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 I 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 5 simple things you can do to eliminate the germs naturally and keep your family healthy
5. 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.
4. Don’t just empty out your garbage bag
Emptying out your garbage can won’t do the trick. In fact, always, wash it out with soap and water, or a natural disinfectant at least once a week. 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. Your kitchen sink is a cesspool
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?
2. 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!
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 hands immediately as you return home, and wipe down door knobs and handles regularly as well.
Now we know what to do to avoid germs from infesting our home, but how do we clean it without harsh chemicals?
Those of you who have been following my blog know that I love using essential oils for wellness and for my home.
There are in fact several essential oils that contain antimicrobial powers that when combined with other oils, and diluted properly can effectively eliminate pathogen causing germs from surfaces.
Another option is white vinegar , also a highly effective agent that acts as a natural deodorizer, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
Both these nature-derived ingredients can go a long way when sanitizing your home. Here are some true and tried, easy to use recipes you can easily prepare yourself.
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 Health 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 keeping 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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