As winter approaches, we spend more time indoors, and illnesses can quickly spread throughout our homes. Personally, I enjoy keeping my home clean and giving everything an extra wipe-down during the fall and winter months. Traditionally, we turn to products like Clorox Wipes or Lysol for disinfecting, but there is a safe alternative to toxic home disinfectants.
Before the pandemic, our friends and family often mocked my husband and me for our germ-avoidance habits. However, it has become normal for people to take extra care when sanitizing and disinfecting. It’s surprising to see how many people need to learn how to wash their hands properly.
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Thymol, a Natural Disinfectant
Yes, there really is an alternative to using toxic home disinfectants. Thymol is a naturally occurring mixture of compounds in the plant thyme. That’s right, thyme. You may use thyme in some of your recipes while cooking.
Thymol has natural microbial disinfecting properties. Combined with citric acid, it can kill 99.9 % of viruses, germs, and bacteria on hard, non-porous surfaces.
This natural disinfectant is the power behind a product I recently found on my journey to eliminate toxic cleaning products from our home. Sol-U-Guard Botanical Disinfectant is registered with the EPA. It’s excellent at cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
The EPA has also approved Sol-U-Guard Botanical to be used against coronavirus when used as directed.
Danger of Using Chlorine Bleach & Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
I realized it was necessary to switch cleaning products after experiencing nausea, stomach discomfort, headaches, and chest irritation while cleaning our home. After researching, I discovered a study titled “Cleaning at Home and at Work in Relation to Lung Function Decline and Airway Obstruction.”
A study conducted over a span of 20 years revealed that cleaning products containing chlorine bleach and quaternary ammonium compounds can cause skin and eye irritation and lung damage. Surprisingly, using these products only once a week can be equally damaging to the lungs as smoking a pack of cigarettes daily for 20 years. You can access the complete study results here.
The study also showed that it didn’t matter which cleaning product you used: liquid, spray, or wipes. They all were equally damaging.
This is not an excuse to stop cleaning but an opportunity to reevaluate the contents of your cleaning products.
Difference Between Sanitizing & Disinfecting
Many people use the terms sanitizing and disinfecting interchangeably, but they have distinct purposes. It’s important first to clean off any visible dirt or debris. This ensures that the sanitizing or disinfecting agents can properly penetrate the surface.
Sanitizing reduces or eliminates bacteria on surfaces, but it is ineffective against viruses. It aims to decrease contamination to a safer level but does not eliminate it.
The products I use recommend leaving it on the surface for 60 seconds before wiping it off.
Disinfecting surfaces properly kills viruses and bacteria, unlike sanitizing. It typically eliminates 99.9% of all viruses and bacteria.
The products I use recommend leaving it on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping it off and allowing it enough time to work.
Most Germs Per Square Inch in Your Home
If you were to guess where you might find the most germs in your house, you might say the bathroom, but you would be wrong.
The TV remote and cell phone harbor 25,000 germs per square inch, making them dirtier than most toilet seats and bathroom floors. Most people don’t usually clean their TV remote and only occasionally clean their cell phones. We often bring wipes to clean various items in hotel rooms during travel, including the TV remote.
Did the results of the lung study concerning the use of cleaning products with chlorine bleach and quaternary ammonium compounds surprise you? This is one of the reasons why I switched to shopping for clean and American-made products online through the Wellness Box.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments below.