The truth is that manufacturers of commercial cleaning products play on our fears of hygiene issues by convincing us that we need the latest and greatest spray that miraculously “kills 99.9% of bacteria” in our home.
Umm, excuse me?!? 99.9% of bacteria? No thank you!
The introduction and widespread use of anti-bacterial products for home use has inevitably led to drug-resistant bacteria. That’s right, bacteria that has mutated and become completely immune to antibiotics. Not only that, but these products also kill the good bacteria that are supposed to keep the bad bacteria under control.
Of course, anti-bacterial products have their place in society; they were originally used exclusively in hospitals and other healthcare settings, where risk of infection is very high. However, now that they’ve made their way into ordinary households, their use and overuse is doing much more harm than good.
bleach is a popular brand of antibacterial spray and I’d venture to guess that your kitchen or bathrooms have been graced with its presence at one point or another. In reality, sprays with bleach are very hazardous to our health. They can contain ingredients like formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, and phenylphenol, a skin, respiratory and mucous membrane irritant, according to the CDC.
What Are We Supposed to Use?Good old soap and water is just as effective at killing germs – and it’s cheaper, less hazardous, and doesn’t require the use of protective gloves or safety goggles.
But when you need to quickly spray down your counters or other surfaces, making a homemade, all-natural “antibacterial” spray is the way to go. Instead of nasty, toxic chemicals, I like to harness the powers of essential oils. The oils I use each have individual properties which make them great choices for an antibacterial spray:
- orange: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral
- lavender: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial,
- eucalyptus: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal
- tea tree: anti-infectious, anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal
Below is the recipe that I’ve formulated, but feel free to play around with it to suit your own tastes. Some find the strong scent of tea tree or eucalyptus oils to be a bit overwhelming, so you may want to decrease the amount you use in your spray (or eliminate them completely).
- 1 cup water, distilled or filtered
- 5 drops orange essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops tea tree oil
- Add all ingredients to a spray bottle.
- Shake well before use.
- Spray on counter tops and other hard surfaces and let air-dry.
- Store in a cool, dark place.