Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Natural Hand Sanitizer

Thanks to Shoshanna at Bulk Herb Store for her herbal hand sanitizer recipe. Steeping orange and lemon peel and eucalyptus leaves in apple cider vinegar produces a simple, natural liquid to use in a small spray bottle for quick hand and surface sanitizing. Commercial hand sanitizers contain chemical ingredients such as isopropanol, ethanol, n-propanol, or povidone-iodine, polyacrylic acid, glycerine, propylene glycol, benzalkonium chloride, and triclosan. Alcohol is the main germ and pathogen-killing agent and other chemicals are used for different purposes. For example, propylene glycol is an absorbing agent, seeping quickly and deeply through skin right into the fatty tissues and blood vessels.

Rick Smith talks a LOT about triclosan in "Slow Death By Rubber Duck," and advises us to stop using antibacterial products because the chemicals in them get into our biosystems and accumulate in measurable amounts in urine and blood. Triclosan is a hormone disruptor in humans and animals, and is suspected of being responsible for amphibian die-off worldwide. I don't know about you, but I don't want to put anything on my kids' skin, or mine for that matter, that will be absorbed into my blood and bodily fluids and interfere with reproductive development and hormonal balances.

Besides making a tasty hot or cold tea, lemon balm has antibacterial properties.

If you have an unavoidable need to sanitize things in your home and family(listen up Howie Mandel), do it without chemical-laden products that may kill germs but in the process, harm our external and internal environments. Try a batch of Shoshanna's recipe, or experiment with your own custom blends using vodka, aloe gel, and essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, cinnamon, clove or tea tree oil. Use fresh herbs if you prefer. When you have perfected your homemade batch, be sure to put it in a glass spray bottle, not a plastic one that will just leach chemicals into your natural sanitizer!

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