Living With Sanitisers - The New Normal?
Do you know the correct procedure for cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitising your home to keep your family is safe?
If you’re anything like me, you are more aware of spreading germs these days and maybe a little more vigilant about keeping your home and workplace sanitised during these interesting times.
I also have an autoimmune condition, which over the years I’ve learned to manage naturally by changing the food and products I use. But one of the hardest things for me during this COVID-19 period has been searching for effective sanitising products that don’t irritate my skin or affect my breathing. Two of the things that can flare up when people have allergies or autoimmune conditions.
I was asked to do a COVID safe certification course for my workplace, ‘Complying with Infection Prevention and Control Procedures’ and my first instinct was dread, to be honest! Do I really want to hear MORE about this situation when we are living and breathing it every day and hearing about nothing else from the media?
However, I learned some interesting facts, and coming from a trusted source, I wanted to share these.
We all know that COVID-19 is a contagious viral infection that usually causes respiratory illness in humans. And we understand that some people are at higher risk of being seriously ill from it, such as the elderly, people with pre-existing medical conditions, or people with compromised immune systems (like me). Immune issues or medical conditions can mean the body is already struggling to function at its best, so adding a virus into the mix further compromises and strains the body’s already weakened system, making it harder to fight infections. People with disabilities, people on medication, as well as younger children (their immune system isn’t fully developed yet) are also at higher risk.
Aside from close contact and airborne droplets, one of the most common ways COVID-19 is spread is through the hands, when touching your mouth or face after touching surfaces or objects which have been contaminated (such as door handles and other shared surfaces).
These high surface areas can be contaminated by others touching them, or contaminated airborne droplets that hang in the air after a cough or sneeze and then settle on bench tops, tables, computer keyboards, phones, and more.
Unfortunately, it is not yet certain how long the virus lives on those surfaces. Some studies have shown up to 72 hours for plastic and stainless steel, but only 24 hours on cardboard. So, to be safe and prevent further spread, you should always wear gloves when you clean and disinfect high touch surfaces.
We all know the importance of washing our hands thoroughly and if soap and water aren’t available to us, we should use hand sanitiser.
Here was my first problem. At home, I use a safe and gentle formula hand wash from Biologika, which is organic and that doesn’t irritate my skin or cause an allergic reaction, which other strong-smelling hand washes do. But at work or when I’m out and about, we don’t get a choice of hand wash and some of the products used in public bathrooms smell so toxic to me I dread using them.
What I didn’t know before I took this course, was that many of the products our workplace and even my family was using, are not effective against killing COVID-19. Mmmmmm.
I knew I had to find a safe and effective hand sanitiser and cleaning agent that I could keep at work or carry in my handbag. Like any product that claims it is ‘made from natural ingredients’ I am always a little sceptical and unsure how to prove its efficacy, especially with something like hand sanitiser where you can’t see the germs being eradicated! It might feel great on the skin and not irritate me, but how do I know it’s even working?
What products are you using to sanitise your hands and
high touch surfaces?
Are you sanitising surfaces you use often, such as bench tops, desks, and doorknobs?
Are you sanitising objects you use often such as mobile phones, wallets keys, or work passes? These are often forgotten. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned my mobile phone and I’m usually in contact with it the entire day. Not to mention it often rests on benches and tables when I’m out. Eeeek.
Interestingly, antibacterial wipes sold in supermarkets will
NOT kill COVID-19, even though they kill 99.9% of germs.
The disinfectants that do kill COVID-19 include:
- Sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach (which I can’t use!)
- TGA registered products with benzalkonium chloride and MUST indicate ‘Hospital Grade’
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol such as ethyl alcohol (70%) and wipes containing isopropyl alcohol
Some of the above disinfecting agents sold for commercial or even household use are hazardous and if we actually bothered to read the instructions, we should be wearing personal protective equipment and have good ventilation when using. Do you mask up, glove up or pop on eye protection to disinfect your home or workplace? Nope? Me neither.
My autoimmune issues mean I am extremely sensitive to toxic ingredients in household products. There is no way I could use supermarket household bleaches or even cheap hand sanitisers as the strong scents from these create an immediate inflammatory response. They are more likely to have an instant effect on my respiratory system and immune system than the smaller chance of contracting COVID by not sterilising! It can take me a week to feel ‘back to normal’ after just one exposure. I know others with allergies who are in a similar situation to me, as well as concerned mothers who don’t want their young kids around these toxins.
So, what are the alternatives?
After an extensive review of the more natural products on the market, I found my winner in Aelin’s Organic Hospital sanitising spray. It is HOSPITAL GRADE as per the CDC requirements listed above and has been tested independently to determine its efficacy of killing COVID-19.
Not only do I love that the product is made from 100% organic ingredients, but being biodegradable, vegan-friendly, children and pet safe, and best of all AUSTRALIAN MADE, make for some amazing side-benefits to the efficacy claim. Being free of all the nasty ingredients that irritate me, means I can use this daily in my home and workplace as a surface spray on all high traffic areas.
I also use their hand sanitiser at home and at work, and always keep a travel size in my bag for all other times. It’s gentle and moisturising, so doesn’t dry out my skin like all the rest, it has a lovely subtle scent, not overpowering at all so doesn’t irritate my nose, throat, or any other allergy reactions. I am so thrilled with their range and I love to support Aussie-Made too.
Check out the Hospital Grade Test Report here.
Check out their COVID-19 Test Report here.
Unfortunately, these days we are more and more exposed to toxic ingredients in household products and with our current COVID situation, the increase in sanitiser usage and strong disinfectants in our environment are making it even harder.
Finding healthier options which are still effective for our families, isn’t easy. It’s hard to know who to trust. After getting fantastic results, i.e no skin reactions, I have personally recommended these to my family and friends. Some of them have kids with skin conditions too, and the feedback I have received has been very similar to mine – no adverse reactions to note. And sometimes life just gets in the way and we don’t have time to read product ingredients or research products, so we often grab and go.
I hope that sharing this information can give you some useful insight and save you time on your journey to chemical-free living.