You may have heard that I have a thing for soap 🙂 I spend a lot of time researching… just about everything pertaining to soap and soap crafting. For many years now, anything having to do with living naturally, has been of interest to me. And, no, we are not 100% crunchy. There are still many things that we consume, or do, that are not all natural. But, it is a process, and what works for one person isn’t the same for another. (That’s my little caveat in case you come to my house and see me using bleach, or eating a Snickers. Hey, life happens, and I’m not me when I’m hungry).
Back when hand sanitizers and “antibacterial” became a thing, I was the one that still let her kids play in the dirt and put things in their mouth that they probably shouldn’t have. Even the handle of the grocery cart. Yes, I know, gross. But, hear me out. Even without doing loads of research, it seemed, at the time, that creating a world in which my kids didn’t get dirty, or where they weren’t exposed to germs would actually hurt them from being able to naturally combat things their bodies came up against. Turns out, I’m right.
Browsing the aisles at the grocery store, especially during flu season, most are drawn to “antibacterial” soaps, tissues, cleaners, etc. But, did you know that all true soap is inherently antibacterial? Soap is a “surfactant”. This means, it attaches to gunk, but then allows water to rinse it away. Remember the old Dawn commercial that had the pan full of greasy water, and the one dot of soap made it spread? Like that. In order for a soap to be germ killing, it has to be in contact with the cooties for 25 seconds or so in order to even work. The ingredients that make a soap “antibacterial” are actually pretty bad for you. Triclosan, in particular, has actually been shown to help the growth of staph bacteria, stimulate the growth of cancer cells, and is linked to the increase in allergies in children. Dr. Mercola has a great article written up here if you want to read it.
So, ditch the antibacterials and stick with good old-fashioned soap. Just make sure you read the label and know that you are buying soap and not detergent!
PS. Crunch Betty has a great DIY Hand Sanitizer – you should check it out!
PSS. For an at home version of hand sanitizer, purchase a bottle of cheap vodka. Throw in some fresh cut herbs (thyme, lavender, vanilla bean) and let it sit for a few weeks. Done. Just make sure you don’t take this version on the go!