How to...Keep Your Hands and Home Naturally Germ Free

How to...Keep Your Hands and Home Naturally Germ Free

Gregory Han
Mar 13, 2007

Whenever I see people purchasing anti-bacterial soaps or cleaners, I just want to shake them by the shoulders and scream hysterically, "YOU'RE CREATING A MONSTER RACE OF UNSTOPPABLE FLESH-EATING BACTERIA! STOP THE MADNESS!!!"

Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but not that far off.

In fact, no evidence suggests that use of antibacterial soap containing 0.2% triclosan provides a benefit over plain old soap in reducing bacterial counts and rate of infectious symptoms according to scientific studies. Just keep your hands clean using regular soap and warm/hot water, rinsing for at least two-minutes. And for bathroom and kitchen surfaces, just add white vinegar to diluted household bleach to create a one-two mixture strong enough to kill bacteria, mold and viruses*.

And an important additional reminder from ATLA readers Dave and lgrl that full strength bleach and vinegar should NOT be combined directly. According to the EPA: "Bleach and vinegar must not be combined together directly, rather some water must first be added to the bleach (e.g., two cups water to one cup of bleach), then vinegar (e.g., one cup), and then the rest of the water (e.g., six cups)."

*As reported by MicroChem Lab, Inc. in Euless, Texas at the 2006 ASM Biodefense Research Meeting.

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