Homemade antibacterial soap with essential oils
Now that the flu is being called "epidemic", the germ panic seems to be out in full force. Aside from keeping my kids home from school one of the two available weeks of preschool/Mother's Day Out in December (!) because I thought they might be getting the stomach thing (one random diarrhea and one vomited), no one ever got sick, and instead they ran around like crazy people not wanting to stay inside the house all day. Their immune systems are ridiculously strong, I guess? My husband, on the other hand, actually got pneumonia. The kids were never affected. I've had some ongoing coughing but I've been treating it with essentials oils and the usual immunity boosting supplements.
There has been a lot of concern in the green and medical community in the past 10 years about the overuse of antibacterial hand soap, particularly because it most often contains a chemical called Triclosan. Triclosan has been found to cause hormone disruption in animals and is currently being reviewed by the FDA for safety. Even the FDA's own site restates that antibacterial soaps may not provide significant benefit over plain soap and water.
Over here, we use plain ol' castille soap with peppermint essential oil, which I dilute at a 1:2 ratio with water and put into foam dispensers.
However, I will admit that after the salmonella incident with the chickens, I felt that we might need a little additional disinfecting property to our soap. Thieves oil blend contains antibacterial properties but, unlike Triclosan, does not interfere with the body's natural functions because it does not contain synthetic chemicals of any kind. You can order Thieves Oil hand soap from Young Living (I sell it, of course), but honestly I already had Thieves oil and soap, so.... I just made my own! Here's what I used*:
Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castille Soap
2 drops Thieves blend (or Lavender) essential oil*
2-3 drops lemon essential oil
Foam hand soap dispenser (approx. 8-10 oz bottle)
My foam hand soap dispensers are all from commercial soaps I've bought in the past and used up. I have one for each of our bathrooms now, and one for the sink. For what it's worth, Clean Well is my favorite soap and dispenser (because the label comes off cleanly), but it's SUPER expensive and my homemade version is way cheaper!
I fill my soap dispenser 1/3 of the way with castille soap (this is a Method hand soap bottle).
Then I fill it the rest of the way with filtered water.
After that, I add the 2 drops of Thieves and 2-3 drops lemon.
SHAKE REALLY WELL.
Important: you'll notice a separation/settling of the content, so make sure you give the bottle a good shake now and then before using. I have also noticed that the mixture turns darker when exposed to sunlight -- essentials oils do degrade in sunlight -- so it is best to keep in shaded area out of direct sun or use a darker bottle (the older Clean Well bottles are tinted).
Let me know if you try this recipe, and what you think!
If you don't have Thieves oil blend, you can also use all lemon essential oil (4 drops total) or substitute lavender for the Thieves. Lavender has great antibacterial and antifungal properties.
NOTE: Of course, I sell the essential oils mentioned in this post. No, I did not pay my own self to mention...myself. That doesn't even make sense, but the disclosure laws require me to say it. There are also links to various Amazon products in this post, and those are affiliate links. If you buy the products mentioned, I get 2 cents or something. About twice a year I get $10 from them, so any time you do buy a recommended product you are supporting this blog and my sad, horrible Amazon addiction.