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SafeMama Cheat Sheet: Safer Hand Sanitizers

By Kristie Turck •  Published 04/28/10 •  3 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 12:06 am

For the longest time, we were always getting the question, what about sanitizing?  “I want to carry a hand sanitizer!”  “What about sanitizing my toys/baby bottles/pacifiers?”   It seems like these days, it’s so much more prevalent to see some parent slathering Purell or the like on their kid at every turn.   They keep giant warehouse size bottles of it in school classrooms.  Parents want to sanitize their entire life.   Even my washing machine has a sanitizing mode.  Do my kid’s socks really need to be sanitized?

When we were younger our parents weren’t insane about wiping down grocery carts before we sat in them.   We didn’t have cart covers.    As much as I eschew religious references, like my mother says  “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt!“.  Maybe she could use a little polishing on her grammar, but what she says is true. Yu can’t be sterilized all the time.  But dirt can be contaminated with pesticides, lead and PDBE’s…. I’m paranoid like that.

I know that there are times when there is a need for something to sanitize when you’re on the run and you have nothing else available to you.   Like when the only place to go to the bathroom for miles is an old disgusting gas station rest room with no soap.

Now that I’ve stepped up on my soapbox, here are some natural sanitizer alternatives:

Looking to kill bacteria or fight germs in your home?   One of our favorite ingredients we’ve recommended time and time again, is vinegar.   Another great ingredient is lemon juice (from a fresh squeezed lemon is best).    Making a mix of the two to clean your counters and other surfaces in your home beats the pants of off those noxious-smelling blue multipurpose cleaners any day of the week.

Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

You can easily make your own hand sanitizer.  Essential oils such as thyme, oregano, tea tree, peppermint, and eucalyptus to name a few are great at killing a host of bacteria.  Here’s an easy recipe.



Most of the time, however, just warm soapy water for 15-20 seconds is more than enough to kill germs.  I have my son sing his ABCs while washing his hands to get into the practice of washing for long enough.    I save even the natural hand sanitizers for when we’re truly in need.

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