As scary and confusing as the current COVID-19 outbreak is, one of the best ways to combat the virus is as simple as washing your hands. Soap, even the natural ones, break down dirt and oils. Viruses have a fatty outer coating that can be broken down by the soap and washed away. It is important to note that you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, clean the entirety of your hands including under your fingernails, palms and the backs of your hands, as well as rubbing your hands together to create friction as that can help in breaking the virus down.
The importance of using non-toxic ingredients comes from extended use over time. Toxins and chemicals being absorbed in your skin or lungs through continuous use of non-natural products can lead to various health issues. However, if only used as needed, such as a time like this, it is less likely to have a negative long-term effect on your health.
When it comes to cleaning the hard surfaces of our home we are plagued with the decision about which cleaning products to use. We want a product that is safe for our health and well being; but we also want something that is going to effectively keep us safe from viruses.
The CDC provides us with a good definition and explanation about how cleaning and disinfecting are different from one another.
- Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
You can see by the above definitions that it is just as important to keep the surfaces of your home clean as it is to disinfect them after you clean. A large part of our mission and values is to advocate for the use of natural products and ingredients. While most natural products aren’t considered “disinfectants” they can still be very useful in reducing the spread of infections.
For those of us who are fortunate enough to stay at home during these times, the need to disinfect our homes every day is minimal. For individuals who are more prone to being exposed (healthcare workers, grocery employees, airline employees, etc) that need to disinfect if much more important. Regardless of your own situation, keeping the surfaces of our homes clean is always important!
You can feel safe knowing that the cleaning and skincare products that we carry at The Refillery are all safe for you and effective at cleaning. While they may not have disinfecting properties, they are strong enough to keep dirt and general germs away thus preventing most sicknesses from occurring in the first place.
Our friends at Molly’s Suds have provided some guidance on how to clean your house when you’ve been sick. They’ve also shared valuable information about the effectiveness of hot water and heated drying cycles when washing laundry after you’ve been sick.
Hand Washing source: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
Chemical effects on health source: https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health/
Cleaning and Disinfection of households: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fcleaning-disinfection.html
Why soap is preferable to bleach: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/03/why-soap-preferable-bleach-fight-against-coronavirus/