Today’s post comes because of a “happy accident” that occurred in our house this week—or, let’s be honest, out of my own necessity. You see, the combination of the upper respiratory junk going around school and the gym, my mold allergy flare-ups from all of the leaves and wet ground debris being tracked into our home, and my son coming home with a tummy bug had me on disinfectant overdrive this week. And, since my son and I have chemical sensitivities, I am often frustrated and hamstrung with wanting to aggressively “clean” the germs out of my home, but not make us have debilitating allergic reactions in the process. The question of how to keep us germ- and mold-free on the go without giving us rashes, vertigo and itchy skin and throats, had me really thinking: What can I use as a quick, preventative hand sanitizer for us? We really cannot use traditional, store-bought hand sanitizers or much antibacterial soap—we react to them instantly.
(Quick note about chemical ingredients used in most antibacterial soaps and why you shouldn’t use them either: There’s some evidence suggesting that widespread use of triclosan, which is used in liquid soaps, and triclocarban, which is used in bar soaps, could lead to the development of germs that are resistant to antibiotics. Other studies have found that exposure to these chemicals disrupts hormone cycles in animals. But, it’s not known whether they have the same effect in humans yet. The use of those chemicals, among others, are now banned from use in consumer products by the FDA. For more on this topic, click this link.)
Ugh. What was I to do?
Well, to save you spinning your wheels, I came up with a solution. I created my own, all natural, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral hand and body spray. Not only can it take the place of your alcohol-based, antibacterial hand spray, but it also works perfectly to clean topical fungus or mold spores from your hands and body that you might wipe onto your face, clothing or nose that could lead to further health problems.
Here is my recipe for this wonderful concoction!
Antibacterial/Anti-fungal Hand and Body Spray:
Ingredients and Tools:
- 16 oz bottle with screw-on cap for mixing and storing mixture
- 2 oz. spray bottles (I found some of the finger-pump kind at Target for less than $1 a piece.). Keep them in your purse, or car, so that when you are out and about, or you pick up your kiddos from school, you can give their hands, shoes and/or clothes a spray-down when they hop into the car.
- Small funnel for pouring ingredients into bottles
- 8 oz (1 cup) distilled water (If you are wondering why I always harp on using ONLY distilled water in these recipes, it’s because the alkalinity and absence of added minerals deposits in distilled water is what you are seeking. You don’t want extra acidity or substances interfering with the active ingredients you will be using to do the job of eliminating the bacteria or fungus. Distilled water will also ensure your spray has a stable self life, and won’t be changing or breaking down in its efficacy while not being used.)
- 6 oz (3/4 cup) Aloe Vera concentrate—not aloe gel. (Aloe is a healing, powerful natural anti-fungal. There is a protein present in aloe that actively suppresses Candida growth. Here is a link to more about aloe and its anti-fungal properties, if you are interested.)
- 1-2 oz (1/4 cup for 2 oz) liquid coconut oil (This ingredient acts as the carrier oil for the extracts and essential oils that you will be adding next in smaller amounts. (For more info on carrier oils.) The coconut oil will also provide wonderful moisture to your skin, not drying it out, like alcohol-based sprays. Also, coconut oil caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid, are three potent anti-fungals that work great in combination with each other. Here is a link to read more about the use of coconut oil to treat Candida.)
- 20 drops CitriDrops–which is what I use and recommend–or pure Grapefruit Seed Extract. (This, folks, is your powerhouse. The CitriDrops Dietary Supplement combines 4 different citrus seed extracts, including Grapefruit Seed Extract. In fact, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study that found grapefruit seed extract (GSE) effective against more than 800 forms of viruses and bacteria, more than a hundred strains of fungus, and many parasites. So, the CitriDrops not only has the power of GSE, but also the added anti-fungal properties of the additional citrus extracts.)
- 10 drops of Pure Clove or Oregano Oil (These are both considered “warming oils,” because they actually provide a gentle warming effect on the skin—which I enjoy. If this is something that you are adverse to, do not include either of these oils. Oil of oregano is considered anti-microbial, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Here is a link to a great article on its many benefits and uses to fight bacteria and infections. Using this oil will give your spray an earthy, almost grassy scent. Clove Oil is also antibacterial and anti-fungal. It is most effective against E-coli bacteria. Here is a link to more information on Clove Oil, and its uses and benefits. Using clove oil will make your spray smell slightly spicy and cinnamon-y. I use the clove oil, because I prefer its smell. Since you are only using 10 drops, though, your spray will not have a strong scent.)
- In a large measuring bowl, preferably with a spout to make pouring easier, combine distilled water, aloe vera concentrate, liquid coconut oil, CitriDrops, and clove or oregano oil.
- Place a small funnel on top of your 16 oz. bottle. Pour mixture into the bottle.
- Put the cap on the top of the bottle and shake vigorously to fully incorporate all of the ingredients. Unscrew cap, and using funnel, fill small spray bottles with mixture.
- To use, spray your hands or otherwise to coat and allow them to air dry. You don’t want to wipe it off, or it cannot do it job properly. This formula is much more moisturizing than alcohol-based sprays, but is not oily. The smell will be soft and either earthy if you use the oregano oil or warm and a little spicy, if you chose to use the clove oil.
- Place spray bottles in your purse, gym bag, car, in your kids’ book bags—wherever they are easily accessed and needed. I spray this stuff all over myself and my kids.
Now, don’t forget to use this wonderful concoction that you’ve made!
Let me know if you decide to make this spray. I would also love to hear from anyone who may have their own recipe. I’m always on the lookout for tips and advice from you guys.