A Guide to Natural Disinfectants for the Home
When we think of disinfectants the first thought is usually chemicals like bleach. We expect disinfectants to be powerful agents which sterilize any area they’re applied to. It’s not the greenest sounding product out there. But there's good news! There are natural options which do the job as well as their toxic counterparts.
The classic disinfectant is bleach. It’s popular because it works. For years it was recommended by the EPA and FDA as a viable disinfectant from everything from food surfaces to children’s toys. This is problematic because bleach is linked to respiratory issues, birth defects, skin burns, nervous system damage, asthma exacerbation, headaches, vomiting, and cancer.
Resistance to using natural products as disinfectants stem from the belief they’re not as powerful as their toxic chemical counterparts. However, with a little searching and creativity, there are all-natural options which safely disinfect without any harmful residue for you or your family.
Tea Tree Oil
Not just for pimples. This beautiful smelling organic essential oil is a powerful natural disinfectant, which is why it’s a key ingredient in the heavy duty AspenClean Super Scrub Powder. For a DIY spray, add about 30 drops to a vinegar/water mix in a 610 ml spray bottle, mix it up and work away.
This clean, natural, and biodegradable liquid is more than a cooking product. It’s made up of 95% water and 5% acetic acid, which allows for a powerful, natural disinfectant that can be used to clean your sweat stained cloths, rusty tools, dishes in the wash, or removing hard water deposits. It also acts as a deodorizer and easily cuts through grease.
More than just a delightful summer scent, this organic essential oil has distinct disinfectant properties. Another key ingredient in AspenClean Super Scrub Powder, as well as AspenClean All Purpose Cleaner. A handy DIY is to mix a few drops with water diluted white vinegar for a great floor cleaner. This essential oil is also an antispasmodic, meaning it helps your muscles relax.
While it lacks a green sounding name, it’s an incredible natural, biodegradable compound. Hydrogen Peroxide is water with an extra oxygen molecule and it breaks back down into oxygen and water, which is kind to the environment. The hydrogen peroxide to use is the 3% formula, and can be used for your laundry, bathroom and kitchen cleaning, greasy pots and pans, and kids toys. Use it as a spray, create a paste with baking soda, or use it for soaking.
The EPA has thyme oil listed as the same effectiveness as bleach as a disinfectant, with none of the adverse health effects. Because it’s so effective against food borne pathogens like salmonella, you can add thyme oil to your washing water when you clean cutting boards and kitchen utensils that have encountered raw eggs and meat.
There are many options to look at for disinfectants that don’t put yourself or your family at risk. Natural products have no fumes, the surfaces are cleaned, and you can breathe freely while working.