Thursday, July 26, 2012

Make Your Own Hand Soap

Have you noticed that more and more products are no longer antibacterial, but instead are advertising that their product washes away bacteria instead of killing it?  I have, and it kind of irritates me because we never needed the antibacterial chemicals added to our soaps, dishwashing liquid, or what not.  The most common additive to make a product "antibacterial" has been triclosan--a pesticide.  There are still many products out there that have triclosan or some other pesticide in them.

I know I should be grateful that fewer products contain triclosan, instead of grouching about it, but I know it's all about people getting suckered into buying something that's touted as "safer," "improved," "better for the baby," and it's not going to stop now.

There has been a lot of hoopla about these added chemicals, which I expect is causing the removal of them from products.  Some studies claim that the triclosan and similar chemicals can actually make super-bacteria: the bacteria that is not killed off by the pesticide reproduces bacteria that is resistant to pesticide.  Other studies say this is probably not true.  But either way, why should I expose myself needlessly to a pesticide?  Rub my hands in it, for Pete's sake!

There are good bacteria, neutral bacteria, and bad bacteria (pathogens) that cause illness.  But note the good bacteria.  It helps build our immune systems.  It's everywhere.  Stop trying to kill them--they're our own adorable bacteria, and they make us stronger.  Don't be a bacteria bigot!

Just washing our hands with plain soap and water gets rid of most bacteria anyway without help from pesticides. 

If you feel the need for an antibacterial soap, put a few drops of Tea Tree oil in your soap.  The Australian aboriginals have been using it for centuries to heal wounds and clear up infections.  I have not heard of Australian aboriginal men growing breasts from using tea tree oil, but there may be a connection between boys growing excess breast tissue and the use tea tree oil or lavender oil products.  Good grief!  What next?  Will we grow tails for eating too many bananas?

Here's an easy recipe for liquid hand soap:

1/3 cup liquid castile soap
2/3 cup water
5 - 10 drops of your favorite essential oil

If you like foamy soap, put the mixture in a bottle with a foam pump dispenser.  It mixes air with your soap to make the foam.  It's magic.  I bought my bottle at a food cooperative for $2.  You could also reuse one that you already have from another product.

You can buy liquid castile soap in many stores, especially health food stores and cooperatives.  The liquid soap may seem pricey, but it lasts a long time.  Dr. Bronner's soap is more concentrated than some of the others.

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