Monday, February 28, 2011

Anti-Bacterial Soaps and Cleansers

It seems that wherever you look, there is a surplus of hand and body soaps and lotions for you and supplies to kill germs around your home. Sounds like you should invest money in these items and bring them home so that you can keep your family healthy. Right? Wrong!

Here's why. The development of a healthy immune system depends on our exposure to a wide variety of microbes--especially during childhood. Many experts fear that children raised in super-sterile environments will end up with weak, immature immune systems that leave them susceptible to diseases.

The results of several studies suggest that kids living in homes that are "too clean" are more likely to develop asthma, allergies and eczema. Studies also showed that children who grow up on farms that are far from being sterile, stand a greater chance of NOT developing allergies!

Scientests have also learned that people who use antibacterial hand and body soaps and lotions, stand a really good chance of contracting eczema because the chemicals involved cause the skin to dry out and sores develop. Bacteria then lodges in these sores and are transmitted to other people through touching. Many experts believe that it is better to just use regular soap and water to cleanse our hands and bodies. It is important to know that we all should scrub our hands with soap and water for the time that it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song. Then, of course, it is important to dry our hands and bodies with clean towels. In most cases, our towels do not need to be STERILE! Regular everyday soap is usally safer for our bodies, our families and our environments. It is vitally important that we use antibacterial soaps if that is what our doctors tell us to do!!! They are trained to know what is best.

I am one of those people who believed that it was best to do our housecleaning with germ-killing cleansers. I also thought that it was a great idea to wash our white towels and underthings with chlorine bleach. I was wrong on both counts! Using hot, soapy water is usually best for most cleaning. We use very little bleach at our home now. We purchased a new washing machine and dryer a month ago. We are now able to sanitize our laundry without the usage of any bleach or other antibacterial agents. We use that cycle on our sheets, towels and undergarments.

We have a herd of dogs who live in the house most of the time. Because of that, Stan and I decided to purchase a floor steamer last Summer. It is great! I just pour a little hot water into the machine. The machine keeps the water very hot which when released, comes out as steam. The steam immediately kills allergens and bacteria that it comes into contact with. There is no need for any cleansers to be added to the water, which is better for us and our environment. You may want to invest in a steam cleaner and washing machine and dryer such as ours that use steam in both machines to kill germs.

Bottom line, it is usually a better idea to live in a not-perfectly-clean environment instead of in a sterile bubble.


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