Eco friendly way to disinfect a bathroom

kristimamaAugust 24, 2009

Hi everyone, I initially posted this over on the cleaning forum but surprisingly I had only one answer so far and it was to basically get over my need to disinfect. So I'm hoping someone here can help.

Let me first explain that I have two small children with kidney conditions and some immune system challenges as a result, and I like to keep at least the toilet and sink area reliably germ free. I'm not trying to make my bathroom or anywhere in my house a sterile operating room. And in fact the rest of my house is a cluttery mess, so I'm definitely not some neat freak. And my kids don't use an antibacterial soap.

But I would like to find something, even a home brew, that would reliably destroy the most common things such as influenza, strep, ecoli, salmonella, etc... any of these things could have a huge impact in my kids especially since their susceptibility comes through their urinary tract, i.e. kidneys, i.e. in the washroom. And the medication they take daily seems to suppress their immune system, making them all the more susceptible.

Can you recommend some greener, eco friendly, natural, biodegradable (whatever you want to call it) recommendations for ways to kill those nasty germs so I can stop using softscrub and lysol?

--Toilets, he's still using softscrub with bleach. OMG do I hate that stuff, but I don't know what else cleans and disinfects as well.

--Clorox or the pinesol wipes (then rinsed) for the ceramic tile floors and other flat surfaces like around the toilet seat, etc.

--We also have a slab marble countertop in the bathroom and haven't found anything that really "disinfects" stone... so we use a little palmolive liquid dishsoap on a sponge then wipe it shiny with Method's new stone cleaner and microfiber cloth. But I'd rather just have one step instead of two on the counters, and ideally something that will actually kill or destroy germs and not just wipe up the dirt.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!


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Has nothing to do with disinfecting, but if you tub bath your childern in the tub with standing water, stop. Many kidney problems are made worse by tub bathing. Either use a shower or a cup/small bucket to put water on body, soap, rinse using the bucket filled with water and poured over body.

Vinegar will clean and disinfect just don't leave the liquid on the marble. Open the windows and let fresh air in. The things you are worrying about are almost all killed naturally in a resonable period of time by air and sunlight if possible. Do some checking on the time the organisims you are worried about will remain alive when just dried and exposed to air. Sunlight is a major plus.

A good side effect of sunlight is that your childern will absorb calcium better if given a time in the sunlight for their bodies to change the sunlight to Vitamin D.

Depending on their ages letting them run arround without underwear but with pads on where they sit most may be of benefit. Talk to your doctor about this.

It might be that not using the stool but a invalid stool such as older people use may be an alternative to the regular stool until they are better. Bucket can be dipped in bleach or vinegar and water then air dried after each use.

Not knowing the ages and sex of the children hampers the use of some of these suggestions.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 11:06PM
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Maifleur, what a thoughtful post and for the extra ideas about caring for their kidneys. What they have is congenital, structural with the kidneys and they're not technically ill but their medication (antibiotics) seems to leave them chronically catching everything. I. Mean. Everything. I give them acidophilus in pill form daily, 12 hours after their daily dose of prophylaxis antibiotics to prevent infection, but winters are still awful for us because one illness morphs into another and I know it's the antibiotics that are affecting their gut health. But don't get me started on that... for now until they outgrow this or get surgery it's a necessary evil.

Anyway, back to the bathroom issue, I didn't realize that vinegar by itself would "disinfect". I will look into that.

Still looking for a recommendation or concentration of vinegar to use in the toilets, if there is one.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 1:19AM
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Hi kristimama

If you're after a safe, greener, eco friendly, natural, biodegradable household cleaner, you might want to check out BioPure Probiotic Household Cleaning Concentrate by ONEgroup, the certified organics people.

The cleaner contains powerful probiotic bacteria, antioxidants and enzymes that break down grease, grime and dirt and neutralise odours. It can be used safely in septic systems and is fully biodegradable.

It works differently from antibacterial products in that it doesn't just kill bad bacteria, it uses good bacteria to create more good bacteria that dominates the bad bacteria. So your home stays naturally clean without the chemicals.

The product comes in a highly concentrated form so you will need to dilute it (check product label for best dilution formula) before using.

All the best with your children's health and I hope all of you stay healthy and happy.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 10:16PM
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5% vinegar in water should do fine for you. I usually measure mine at about 25% so I can see it visually to measure, but you'll be able to smell it pretty strongly at that dilution.

I've also seen recommendations to follow back over the surface with h2O2.

If you start looking into those two, there are studies you will be able to use to judge their effeteness rates for yourself with.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 1:35PM
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Most people won't realize how brilliant Flipsit is. I realize Flipsit is meant to be a product you use in your home, but it's a shame public places don't use it on their toilets, too. Even the cleanest public bathroom is cleaned less than once an hour. Some toilet seats are only disinfected a couple of times a day. The toilet seat in your home is probably disinfected only once a week!

Why does that matter? Because 99% of antimicrobial sanitizers don't work properly.

Even Purell which is used in more public establishments than any other brand has a dirty little secret. Purell and all alcohol-based sanitizers will kill 99.99% of germs, but as soon as the alcohol dries, their protection vanishes. And germs will multiply until the bathroom is cleaned again.

With Flipset, you never have the touch the toilet set. So your chances of infection are greatly reduced.

It's a shame the US Government Center for Disease Control (CDC) has supported and promoted the use of alcohol-based sanitizers even though they know full well alcohol-based sanitizers only kill germs for the 5-7 seconds the alcohol is wet. Once the alcohol dries, the protection vanishes!

Of course, the same is true in your own home if you use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your toilet. That's why Flipsit is such a clever product. It helps protect you against germs where they are sure to lurk.

Buy this from here-

Here is a link that might be useful: Flipsit

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:23PM
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I have never seen where vinegar is a disinfectant. I think if you research just using a quality green cleaner like VOC free green glass cleaner the surface will be as free of germs as if you use a disinfectant cleaner. Disinfectants and germicides are more of a marketing gimmick than anything. Germs like bacteria take time to kill with disinfectants. The problem with household cleaners is that the disinfectant/germicide needs a certain amount of liquid contact time to kill the bacteria. The products dry out before they can kill what you want killed. There are studies showing plain water leaves a surface with less bacteria than the disinfectants and germicides do. I also think, in Kristimama's case a clean surface without a germicide will be healthier for her kids with less bacteria to contend with.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:03PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Let them play in the dirt outside to build up their immune system. Don't feed them any fast foods or junk foods or foods that have been treated with hormones or antibiotics. I use white vinegar to clean. Not sure if it is a good cleaner. I can't stand chemicals. Google it.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 8:35PM
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I know I can help with this I am a distributor for Vollara . My house is green and I clean my whole house with water because I use the living water Ionizer to do it. All my surfaces are getting cleaned with the Fresh air purifier which sanitizes all my surfaces 99.5% and clean my air plus I clean all my laundry with cold water ( No soaps no fabric softener no dryer clothes and save 478$ annually. We also have supplements for the immune system and other health problems. Were the company that the drug companies hate plus we are part of NASA and work with there doctors and scientist to develop alternate ways to good health than the way the the health system in this country is. And gardners I use the water on my grapes and trees and it helps keep them vibrant. I sure hope this helps becasue we have helped alot of people with lots of health issues. Please check out my site and start yourself to a healthy life.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 12:10PM
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As we all know that Green disinfectants donâÂÂt contain any ingredients that could be harmful to your health or the environment. Basic green disinfectants are White vinegar, Baking soda, Borax, Hydrogen peroxide, Club soda (fresh), Lemon juice, Liquid castile soap, Corn meal and Olive oil.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 7:18AM
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I am sorry to hear that you are facing such a battle with trying to do the right thing in order to protect your little ones. I can sympathise.

My youngest (now 17) is on long term antibiotics, Tetralysal and has a number of health problems, some of which are exacerbated by cleaning products and chemicals.

We are not on mains sewage and so we have a private sewage treatment plant (Klargester) and in order to keep this working efficiently (it does so by millions of bacteria) I cannot use any nasty chemicals, including bleach. I therefore use environmentally friendly cleaning products, of which there are many. I use vinegar to remove limescale and only when diluted. I wouldn't use it every day, perhaps once a month. I use an antibacterial hand soap on a throw away cloth to keep the sink and shower clean or a squirt of shampoo. The toilet is cleaned with Eco products and again, I tend to you kitchen roll or similar and throw it into the bin afterwards.

I believe it is important to keep balance and also sanity. Don't worry too much. Bacteria are present almost everywhere and there are some very useful and necessary bacteria that work with us to sustain life and harmony.

Kids and adults alike, pick up germs wherever they go and although your children's immune systems are susceptible, know that you are doing your very best to help them.

I wish you luck and I hope that the sun is shining wherever you are.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 4:30PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Check out this website: The active ingredient in the product is thymol (oil of thyme) an herbal antibacterial that has been used safely for thousands of years.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 10:01AM
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