3 Effective Anti-Bacterial Solutions You Can Make at Home
If you’ve been to the grocery store lately you may have noticed that some of the shelves are a bit emptier than usual. As households prepare for the unpredictable spread of the COVID-19 virus, many are stocking up on essentials such as water, hand sanitizer, soap, and toilet paper. Opinions surrounding the necessity of stockpiling essentials are mixed. However, some experts have suggested that ensuring your household has enough supplies to last a week or two is advisable, should someone in your household contract the virus. While we can’t provide you with a DIY toilet paper recipe (sorry), we do have three effective anti-bacterial solutions that you can make to prevent the spread of germs in your home.
Hand Sanitizer: The best way to rid your hands of germs is to wash your hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of thirty seconds. Unfortunately, when we’re on the go this isn’t always an option. For those instances, hand sanitizer made with a high alcohol content is your next best bet. Although many stores have already sold out of hand sanitizer, it is entirely possible to make an equivalent product at home. For this recipe, you’ll need: rubbing alcohol* (isopropyl alcohol), Aloe Vera gel, lavender & tea tree essential oil, and a travel-size spray or squeeze bottle. Directions: Fill two-thirds of your container with alcohol, then add 10-15 drops of lavender and tea tree oil. Both essential oils have anti-bacterial properties and smell great together, which helps combat the strong scent of alcohol. Next, fill the remainder of the container with Aloe Vera gel, which makes this solution gentler on your skin. Be careful not to add too much as it may dilute the mixture and reduce its effectiveness. Give the solution a few shakes to combine and then pop it in your car or purse for on-the-go disinfecting. *The ideal alcohol concentration for killing bacteria is 60-90%. Any solutions with a concentration of 50% or less are significantly less effective. Keep in mind that when you buy rubbing alcohol it is already diluted with water (typical concentrations range from 70-90%).
Multi-Purpose Disinfectant: To stop the spread of germs in your home it’s also important to regularly disinfect common household surfaces. Disinfecting is different than the cleaning you do every day. Rather than simply getting rid of dirt, crumbs, and grease, disinfecting kills germs and prevents them from spreading. While the bathroom and kitchen are important areas to regularly disinfect, commonly touched surfaces such as door handles and light switches are just as important. While this mixture works well on door handles and many bathroom fixtures, it is not safe for all surfaces*.
For this multi-purpose disinfectant, you’ll need:
½ Cup of either vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or high-proof vodka
½ Cup of white vinegar 50-60 Drops of essential oils (tea tree and lavender work well for this one as well)
¾ Cup of water
1 Spray bottle
To combine, simply pour the vodka/rubbing alcohol/vinegar and essential oils into your spray bottle and give it a quick shake. Then, add in the remaining white vinegar and water and shake again. *Avoid using this solution on stone or wood surfaces as the high alcohol content can damage varnishes and finishes.
Granite Cleaner: Since the above solution cannot be used on stone surfaces such as granite; this DIY solution can be used to safely disinfect your granite countertops.
Items you will need:
2 Cups distilled water
3 Tablespoons alcohol
¼ Teaspoon castile soap
1 Spray bottle
Directions: Pour the water into your spray bottle, followed by the alcohol. This small amount of alcohol is safe to use on granite as it allows the solution to dry quickly without absorbing into and damaging the granite. Next, add the Castile soap, which removes any dirt or residue that may be left behind after your regular clean-up. Then, shake it up, spray it on, and wipe clean.
While no one can say with certainty what the future will bring, the best offense is always a good defense! Whether you’re worried about the common cold, or Coronavirus, these DIY anti-bacterial solutions will keep your home stay germ-free and help your family stay healthy.