When I first became a mommy I was a total spaz about germs. It was like a pharmacy in my obnoxiously oversized mom bag (which was filled with things that could last me through a natural disaster). I had like 15 different hand sanitizers, sprays, gels, soaps, wipes…you name it, I had it, and it didn’t matter the cost. I bought the best organic, non-toxic products money could buy, because of course, nothing was too good for my new baby. Okay, fast forward 8 years and I am MUCH more relaxed (and knowledgeable) about germs. In fact, I welcome and encourage them. After reading the many research articles about how we are making our bodies ‘too clean’ and thus ‘too sick’ I changed my tune. I get it, I get how being too clean can damage our microbiome and in turn damage our immune system. So I backed off – big time. For me, a step in this more evolved direction was being okay with my kids getting sick, because getting sick equals exposure to germs. I used to think my job was to protect my children from germs so they wouldn’t get sick. I remember when my daughter, Skylar (my first child), came down with a cold for the first time at 18 months…I was so sad – I felt like I failed her. How did you get germs in your mouth with all my anti-germ armor! Now I’m like, hum, my kid’s haven’t been sick in a few months…what’s going on? I appreciate how important it is to expose the body to germs, and how important it is to build anti-bodies.
Being the good mommy that I am, I flipped my obsession with NO germs, to how to expose my kids TO germs in the world in a safe way that helps their immune system…and doesn’t kills them. I recently read an article about this issue, and I was pleased to find out that I am doing the many things recommended. For example, I don’t bathe my kids every single day (they haven’t hit puberty yet people, when my daughter wakes up, she smells great and looks fabulous – oh to be 8 years old again), I take them to farms, we play with animals, they play outside EVERYDAY, they dig in the dirt, they garden with me, I let them eat food off the ground (unless it dropped in poop or something), they are around other kids nearly all day long, they have never been on antibiotics, I nursed them both, I heal them naturally at home (unless it’s an emergency), they eat a healthy whole foods diet, etc., you get the idea.
So I feel like a good mommy again. Phew. But all this being said, yes, I still carry hand sanitizer. Old habits die hard. But here’s the good news, I don’t spray them down like a maniac after they touch the swings at the park. It’s cautionary sanitzier. You just never know when you need it. Like when your 4 year old son has to pee at the park, and there is no bathroom, and you find the perfect forest cove for him to go, and of course it ends up all over your hand or his leg or whatever. Or when your daughter finds cat poop in the sandbox. It’s just nice to have the good-ole’ sanitizer there for a little clean up. Or if you’re like me…two days before a big vacation I REALLY don’t want anyone vomiting (at least) not until the trip back home.
Since I’ve purchased every organic, non-toxic, eco-friendly hand sanitizer there is on the market, I am privy to their HIGH price. And for what? Some herbs and water? A small bottle of hand sanitizer can run you anywhere from $4 to $8! Craziness. So I started making my own, and if you do the math, yep, it’s MUCH more cost effective.
The recipe I have here uses one of my favorite disinfecting oil blends: OnGuard, from doTERRA oils. It’s a powerful blend. If you google “homemade hand sanitizers” you will literally find hundreds of recipes. They are fun and easy to make at home. Find one that best meets your needs. For example, I went with alcohol free because the alcohol really dries out my skin, and irritates my son’s skin. I hope this post inspires you to make your own hand sanitizer (ehem, to use on the important stuff, of course).
- Mix all the ingredients into a small bottle. I like to use small glass spray bottles. Be sure to shake well before using.
- For a surface sanitizer, you can leave out the vegetable glycerin and double the batch – I like to use these 4 ounces glass bottles. You could also use other doTerra oils along with the OnGuard that are great for disinfecting, such as tea tree oil, lemon oil, oregano oil, or peppermint oil. I would use a total of 50 drops of oil in any combination for surface sanitizer (which is great to use on your counter after handling raw meet). .