Chemical Overkill

What do you like to clean your house with? Vinegar is definitely making a comeback these days and it’s something I always have around. But my favorite thing is plain soap and water backed by some elbow grease. In fact, friction and water are excellent cleansing tools on their own! I truly think the fact that I don’t over clean has a lot to do with what keeps my family so healthy. Here’s a great bit of info from THIS article on abc.net.au…

When it comes to cleaning house we need to remember to keep it simple, says Professor Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician at the Australian National University’s Medical School.

Rather than concentrating on disinfecting or killing the bugs, we should focus on cleaning with hot soapy water and good old-fashioned elbow grease to physically scrub away organic material.

“You’ve got to clean the surface first and that’s usually enough. Then you have to ask yourself whether you need to disinfect at all,” he says.

“For the kitchen sink, for example, you probably don’t need anything except cleaning.”

However, that dirty chopping board might warrant disinfecting – but only after you’ve given it a good scrub with hot, soapy water.

It’s only the act of rubbing and scrubbing a dirty chopping board that can break down the slimy matrix around certain types of salmonella, allowing the disinfectant to then get to work.

As for commercial cleaners, Collignon says we don’t always need the level of disinfection in the home that these products provide.

“We over-use chemicals,” he says. “Instead of using one unit, we use 1000 units, and the benefits are marginal.”

“All of us would like to use a magic potion so that we don’t have to use the elbow grease. But that’s a false premise.”

Since we are vegan, I don’t worry too much about any viral epidemics on my cutting boards, but before I do any work for my shop, I get hard core. After a good scrub with hot, soapy water, I spray my workspace with vinegar. Vinegar is an anti-saponifier (is that a word?), so it cuts the suds that might be left from the soap. Then I spray with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit while I get everything else ready. I love the fact that everything is well sanitized and my house doesn’t smell like a lab created wildflower field.

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