Saturday, January 21, 2012

Child friendly cleaning & a homemade disinfectant recipe

Hi, I'm Samantha and I am a recovering bleach addict.
I used to have a serious problem. An addiction really. I for some reason believed that only when something was thoroughly doused in bleach that it was truly clean. I went though crazy amounts in short periods of time, so much so that I had to buy my bleach at Costco and that's saying something. My hands would crack and my house would temporarily smell like an indoor pool. Austin would come home from work late and be bombarded with the fumes and wonder why I hadn't passed out yet {and no I didn't do this when I was pregnant}. Maisie would be sleeping {most of my down and dirty cleaning happens at night} in her room with the door shut while I did my work in the kitchen and bathroom. I opened all the windows and turned the fans on full blast to air out the fumigation. Also, I would disinfect all of her toys in diluted bleach water once a week just for good precaution. FYI Maisie's room was never near the "fume zone".

Then it hit me. All of knowledge from the medical classes I had taken in the past {I am obsessed with biology, pathology and anatomy/physiology} suddenly came back and I realized I could really be doing Maisie a disservice by my attempts to "protect" her from germs. It's healthy to be exposed to the nasty little things. It's even healthy to get sick. Ok, maybe not the actual being 'sick' part but the way our body learns to fight off various infections, by creating antibodies and in turn strengthening our immune systems. I think everyone understands that having a strong immune system is a very good thing.

Read more about that here at the Newsweek magazine's "Rasing Healthy Kids"

I was a sick child growing up and even now, if someone even mentions that they have had a cold or some other contagious bug in the past few weeks  70% of the time I will catch it. I am one of 5 kids and my mom still mentions how I was always sick growing up. I remember having a couple flus so bad that I was convinced I would never eat solid food again, fevers that would cause hallucinations, colds that would never end, I was allergic to pretty much everything under the sun, bouts of bronchitis and had almost monthly sinus infections due to my wretched sinuses {my sinuses don't drain properly. I almost had surgery when I was  8 to see if they could surgically improve the shape of my sinus cavity} and when things started to get better that's when I developed Urticaia. Lets just say that I am thankful for modern medicine and that's probably part of the reason why I am so fascinated in the human body in the first place. I remember being so sick all the time and I think that's where my "bleach addiction" stemmed from.

I didn't want Maisie to be the "sick child". So I did what I thought was best, to kill every single germ in my house with lethal amounts of the dangerous liquid. Which was not the best way to go about it. I had to come to terms that just because I was sick all the time growing up doesn't mean my kids will be the same. Maisie already has an iron immune system. She gets fevers and colds very occasionally, but never has had the flu or anything substantial (knock on wood). So enough was enough and I started making my own homemade natural cleaners using vinegar where I normally used bleach {sometimes I pretend it's bleach. I even buy jugs that resemble the bleach containers I used to buy}. Then I played around with an everyday homemade disinfectant recipe that not only disinfects but smells incredible.

Equal parts:
 Lemon juice- I juice my own, but I am sure buying bottled lemon juice would work too.
  White wine vinegar-  apple cider vinegar works as well.

10-12 drops {adjust accordingly} of your favorite essential oil
 My favorites are tea tree oil, eucalyptus, jasmine and lavender. 

Pour into a spray bottle, shake and voilĂ , a natural homemade disinfectant that works on pretty much any surface {I wouln't use it on granite or any other natural stone}. It does a great job all while smelling delightful.