How to Sanitize and Disinfect without Chlorine

Sanitizing/Disinfecting Alternatives That are Effective

How much is too much and what is going overboard when it comes to home safety?  And are we putting ourselves unwittingly at even more risk by using some products?
From what I’ve read, I’m reassured that I can safely disinfect without injuring my health by using alternatives to chlorine bleach.  I’m very concerned about the toxicity of chlorine bleach on sensitive lungs and developing children’s brains.  Big cleaning product companies have shown us in their advertising that kids go with chlorine bleach, but is this the best way to sanitize?  Maybe not for everyone.  Chlorine bleach can be irritating for lungs and skin, breaks down into dioxins after it goes out of our houses and is potentially harmful if mixed with other cleaners.  There are other ways to go about it without the chlorine.

A safer, just as effective option, hydrogen peroxide, is used by many sensitive people and parents.  For the riskier kitchen jobs that involve cutting meat, sponges, touching garbage or compost, pet and people messes, this seems the way to go.

Vinegar is a very good bacteria killer and is a safe everday cleaner, but you can’t beat washing with soap and hot water.  If you have a dishwasher, the heat is effective at sanitizing.  Doesn’t it seem that we’ve been led to believe that soap and water are just not effective anymore?  Are people who use chemical cleaners healthier?  Studies have shown that antibacterial soaps are no more effective than plain soap and water for killing disease-causing germs.  Where did the idea come from that we need to treat our kitchens as if we are living in a hospital ward?  Who does it benefit the most to propagate these useless soaps and products?  Moreover, are they putting us at more risk by making common antibiotics less effective?

Another potentially harmful effect of using “sanitizing” soaps and products that claim sanitizing antibacterial or disinfecting properties is that their use can lead to a false sense of security.  How many of us use a squirt or a spray and forego taking the time to do a decent handwashing?

(More on disinfecting without chlorine in next post.)

Copyright Lynn Argent, 2008.

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Blogger, talkcaster and teacher.
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3 Responses to How to Sanitize and Disinfect without Chlorine

  1. Jenn says:

    Do you recommend using the 3% grade of Hydrogen Peroxide for cleaning OR using the 35% food grate (diluted quite a lot) for cleaning? We have both and use both around the house but realize we need to use it even more. Thank you :)

    • Lynn says:

      Hi Jenn, The 3% will do the job for cleaning in the home. The 35%, I’ve not tried because I’m sensitive. I’ve read that over 5% contrentration can cause eye damage. For 35%, I looked at an MSDS sheet and it says to wear goggles and safety gear because of fumes. So, that’s too strong for use in my home. I’d use the 3% because it’s effective and less irritating to my eyes and lungs and I’m not worried about it going down the drain and into the sewers.

      http://www.naturecleanliving.com/all_natural_liquid_bleach This is what I use. It’s 3-7% concentration and doesn’t contain preservatives, just hydrogen peroxide and water.

  2. Ruth A. says:

    Also, my biological dentist has all of us patients using
    baking soda (without aluminum) and a little bit of hydrogen peroxide 3% on our tooth brush…it cleans the gums and teeth the best of anything he said….it gets the tiny food particles out of the pockets around each tooth by the bubbling action it
    causes….I do this every day now at least once.

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