In the same way WE want to smell clean and fresh, we have to hold our homes up to the same standards.
Nothing is worse than entering a smelly home, and if you have a pet you know what I am talking about…oh what the heck, if you have a child you know what I am talking about. Right ….?
Studies have shown that the dirtiest room in the house is most often the kitchen. This is mainly due to the fact that we are bringing in all sorts of raw materials…meats, vegetables, often transported for days before they reach our homes. They bring in bacteria, as well as potential pathogens, and can contribute to getting us quite sick.
Also, as a parent I want to make sure I am not adding additional toxins to my home, so have to make the right choices when choosing what to clean with as well. I don’t want to eliminate harmful germs and yet bring in harmful products that will slowly poison our bodies.
Here are a few simple things you can do to eliminate the germs naturally
1. Always disinfect your dish sponge. Apparently, zapping it in the microwave can eliminate viruses and bacteria. It is recommended you place it in a bowl of water on high, until the water boils.
2. Don’t just empty out your garbage bag, clean your garbage can with soap and water, or a natural disinfectant at least once every 2 weeks. I am sure you’ve noticed the smell that persists in the can after you’ve emptied it…that is bacteria by the way!
3. How often do you actually disinfect your kitchen sink and counters?. These are 2 spots you do not want to ignore, and that you must clean and disinfect daily. The biofilm (a layer of bacteria) will form almost instantly, and should be removed regularly with a hard sponge and obviously a natural disinfectant or soap and water.
How many of you prepare meals, school lunches, and leave your keys and mail on the counters? How many of you place dirty lunch boxes and grocery bags on your counters? How many of you think your cat does not hop on the counters after it has done its duty in the litter box? Enough said.
4. Then we have the dreaded refrigerator. I was shocked to find out how filthy refrigerators actually are. They may look clean, but every time you place a carton of milk, or a jar of jam in your fridge, you are contaminating your refrigerator. Every time you place fruit or vegetables in the compartments, or eggs in their place…you are also placing fresh bacteria and maybe viruses along with them as well. If you have the time, cleaning your fridge at least 2 times a month would be an ideal scenario, if not, please set a monthly reminder. The best time is obviously before you go food shopping…
Appliances, and handles and knobs in your kitchen are just as important of course!
5. Once you’ve entered your home, the first room you probably go to is the kitchen. You enter your home bringing in the bacteria that is lurking on everything you have touched hours or minutes before, including the steering wheel of your car, the car door, the bus seat etc. Wash your ends immediately as you return home, and wipe down door knobs and handles regularly as well.
Several essential oils contain antimicrobial powers that when combined with other oils, and diluted properly can effectively eliminate pathogen causing germs from surfaces.
White vinegar is also a highly effective agent that also acts as a natural deodorizer, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
Recipes I’ve tried that work!
Disinfecting Essential Oil Blend
- add 3 cups of water in a clean spray bottle
- add 1 teaspoon of tea tree essential oil
- add 1 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil
- add 1 teaspoon of lavender essential oil
- this will make the perfect mold and mildew cleaner, and when used regularly will also help fight germs on surfaces
Disinfecting Vinegar Blend
Acetic acid or white vinegar is a great disinfectant. It also acts as a deodorizer and cuts grease. You can tackle household bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and other “gram-negative” bacteria with vinegar. Gram-negative bacteria can cause infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis.
In a standard-sized glass spray bottle add:
- 1 part water
- 1 part vinegar
- 5-15 drops of 100% essential oil. You can use whichever essential oil whose scent you prefer, or customize the scent according to what room in your home you are cleaning.
Easy everyday tips
- fill the rinse-agent dispenser of your dishwasher with plain white vinegar.
- pour 125 millilitres of white vinegar into the bowl. Let sit 15 minutes and then flush.
- lemon essential oil is traditionally used to clean the kitchen, as the lemon scent can neutralize strong kitchen smells
- tea tree and eucalyptus oil are great for neutralizing bathroom odors
That fresh clean smell
Once all this has been accomplished, your home will already be smelling clean and welcoming…but if you are looking for that extra fresh scent that also has its benefits …..Read on.
We have all seen commercials for air fresheners , and most of us consider these sprays and plug-ins the easy way out when we are stuck with a stinky room.
But did you know that research has shown these products to dramatically increase the toxic load in our homes?
Try this instead:
Add the following essential oils in a diffuser and reap the Heath benefits s well.
- Citrus Essential Oils (Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Bergamot, Clementine, Neroli…)
These oils are invigorating, and will also support a healthy immune system
Not only will it add an “outdoorsy” scent to your home, and studies have also shown this oil to eliminate bacteria and microbes in the air and on surfaces.
Add this oil to a diffuser and imagine your self in a French lavender field…flowery and comforting, this oil will not only help reduce the stress you bring home after a busy day, but also help stimulate sleep.
Better ingredients better health
We all want to keep our home clean, but it can sometimes be challenging on a daily basis to also eliminate harmful germs and bacteria, while keep our families healthy. At the same time, we want to ensure we are not adding additional toxins by constantly using commercial disinfectants, especially in areas like the kitchen where they may come into contact with food.
We have to learn to make better choices for cleaner living. We have to start now.
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