You can kill all the bacteria and viruses you want to with disinfectants, but make sure that they are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Manufacturers of disinfectants are given an EPA registration number that confirms the products have been tested and proven to be safe. But even with warranted claims of a 99.9% batting average of effectiveness, continuous exposure to chemical-based disinfectants can take its toll on users. Fortunately, natural disinfectants using plants and herbs have found their way into the market and are gradually being preferred by consumers.
Still, there are manufacturers today who take advantage of common household items to come up with products labeled as “all-natural.” Germs and mold can be killed by first spraying areas and surfaces with a simple solution of white kitchen vinegar and then spraying again with hydrogen peroxide to result in peracetic acid which gets rid of salmonella and E. coli bacteria.
However, mixing these two together in one container is not advisable, and should not be used on marble as they will leave indelible stains. Sodium tetraborate decahydrate is commonly known as borax and can also be used as an anti-fungal agent is particularly potent in killing cockroaches and moths.
Using Plants Oils
There are people, though, who are allergic to hydrogen peroxide and this has led to some manufacturers to develop formulas for Natural Disinfectants using the oils of thyme, pine, eucalyptus and melaleuca or tea tree oil. More and more commercially-prepared disinfectants use carvacrol, an essential oil of oregano. Wild bergamot and pepperwort are also used in all-purpose cleaners.
Just as Potent as Chemical-based Ones
Tea tree oil is especially a superior germicide which kills fungi everywhere they grow including shower floors, toilet bowls, garbage cans and pet areas. Natural Disinfectants which are commercially manufactured do not emit toxic gasses while being used. Non-corrosive and biodegradable, these formulations are safe even on contact with the user’s skin and are environmentally friendly to boot. Still, these natural antiseptic products contain bioflavanoids from plants.
Unlike bleach or chlorine-based disinfectants, those made from natural ingredients do not break down and do not cause chemical reactions. Although some critics have said that non-chemical disinfectants are not as potent as those made from fast-acting chemicals, consumers have observed that these natural sterilants are just as effective and without the potential hazards which may come with chemical-based disinfectants.
Human Health and a Green Environment
Full-strength or diluted, the clear liquid from orange peels called limonene is now formulated together with other plant-based ingredients as a natural sterilant. Coconut-based surfactants, as well as sodium silicate and saponin from the soapwort plant, make for hypoallergenic, non-residue and biodegradable cleansers with all the cleansing properties of their chemical-based counterparts.
Choosing to buy non-chemical disinfectant products is not a fad, it has become a way of life for those who value their health and want to maintain a “green” environment. Often unregulated or untested, chemical-based products are now being shelved by consumers in favor of using non-toxic ones in cleaning and sanitizing their homes. More consumers now use natural disinfectants which have become popular because they pose no adverse effects on the human health and, because they are made from biodegradable ingredients, are not hazardous to air, water or land.