Green Disinfectants

Have you often wondered what you could use as an alternative to Dettol as a disinfectant. There are times when you really need some germ-killing power but the truth is many of the commercially available disinfectants are so strong they really belong in hospitals, not your homes.

Many of them contain ammonium compounds such as benzalkonium chloride, pine oil, alcohol, ethanol, phenol or derivatives of phenol, cresol, TCE, PDCBs, butyl cellosolve, detergents and formaldehyde. And most germs are airborne so you’re never going to kill them off and some of them are beneficial so you don’t want to kill everything around you.

Research has shown that just using warm water, soap and a bit of elbow grease is enough to keep most things clean. But I know some of you like to use a bit extra so we’ve done some research and come up with these ideas.

Tea Tree Oil
Derived from the tea tree found in the outbacks of Australia, this oil has the remarkable qualities of being a powerful antiseptic without the usually associated toxicity. You can use it by diluting it in water or oil. Put 20 drops in a cup of warm water as a disinfectant for cuts and grazes, or put 10 drops in 20mls of a base oil like olive or almond to rub on your skin. To spray on toilets and surfaces use 20 drops per 500mls of water and add a few drops of dishwashing detergent to help it spread.

Eucalyptus oil
As with tea tree oil.

Wendyl’s Premium White Vinegar
You can use the neat or make a spray by mixing 50/50 with water.

Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
You can get this at the chemist and it is a very environmentally friendly substance as it breaks down to oxygen and water in the environment. Remember it has mild bleaching properties.

Wendyl’s Premium White Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide
If you have really tough germs to deal with like salmonella or e. coli tests have shown that by spraying with neat vinegar then hydrogen peroxide is very effective at killing germs. Warning though – do not take a shortcut and mix the two together or you’ll create a nasty acid.

My good friend vodka is another great disinfectant. Use it neat or mix it 50/50 with water as a spray. I often use a little vodka from my drink to rub on my hands when I’m travelling as a hand cleanser!


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