Around this time of year (winter for us in Australia) the ads for ‘antibacterial’ handwashes start to hit our TV screens in force.
Apparently we need to buy their anti-bacterial handwash to have happy, healthy kids!
Dislike! Not only are these ads misleading, they are promoting a product full of chemicals with the words healthy? Arrrgh!
Okay, so what is so bad about anti-bacterial handwash?
“There are two types of antibacterial products, those with alcohol and those with triclosan. Triclosan weakens the immune system and is suspected of causing cancer. Its overuse can also lead to the creation of “superbugs.” Slow Death by Rubberduck.
“Triclosan also affects the natural environment. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of the chemical, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources. That’s especially unfortunate since triclosan is very toxic to aquatic life.” Environmental Working Group
Alcohol in antibacterial products worries me too. A 60-75% alcohol content makes them highly flammable and dangerous around children. There have been cases of children hospitalized from accidental ingestion and poisoning. A quick google search also reveals that teenagers are drinking hand sanitizers to get drunk!
Other ingredients commonly found in hand wash and sanitizer is fragrance which can contain phthalates – known endocrine disrupters. “They have been linked with endometriosis and early puberty in girls, and reproductive organ abnormalities and reduced fertility in males. They can also act on the thyroid, and have been linked with obesity.” Choice Australia
How to make your own natural hand wash
I do prefer to use a hand wash over soap and water… mostly because it is less messy in the bathroom. It’s so easy to make and it’s very cheap!
Here’s how you do it:
1. Get yourself a foam pump.
You can buy a ceramic foaming soap dispenser like the one below. It’s only $15.15 so quite reasonable! If you want something cheaper and you are not worried about plastic, you can buy one with hand wash already in it and then repurpose it! This Eco-Store one is economical and the hand wash in it is not too bad! Of course you can buy the hand wash refills and do it that way if you like but I prefer making it myself as it’s cheaper, contains fewer ingredients and I can tailor it to suit.
2. Pour about 50ml (or 1/4 of your container) of Castile soap in.
Castile soap is a very mild, all purpose vegetable based liquid soap. One of the most popular brands is Dr Bronners – I like this company as the ingredients are ethically sourced.
3. Add around 10 drops of essential oils of your choice.
This is where I like to tailor the hand wash to suit. If the family is a bit germy or it’s lurgy season, use some oils that will kill bugs like the Immune Booster Blend at Twenty 8. Or you might prefer Instant Calm which has soothing properties of Lavender, Mandarin, Orange, Frankincense, Roman Chamomile and Neroli.
4. Top up with water and give a vigorous shake.
This is the fun bit! Leave a little gap at the top so it mixes in well.
5. Your hand wash is ready to go!
The result is a natural, safe handwash at a fraction of the cost you buy them at the supermarket.
Is this something you might try??
PS thanks to my ‘hand model’, my daughter… she thought it would be cute to make a heart shape with it 😀