While there are all sorts of ways to clean up the germs around the house, most of them are terrible for both you and the environment. Just last week I wrote about how the most common version of “cleaning” is anything but! It is pure insanity that we use the chemicals in these products on our bodies and in our homes on a daily basis, with all the damage they can do. Antibacterial agents are bad in that they kill everything, and we need to be exposed to a lot of germs in our life in order to maintain our resistance to bacteria and infections. It really bothers me when ads on TV and in magazines promote the use of this stuff to clean everything with, when we know that eventually some new resistant strain of something will come up and bite us where the sun doesn’t shine…and we won’t know how to fight back against it.
That all being said, if you do need to disinfect your house, car, or yourself for some reason, there are ways of doing it with an all-purpose cleaner that are not bad for the environment or you. A friend uses lavender and tea tree oil at her school and swears by the effectiveness. So how can you make environmentally friendly disinfectant and antibacterial agent that works for you as a natural household cleaner?
- Plain old undiluted distilled white vinegar kills 99% of bacteria and 80% percent of germs/viruses.
- You can add several teaspoons of tea tree oil to a gallon of water to wash windows, floors and toilets to scrub away the germs.
- Lavender oil or tea tree oil can be applied directly to cuts and scrapes where it will cool the pain and help fight infection.
- Mixing some tea tree oil with some water in a spray bottle can clean mold in the bathroom, disinfect the floor, or help clean up after your child has been sick.
- Need a decent-smelling spray to take with you? Combine 1 teaspoon of an essential oil like mint, lavender, rosemary, or tea tree oil with 1 cup of white vinegar.
Though I never recommend anyone use store-bought “antibacterial this and disinfectant that” around their house and on their person, sometimes you do need something to help clean up a mess that could be bad for your health. Using tea tree oil, vinegar, or lavender oil is a great alternative to those bottles of chemicals they sell you in the store, and cost a fraction of the amount at the same time. Please only use non toxic cleaners in and around your home!