We all worry – with good reason – about viruses, germs and infections and when they’re around grab the strongest disinfectant sprays and antibacterial cleaners we can find to disinfect our homes fast.
But … there’s always a but …
These super strength disinfectant sprays, antibacterial cleaners and bleaches can make things worse because they contribute to:
- Super bugs
- Antibiotic resistance
- And breathing problems
And the crazy thing is there are natural DIY disinfectants and antibacterial cleaners we can use in our homes easily that won’t make our families sick.
After a health scare a few years back I ditched all our antibacterial sprays and bleaches and have found it easy to clean without them. I can’t prove they were the cause of my health problems but having ditched them and taken some other simple steps to boost my immune system I have felt much healthier.
So if you’re worried about super strength disinfectants and bleaches have a read of my quick summary (with research links) of how they cause health problems and check out my tips on natural disinfectants to use instead.
And don’t forget to save these tips for later and please do share with friends who might be interested.
Super Bugs & Antibiotic Resistance
The World Health Organization says antibiotic resistant super bugs are one of the biggest threats to our health right now.
Antibacterial disinfectant cleaners contribute to super bugs because they don’t just kill germs and wash them off surfaces but actually leave a layer of anti-bacterial “protection” behind.
Sounds good huh?
Except bacteria mutate and develop resistance to the “protection”.
And everyday use of super strength antibacterial disinfectant and bleach based cleaners also seem to contribute big time to breathing problems. Especially in kids.
Cleaning Products Causing Breathing Problems
More and more research suggests long term exposure to antibacterial disinfectants, ammonia and bleach causes breathing problems.
Scientific research shows higher levels of chronic breathing problems – e.g. asthma, COPD – among women who use strong cleaning products at home or at work as professional cleaners.
And very recent research suggests children with higher exposure to strong cleaning sprays in their homes are more likely to develop asthma.
Very scary stuff, heh?
But what are we meant to do? Should we totally ditch all these antibacterial cleaners? And if we do, how can we disinfect our homes safely?
How To Disinfect Homes Safely Naturally?
The secret to disinfecting our homes safely seems to be – as it is in so many things – balance. We can keep our homes clean on an everyday basis with basic soap based products and a range of simple natural disinfectants.
And only reach for the super powered stuff if someone has actually got flu or a nasty virus or is physically sick.
If we only use the strong stuff occasionally we won’t be helping to breed antibiotic resistant super bugs or over exposing ourselves and our kids to chemicals that cause asthma and breathing problems.
So then the question is what are the best natural disinfectants we can use for cleaning our homes?
The Best Natural Cleaning Disinfectants
As we’ve all learned in the last few weeks regular use of hot soapy water is the best way to kill germs, bacteria and viruses on our hands.
The same is true around the house.
Good old fashioned castille soap or a gentle washing up liquid are our best first port of call throughout the day. After my health scare I switched to this more allergy friendly dish liquid and use it throughout the house for everything from worktops and surfaces to the fridge and toilets.
For extra deep cleaning power for specific problems I use it with these 6 natural disinfectants which all have antibacterial properties:
- Bicarbonate of soda : great mixed with dish liquid for cleaning sinks and bathrooms, shifting mold in grouting and brightening whites.
- Vinegar : acetic acid that’s good for cleaning glass and metals and blitzing stains and mildew.
- Lemon juice or citric acid : good for toilets, descaling kettles and disinfecting chopping boards plus stain removal.
- Rubbing alcohol : (or cheap vodka) is another good way to disinfect chopping boards and work tops and also shift stains.
- Tea tree oil : I am generally very sceptical about essential oils because of all the dodgy pyramid schemes flogging them for everything under the sun but I do use tea tree oil for everything from mold to nits and verrucas.
- Hydrogen peroxide : is stronger so I only use occasionally to remove tough stains – e.g. blood – and as a stronger disinfectant.
I don’t bother mixing these natural disinfectants into fancy cleaning products. I am far too lazy and in my house they become clutter but if you do want to, check out these simple natural cleaning recipes.
Whether you use them neat, add them to water in a spray or in your own DIY cleaning products, these natural disinfectants will help you deep clean without growing super bugs!!
I hope they help. Do save for later and share with friends and for more simple natural healthy living tips read these :
And for more non-toxic cleaning tips follow me on Pinterest.
I would love to hear how you get on.Original image sources: lemons black background, lemons with white background by Anka Albrecht, lemons with bowl