When our newborn son was only 2 days old, my 3 year old caught some sort of bug (with all of the craziness of the birth he had been staying with friends, I forgot to pack his vitamins, he had a lot of sugar, and was under some stress from all of the changes in his life – perfect storm for illness!). I was determined to keep the bug from spreading to everyone else in the home, especially the new baby!
You would think that I would naturally grab a can of Lysol and spray down every surface in the home, right?
I used only all-natural home-made cleaning products that not only killed the germs, they actually boosted our immune systems. Henry was only sick for 24 hours, thanks to natural remedies, and not one other person in the home got sick, including my mother, who was sharing a bedroom with him.
We have been trained (mostly by media) that in order to stay well, our environments must be free of every speck of dirt, germ, microbe and bacteria.
Many people are new to the idea that some bacteria is good and essential in fighting the bad, and that our overly sterile environments are now being linked to the recent rise in asthma and allergies.
Our bodies are amazing
They were creatively designed to come into contact with something that could be potentially harmful, identify it as an unwanted intruder, and fight it off. This process actually builds your immune system, making it stronger and better equipped to fight other bugs. This is one reason that any fever 101 or lower should be left to burn (ie: don’t administer a fever reducer).
A strong immune system is the body’s best defense against illness of all kinds.
Unfortunately, mainstream disinfectants work against our immune systems and block the natural process of a body fighting for itself, actually putting it at a higher risk of becoming, and staying sick. This is so sad to me, because as well-meaning parents everywhere do as they are told, and bleach their house top to bottom, and spray Lysol in the air in an attempt keep their families well, they are actually inhibiting their own family’s ability to fight infection. Most of these are also aerosol sprays which vaporize the chemicals allowing easy absorption from the lungs straight into the bloodstream.
Have you ever noticed that avid Lysol, antibacterial hand soap, and hand-sanitizer users are constantly sick?
Not only do these super cleaners kill both good and bad bacteria, they pollute the air in the home and contribute to a host of respiratory illnesses and skin irritations, not to mention the toll they take on the environment (air pollution, wastewater pollution,etc.)
The fact is, you WILL come in contact with viruses, flu, and other sickness nearly every time you leave the house.
If your body has been in contact with a lot of “antibacterial” products, your immune system begins to lose the ability to effectively fight infection. When someone is sick, wouldn’t you rather just feel confident that your immune system is strong and that you have good, natural ways to quickly fight off any illness?
So, here is my alternative to mainstream disinfectants. It is SO SIMPLE, cheap, and easy (this is becoming a theme here, and I like it!)
- 1 part distilled white vinegar
- 3 parts pure water
I purchased spray bottles and mixed the ingredients by shaking. Use this on counters, toilets, cabinets, carpets, furniture, etc.. I also sprayed or wiped all doorhandles with this, light switches, sink hadles, etc. while my son was sick. Yes, vinegar stinks, but once it dries, it actually acts as an odor eliminator, and leaves no smell behind. The best part is, you can give a bottle to your children to clean with and don’t have to worry about them accidentally ingesting or inhaling it.
Air Cleanser (Lysol alternative)
- Thieves – this stuff is amazing. I would spray it in the air where my son was sleeping, any room he was in, in the baby’s crib when he wasn’t laying there, the sofa; anywhere I felt that the germs may be lingering in the air. It is so pure you can spray it directly in your throat. You can buy the oils and make your own spray by mixing about 10 drops in 4 oz of pure water; or buy the spray already made. The oils act as both germ fighters and immune boosters. It’s more expensive, but when your all-purpose cleaner costs about 10 cents a bottle, you can afford to splurge a bit on other items!
- 1 oz purified water
- 1 tsp Dr. Bronner’s liquid castille soap (I used lavendar)
- 10 drops tea tree oil
I mixed this one in a little 1 or 2 oz blue glass spray bottle that I bought at the health food store. I keep one in my purse and one in the car to use on grocery carts, restaurant tables, and hands when we are out and about. I love that it is not drying, and also contains no harsh chemicals or toxins so I can use it on baby hands.
I am working on a few more posts including recipes for degreasers, kitchen cleaners, soap scum removers, window and glass cleaners, and furniture polish…coming soon!