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
So what can we use instead?
♦ Plain old soap and water. Our soap of choice is Harmony Soapworks Goat Milk Soap. It contains only safe oils and goat milk powder. Soap and water, used thoroughly and with a good drying technique, can rid you of bacteria. If you want to go a little more hard core and use a natural antibacterial, you can …..
♦ Make your own anti-bacterial handwash.
Although I do love the goat milk soap, I save it for the shower and use this home-made handwash to avoid mess! It has natural antibacterial properties and it’s particularly good if anyone in the family is sick with colds or gastro. You can use any essential oil you like for different effects and a nice aroma.
I have two Cuisipro foam pumps, one for the bathroom and one for the kitchen. I add about 50ml of Dr Bronner’s Unscented Pure Castile Soap and 10 drops of Young Living Thieves Oil. Then I top it up with water and give a vigorous shake. The result is a natural, safe, anti-bacterial handwash at a fraction of the cost you buy them at the supermarket.
♦ Make your own natural hand sanitizer.
Inspired by this recipe, you can make your own hand sanitizer, really easily. Just mix 1 cup of Dr Organic Aloe Vera Gel (or other pure aloe vera gel) with 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and 30 drops of Thieves essential oils. Mix everything together well and store in a glass container.
So, what is this Thieves?
Thieves essential oil is one of the most amazing things I have come across! “Thieves Oil is a blend of five essential oils that are scientifically documented to be highly anti-infectious, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic.” You can ingest (it’s food grade), diffuse or use topically. Our family use it for immune boosting, disinfecting, mould removal and getting rid of colds and flu. Since discovering it several years ago, I would not be without it. I am constantly amazed at how Mother Nature provides us with all we need.
What do you use to wash your hands? Do you like using essential oils?