DIY Natural Glass Stove Top Cleaner to…

Clean your House with Pets

ULTIMATE GUIDE: How to Keep a Clean House when you have Pets

Inside: A complete guide to having a clean and tidy home while living with cats…

Combat Kitchen Odours with a DIY Compost Bin

Inside: How to deep clean a kitchen compost pail to keep things smelling fresh; plus…

How to Deep Clean a Stainless Steel Sink

Inside: How to clean a stainless steel sink in minutes with the best tricks for…

How to Clean Mattress Stains (like pee!)

  Inside: Having pets and toddlers is bad for mattresses; a complete review of how…

How to Organize your Tupperware with a Simple DIY!

Inside: Use this simple DIY hack to organize food containers and tupperware in a small…

DIY Air Freshener to Combat Pet Odors

Inside: A fun and fast DIY project to make your own natural, scented, air fresheners…

disposable lint roller

Incredible Ways to Use a Lint Roller

Inside: The difference between a lint roller and a lint brush and how to use…

Incredible Ways to Use Oxygen Bleach to Clean your Whole House

Inside: Tips for how to use oxygen bleach powder; a non-toxic, chlorine bleach alternative to…

Best Hacks for Removing Dog and Cat Hair

Inside: Simple tips and tricks for getting dog and cat hair out of furniture, clothing,…

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please see our privacy and disclosure policy here. 

Simple Organizing Projects

How to Declutter Toys and Organize a Playroom

Inside: How to teach your kids to declutter toys, why fewer toys might be better…

How to Declutter and Refresh your Closet

Inside: Practical tips for decluttering a closet seasonally; understanding how to decide what to keep…

How to Declutter Belts and Scarves with the KonMari Method

Inside: Using the Konmari Method to declutter, organize and store belts and scarves in an…

Does the KonMari Method Really Work? | Three Years After a Journey of Decluttering

Inside: An honest review of the KonMari Method three years after the fact; what helped,…

Declutter Your Life | How to Organize Your Receipts

Inside: Tips for how to organize and store receipts in file folders and digitally; how…

Creative ways to Organize the Apps on your Phone

Inside: Simple ways to organize your phone with creative home screen layouts and folders; plus…

How to Organize your Tupperware with a Simple DIY!

Inside: Use this simple DIY hack to organize food containers and tupperware in a small…

How to Design a Small Home Office

Inside: A massive portion of the population now works from home, so having a great…

How to Install a Hanging Credenza Cabinet

Inside: Details on how to install an Ikea-like hanging credenza cabinet in the living room…

10 Minute Bathroom Countertop Organization

Inside: Updating a small bathroom counter to be more stylish and organized in just 10…

5 thoughts on “How to ACTUALLY get rid of fruit flies

  1. Hi,
    Unfortunately I’m currently battling this war with fruit flies in my kitchen, bathroom and living room. I’m having difficulty finding the oxygen bleach crystals you mentioned in your post. Can you provide me some brand names of the products you use.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *