Over disinfecting

antibacterial

Kitchen Cleaner?

Are you still using antibacterial soap and cleaners in your home? My family has been opting out of both for a while now, and I just assume everyone lives like we do. But recently a friend of mine sent me this FAQ titled, Ditch Disinfectants, by Dr. Andrew Weil. I thought I would share the article because is has a lot of good information about how the ingredients in disinfectants, triclosan in particular, are building up in the environment and, “potentially making germs tougher and more harmful to us.” If you’ve never heard of him, Dr. Weil describes himself as a, “world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit.” The FAQ is really interesting, stating that antibacterial products are not, “necessary except in nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare settings where there is a high risk of spreading infections from person to person. There’s no proof that the antibacterial soaps and washes marketed for home use serve any useful purpose. Soap and water do just as good a job of cleansing.”

Marketing for antibacterial products has done a number on us for years now, especially moms. The ads make you think that your house will be crawling with bugs and harmful germs if you don’t use antibacterial cleaners. Here is a snippet from Lysol’s website, “LYSOL® Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner cuts through grease to help clean kitchen messes and kills 99.9% of germs* to help protect your family from the spread of foodborne bacteria like salmonella*.” Scary, right?

I’m a full believer in the science behind, “dirt don’t hurt.” We like to play in the dirt, and the only thing I don’t like about dirt is trying to get it out of my kids clothes. Call me old school, but a good soap and warm water scrubbing will kill everything you come into contact with, plus it doesn’t smell weird.

If you are looking for an anti-antibacterial cleaner, I wrote a post a while ago on how to make your own glass/counter cleaner using castille soap, vinegar, and water. And there are hand soaps out there without antibacterial chemicals in them, Softsoap makes a version, you just have to look around at the grocery store and you’ll find them. I’m still searching for a hand soap that has no chemicals, and more soap. I’d love to hear from you guys on what soaps you use, I need recommendations!

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Glass/Counter cleaner recipe

I know everyone out there is just dying to learn this natural glass cleaner recipe, on the second day of the new year. I’ve been meaning to post this recipe because I absolutely love it, but I kept forgetting, probably because it is so exciting. (Can you tell I’m being sarcastic?) Anyway, a friend suggested this and it is simple to make, and works better on glass than the store-bought cleaners I’ve tried. Some advice when using it: spray less cleaner than you normally would, use a little more elbow grease, and let it dry for a little bit before deciding whether or not you like it. Since there is vinegar in it, you can also use it on your kitchen counters, too. One cleaner for multiple jobs, score!

Recipe:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • squirt of castile soap

Mix it together in a spray bottle (that you can buy for $.99 at Lowe’s) and voila! – you made your own glass cleaner. I could not find castile soap when I went to the grocery store and had to ask the manager. At Harris Teeter they keep the castile soap in the natural/organic section on the same aisle as baby products, like diapers. Just fyi.

Good luck and happy cleaning in 2013!