Calm girl wearing a particle mask

The cold and flu season has arrived!  Time to stock up on boxes of tissues, cough drops, homemade hand sanitizers, and natural cleaning products!

Most of us know by now that keeping our hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid spreading germs. We also know that proper hand washing using warm soap and water should take about 20 seconds.  But what can we do to prevent the spread of cold and flu germs in  our homes?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people touch about 300 different surfaces every 30 minutes.  Because cold and flu viruses are spread by hands, these viruses can be transferred from surface to surface very easily.  Some viruses can actually live up to eight hours or longer on areas like doorknobs, computer keyboards, phones, and remotes.

To help prevent the spread of germs at home, try wiping surfaces down at least once daily. Also, consider disinfecting your surfaces as well. Here are some natural disinfectant recipes to keep your home clean and germ-free:

  • For a natural disinfectant that can be used on floors, countertops, bathtubs, toilets, walls, and baseboards, fill a bucket with 1/2 gallon hot water and 1/4 cup Borax.  Mix and clean!
  • To make your own natural disinfectant spray, add 4 to 8 drops of essential oil to 1 cup distilled water in a spray bottle.  Shake and spray!  Examples of oils with anti-fungal properties are  eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, and tea tree oil.
  • Another natural disinfectant that works wonders in the bathroom can be made by combining 1/2 cup white vinegar, 2 cups hot water, 1 teaspoon washing soda, and 10 drops tea tree oil.  Pour into a spray bottle, mix, and spray!

For more natural disinfectants, check out this blog post with even more ways to naturally disinfect your home.

Hand Washing

And for all you readers out there who want to try and make your own natural homemade hand sanitizer, here is one of my favorites…..it doesn’t dry out your hands either!

Combine:  5-10 drops lavender essential oil, 30 drops tea tree essential oil, 1 tablespoon witch hazel extract, 8 ounces 100% pure aloe vera gel, and ¼ teaspoon of Vitamin E oil (to increase shelf life).  Mix well.  Pour into a small plastic bottle and you are ready to use!

What preventative actions are you taking this cold and flu season?  Write to us and share your comments with us!