We have all become really dependent upon antibacterial properties in just about everything we use. Even though they say that overexposure to antibacterial elements makes us more receptive to bacteria and also creates resistant strains in the environment, I just don’t feel right about cleaning without it. Conversely, I feel that as long as I do use antibacterial stuff I can do just about anything I want! Whether or not this is true and it’s very likely not true, I am still committed to antibacterial properties in my cleaning supplies.
The thing that does concern me, however, is the toxic chemicals that are being added to those products in order to create an “antibacterial” cleaning product. Isn’t there another, more natural, less toxic way to reduce bacteria in our environment? I mean, doesn’t nature have something out there that will kill or, at least, put a damper on bacteria? Being a herbalist and naturalist, I always go here first. And once I did, I found some great, inexpensive and long lasting substitutes for chemical antibacterials. Here are a few new recipes for all of you to try!
Rosemary Disinfectant Wash
This works as a disinfectant and can be used on any surface, from glass to porcelain to wood. It will get the bacteria off the surface and disinfect the area for awhile afterwards. Comparable to disinfectant treatments they do in hospitals! Try it, you’ll love the smell and the fact that it is non toxic and safe, even for infants.
3 handfuls of fresh Rosemary
1 cup of water
Simmer the Rosemary (do NOT boil) in the water over medium heat until the water is dark. Strain the Rosemary leaves out of the water completely and allow to cool. Using the cool water on a clean sponge, rag or towel, use this liquid to wash down every surface in the area. Add a mild dish washing detergent to the mix to remove grease or other objects from any surface. You can also wash the area with the detergent first to remove food, stains, grease, scum or other hard to remove substances first and then follow up with the Rosemary water for disinfecting.
You can store any left over water in the fridge for up to a week, so make enough in advance to use every day if you like. It will make your home smell “herby” and outdoorsy. Do not rub the water off with a towel or rag afterwards. Be careful not to leave too much on the surface and let it air dry.
Lavender Antibacterial Spray
This is a lightly scented, delightful spray that can be used anywhere at any time. Safe to use around children, even babies. DO NOT overload on the Lavender Oil and DO NOT spray directly on children, especially baby boys. Overall, this is effective, safe and lovely. Your home will smell like a French Garden and you really won’t need any Glade. Trust me.
1 cup water
20 drops pure essential oil of lavender
Pour the water into a spray bottle. Add the lavender essential oil and shake to blend. Spray on the surface and let set for at least 15 minutes, or don’t rinse at all.
Eucalyptus Disinfectant Spray
This is a great disinfectant, much like the commercial stuff they use in hospitals. In fact, in many hospitals you smell that sort of fakey eucalyptus stink whenever you use their bathrooms. That’s because they use a chemical fragrance instead of the real thing and depend upon chemicals themselves to do the disinfecting! Sort of a roundabout way of getting it done, don’t you think? All being done so that Chemical companies can make a buck. I ask you, do you care?
Here is a fresh, non toxic, chemical free disinfectant spray you can make today.
3 cups of water
40-60 drops of Essential Oil of Eucalyptus
Please note that the ingredients will make enough to fill an entire spray bottle. If you are looking to make less, then reduce the ingredients by half or a third.
Simply put the water in the bottle and drop in the essential oils. Shake really well, for awhile, to be sure it is all well mixed in. Once you have a darker color of water and a good mix of the oil, you are ready to use. Spray as needed, anywhere and everywhere you need to disinfect. I mean, seriously. Even the toilet and the diaper pail. For really stinky areas with a lot of grime, spray over thickly and rub it in with a sponge or rag, like you would Pine Sol. All it to dry naturally, unless the smell is overwhelming as it might be if you use a lot. You can dry it off with a rag to reduce the intensity of the odor.
Use as often as you like.
Lemon Antibacterial Wash
This will make your home smell citrus-like and fresh. It is lovely on surfaces like glass and porcelain, making them shine. Your home will smell and look clean! It is an easy wash to use, safe to use around children, even babies. The mixture keeps the Lemon from making the surfaces sticky and the result is “squeaky clean!”. Antibacterial and super squeaky clean!
6 drops of essential oil of Lemon
1 Tsp Isopropyl Alcohol
2 Quarts of tepid Water
Make sure the water is tepid, warm but almost cold, and nothing close to hot! Hot water will make this evaporate and be useless. So warm the water carefully and when it gets too hot, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to skin temperature. Like a baby bottle. When it gets to that tepid temperature, drop in the Lemon oil and stir really well. Then drop in the Alcohol and stir it again.
Put the mix in any container (like a bucket or cup) that you can carry around easily. Do not put in a sprayer because it evaporates under pressure. Swab it onto surfaces with a clean sponge or rag and rub it in. In most cases, surfaces won’t need pre-washing or scrubbing. The alcohol will help remove grease, film, scum and dirt. It evaporates after use so the surface won’t retain it. But it will retain the Lemon smell, which makes everything so fresh and clean smelling. Use this and enjoy!
Tea Tree and Peppermint Oil Dyno Spray
This spray should be used in really nasty places where disinfectant and anti bacterial properties are desired. This will disinfect the surface immediately and rapidly afterward dispel bacteria. It is a great smelling, fast acting preparation that can be costly if you use it a lot. Tea Tree Oil is not a cheapie. But it’s so good and works so well with the Peppermint that you will want to use it when you need to.
6 drops of essential Tea Tree Oil
6 drops of essential oil of Peppermint
2 quarts of tepid Water
1 tsp of green detergent
1 tsp Isopropyl Alcohol
Buy a “green” detergent for this to make it more planet friendly. If you can’t find a “green” detergent, then you are allowed to resort to a glycerin based detergent or clear soap. If you desire an extra wallop to add to this mix, you may select a clear antibacterial soap to add if you must. But it should work great just the way it is.
Mix all of the above together in a bucket or pot. Make sure the water is tepid, not too cold or hot. Like a baby bottle. Stir it well until it’s blended but the detergent should not be foaming. Once well mixed but not foaming, add in the alcohol, which should tamp down any foaming that may be still going on. Stir in well and then start adding to spray bottles. Once in the bottles, you can shake each bottle strongly to get a good mix. It should not be foaming a lot at this point.
Use the spray where ever you have a bacterial problem or possible infections. Use it bathrooms where people have had the flu or other infections. Use it in the kitchen after eating meats or seafood. Use it in trash bins, toilets, diaper pails and other places that stink and get nasty. It will add a fresh, minty odor to everything (sort of like toothpaste or mouthwash) but it’s greatest benefit is the disinfectant and anti bacterial properties it provides. The soap might make it a little foamy at times and it can be used as a scrubbing agent on greasy or grimey surfaces. Use this with some degree of care and do not spray it directly on children. Allow surfaces to dry before using them after cleaning.