Sunday, October 30, 2011

All-Natural Antimicrobial/Disinfecting Sprays

Summer is long over and the beautiful days of fall are making their final transition to winter. Most are preparing for the hibernation of the coming months. It is during this time, when the windows are all closed and the cleansing breeze is no more, that our homes seem to become a breeding ground for germs.

But never seems as though there are hundreds of products on the market advertising to kill any and all germs (can you sense my sarcastic tone). They are laden with synthetic chemicals, such as Triclosan, that are now known to cause the development of "superbugs." Superbugs are germs that have become resistant to antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic cleaning agents and medicinal antibiotics. Using such products only contributes to the overgrowth of these superbugs and is especially dangerous in areas where there are children, the elderly or sick people.

Be encouraged! There are many things you can do to keep you home disinfected and your family healthy. In addition to herbal immune system builders (i.e. Elderberry Syrup/Tinctures, Cold-Kicker Remedy, and supplemental vitamins and minerals) you can kill germs for pennies on the dollar with these homemade antibacterial/disinfecting sprays.

During the time of the Black Plague, this recipe was developed and used as protection by doctors treating the sick.

Herbal Antimicrobial Spray

-1 part Lavender
-1 part Thyme
-1 part Sage
-1 part Mint
-1 part Rosemary
*Using fresh herbs is always better (However, that may be difficult this time of year.)

Directions: Fill 1 quart jar with equal parts of fresh herbs, or 1/2 full with dried herbs. Then cover with organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.Let mixture marinate for at least 6 weeks. Strain. Pour herbal infused vinegar into gallon jug and fill jug with distilled water to dilute. Transfer into spray bottle for use. Use mixture on all hard surfaces (cutting boards, door handles, counter tops, etc.) for disinfecting purposes. Simply spray on and let air dry.

While waiting for your Herbal Antimicrobial Spray to marinate, whip up this concoction for a very effective alternative.

All-Natural Disinfecting Spray

-1 cup distilled water
-20 drops lavender essential oil
-20 drops of thyme or eucalyptus essential oil
-10 drops tea tree oil

Directions: Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle and use as a disinfectant on all hard surfaces. Simply spray on and let air dry.


-There is a ton of research to confirm that folk recipes such as these, using herbs and essential oils to kill germs, were actually based on good chemistry and science. Many essential oils, such as lavender and thyme, are even more antiseptic than phenol, which is the commercial standard for the antimicrobial industry.

-Did you know that in the United States, a product can only be labeled as a disinfectant or antimicrobial agent after it has been registered as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? This is why you will never see essential oils with antiseptic properties advertised as antimicrobial.

-Herbs and essential oils are not known to cause or increase antibacterial resistance. In fact, these natural botanicals have a remarkable ability to kill a multitude of germs, which is exactly why they have been used for thousands of years in home remedies.

-Remember: No home can be made completely sterile, no matter what product you use.

So what are your favorite ways to keep your family and home healthy this time of year? Leave a comment and let's keep this disussion going!

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I grow many of my own herbs at home in my garden. However, when I need to purchase them or essential oils I like to order on-line thru Mountain Rose Herbs or The Bulk Herb Store.

See this post and a host of others like it here: Cure for the Common Monday, More The Merrier, Homestead Barn Hop, Homemaker Monday, The Girl Creative, Mangia Monday, Fat Tuesday, New Nostalgia, Handmade Tuesday, Patchwork Living Bee, Teach Me Tuesday, Frugaly Tuesday Tip, Under $10 Tuesday, Whatever Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Homemaking Wednesday, Living Well, Wicked Awesome, It's A Keeper, Simple Lives Thursday, Herbal Healing Clay, DIY Diva, Farm Friend, Farmgirl Friday, Gallery of Favorites, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Fridays, Nature Table, Friday Favorites, SNS 106, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Nifty Thrifty Things

DISCLAIMER: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Cultivating Herbal Friendships


At October 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM , Anonymous Kelly said...

Wow. I love learning about stuff like this. Makes me really want to add to my herbal garden this next year!

At October 30, 2011 at 8:22 PM , Anonymous Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable said...

@Kelly I know right!!! This was the first time I was able to just walk outside and cut all the herbs fresh from the garden! It's a glorious feeling:)

At October 30, 2011 at 9:36 PM , Blogger Becky @ The Barefoot Seamstress said...

Excellent recipe, thank you. I am super excited that I already have half the stuff to make this!

At October 31, 2011 at 1:53 AM , Blogger Emma said...

This is so helpful! I've got all the essential oils to make the second recipe, and some of the herbs in my garden for the first. No sage though. Do you think it would still work without sage?

At October 31, 2011 at 4:34 AM , Anonymous CMintAnn said...

I made the latter repellant / disinfectant spray with tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus and lavendar oil after seeing a bedbug near my curtain! Yikes! That's odd!

At October 31, 2011 at 6:36 AM , Anonymous Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable said...

@Emma Yes! Make it without the sage:) The other herbs and vinegar alone are powerhouses! Good question.

At October 31, 2011 at 6:46 AM , Blogger Kimberly said...

Yeah! I love stuff like this!

At October 31, 2011 at 3:34 PM , Blogger Jenfier Harrod said...

Loved this! I am your newest follower.

At November 1, 2011 at 5:46 AM , Blogger Pam said...

What a great post! I usually use cider vinegar diluted with water for cleaning. Sometimes I add in lavender EO. I didn't know that something could only be labeled antimicrobial or a disinfectant after it was registered as a pesticide. That is insane. This post has me wondering now if I could make a hand sanitizer alternative with a travel sized spray bottle, water and EO. Any thoughts on that?

At November 1, 2011 at 6:57 AM , Anonymous Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable said...

@Pam Absolutely! That's a great idea actually:)

At November 1, 2011 at 7:44 AM , Blogger Kelly said...

Thanks for posting this! Can't wait to try it out...

At November 1, 2011 at 1:13 PM , Anonymous Jill said...

Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
If you have grain-free recipes please visit my Grain-Free Linky Carnival in support of my 28 day grain-free challenge! It will be open until November 2.

At November 2, 2011 at 9:35 AM , Anonymous Jen said...

Another excellent post. I will be saving this one for when I have these ingredients in my hot little hands. :) Thanks for sharing!

At November 2, 2011 at 2:52 PM , Blogger Liberty said...

this is great - have needed it broken down into drops for a while now..

At November 2, 2011 at 4:10 PM , Blogger Christina (I'm a Mom...What's Your Excuse?) said...

Hi there :)
Here visiting from WLWW and I must tell you I love this post!!!! I already make my own cleaning wipes and other homemade items but this will take me to another level!
So glad I found your blog!!!
Thanks for sharing :)

At November 3, 2011 at 4:48 AM , Blogger MommaHen said...

really? That's amazing. I bet it smells good!

At November 3, 2011 at 10:19 AM , Blogger Kylie said...

Awesome recipe, thanks for sharing!

At November 3, 2011 at 2:59 PM , Blogger Good Girl Gone Green said...

Love! Oh and i pinned it for you!

At November 10, 2011 at 5:37 AM , Anonymous April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

I often use water and vinegar to clean, but I like your recipes with the lovely herbs and essential oils in them. I'm a great believer in essential oils. We put a few drops of tea tree oil in our showers every day and my family rarely, if ever, get colds.
Thank you for sharing this post with the Gallery of Favorites.

At December 29, 2011 at 5:15 PM , Blogger The Greening Of Westford said...

I just found your blog and can't read enough! Any thoughts on which of these recipes is better to use? I could make the second pretty easily - just need the Thyme. But am intrigued by the first - would require more work and I don't have an herb garden. Any thoughts on buying herbs locally - grocery store?


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