I am a serious hand sanitizer user! I've always been a little OCD about germs but my compulsions bumped up about 10 fold when I became a mom. That little bundle of joy brought with him a whole new level of worry.
I use hand sanitizers to combat my constant worry about germs. We used it nonstop in London- every time we touched a taxi door- sanitize! Pull out a handful of coins to buy a waffle- sanitize! Play on the playground- sanitize!
You get the idea. I always have sanitizer close by.
As my little man has gotten older, I’ve found myself needing it more and more for his little curious hands. He loves to count each tile in the bathroom floor, and reach to push the green button on the ATM, or spin the wobbly wheel on the grocery cart. I want him to have the freedom to explore - but the anxiety is not so good for a mom who likes to limit his exposure to germs (none of this worry based on real science- mostly it’s just the unrealistic worry of a mom).
I use (or used to use- more on that below) hand sanitizer to clean his hands on the go- but never felt totally comfortable with it for various reasons, but mostly I hate that hand sanitizers are alcohol based. Besides the fact that it dries out your hands- it doesn't seem like a great idea to put a squirt of alcohol on a little hand that will most likely end up in his mouth. Did you know that a 2 oz bottle of hand sanitizer may contain as much alcohol as 4 shots of vodka (says CNN health)! Holy Crap! I wonder how much alcohol my little man got from my constant application of hand sanitizer (Yikes! Maybe that's why he was such a calm baby- jk).
Maybe I should stop researching- it’s not helping my OCD.
But you know what else I learned? The biggest deal of all, using too much hand sanitizer can lead to an increased risk for developing treatment-resistant bacteria, you know, similar to the idea of only using oral antibiotics sparingly so you don’t become resistant to certain bacterial strains (according to the Mayo Clinic anyway).
Good thing I’ve been doing tons of research on essential oils- there is a very simple solution to my problem (wish I had known about it sooner!). I just created my own hand sanitizer using the wonderfully powerful essential oils.
* Note the ratio of essential oil to water (or coconut oil) varies. I've seen many different ratios- anything from 50 drops of oil to 1 oz of water (which is just crazy!) to 8 drops of oil to every 10 oz of water. I had to experiment a bit. I wanted enough essential oil to experience the benefits without over doing it. I settled on 15 drops of essential oil to every 2 oz of water. I added the extra lemon drops to my recipe because I love the smell (plus the added benefits of lemon being antiseptic).
** There are plenty of oils that can be used to kill germs (melaleuca, lemon, cinnamon, lavender, lime, orange, rosemary, clove, etc). I prefer the combination of lemon and OnGaurd- but go ahead and get creative.
You’ll need a little glass spray bottle (that is important- the oils can erode plastic). You can buy a perfect little 2 oz bottle from aromatools.com for only around $1. Check it out at this website HERE.
Simply shake and spray wherever you need it- hands, shopping cart, restaurant high chair, toy at doctor's office, airplane tray table, etc.
Not only does it smell great- it is nontoxic and completely safe for little hands! It is sufficiently diluted for children (I always test mine first- spray it in your hands then place your finger near or, if you’re brave, on your eye (like your baby will probably do). If it burns, add a bit more water to the bottle).
It’s a win win win- I have peace knowing I am protecting my little man from germs, he is safe using natural essential oils, and we both feel a mood boost when we smell the yummy lemon. WIN- WIN- WIN
Get some oils!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click HERE to purchase doTERRA lemon and On Gaurd essential oils.
Science Minded Folk
- Protective essential oil (OnGuard) attenuates influenza virus infection: an in vitro study in MDCK cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21078173
- Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8893526
- In vitro antibacterial activity of plant essential oils (particularly- cinnamon, clove, geranium, lemon, lime, orange, and rosemary) showed significant inhibitory effect. http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1472-6882-6-39.pdf
- Tea Tree oil (also known as Melaleuca oil) has been shown to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity. http://www.marshallcentre.uwa.edu.au/research/tea-tree-oil
- Current research into the effectiveness of tea tree oil. http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/australia_innovates/research.php
- Melaleuca Alternifoila (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and other Medicinal Properties. http://cmr.asm.org/content/19/1/50.full
Want to try a different recipe?
Lawrence Rosen, MD co-author of Treatment Alternative for Children has his own (very similar) Hand Sanitizer Recipe HERE