This post is a long time coming. As you know, my daughter Reese was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 3-years-old. JMML. She was immunocompromised when she was diagnosed and when she was receiving chemotherapy here in Chicago. She has been neutropenic three times. She had a life-saving bone marrow transplant in San Francisco that completely wiped out her immune system, and replaced it with a donor’s (Kate, our angel). She spent 11 months in isolation, on immunosuppression. Believe me when I say that I take cleaning VERY seriously.
The following is part of our new cleaning regimen. I’m going to blog about two distinct parts. It might not be right for everyone, but based on my research, this is what is right for us!
Cleaning vs Disinfecting – when do you need the big guns?
Disinfecting wipes are not necessary for routine cleaning. Before you choose a cleaning tool, you need to decide if you need to clean or disinfect. They are NOT the same thing.
While cleaning removes germs from a surface, disinfecting kills them on the surface.
CLEANING: We clean surfaces everyday. We remove things like dust, breadcrumbs, or toothpaste. We do this to remove germs to prevent them from growing or spreading. Disinfecting wipes are not necessary for routine cleaning.
DISINFECTING: I am thinking of disinfecting as more of a “spot treatment”. You should disinfect surfaces that have contact with raw meat, blood or bodily fluids. Or when someone in your household is sick, with an illness such as the flu.
Now, since I have designated two different types of cleaning, I have two different solutions!
Basic Cleaning Supplies
I have been doing my research and it brought me back to the same place over and over again. If you are from Chris’ hometown, you probably know what I am going to say. The product I have chosen for our basic, daily cleaning is the micro silver microfiber cloth. This thing is amazing!!
What the heck is a micro silver microfiber cloth (says most of my friends.)
This cloth can remove 99% of bacteria from a surface. How does it work? When it’s wet, the microfiber has little holes that pick up dirt and grease and carry it away. (A regular cotton towel does not have these holes, so it just pushes this same dirt around.) I really like this graphic I found on healthy home cleaning, so I’ll post it here:
And you can use it for dusting when it’s dry. The static electricity lifts the smallest particles of dust and dirt up into the cloth and prevents them from resettling on surfaces.
I mentioned something about silver above. This is the part that I think is the most interesting. Active silver ions (AG+) inactivate the bacteria cells that the microfiber has picked up. The silver ions are NOT cleaning your counter the way you might think. The microfiber is doing the work to remove everything from the surface, and the silver ions are cleaning the cloth later. Wild, right? You put the microfiber cloth to the side for 24 hours (the time it takes the silver ions to work) and when you use it again, presto! It has self-cleaned. (When it eventually gets really dirty, you launder it.)
This is my solution for basic, day-to-day cleaning.
There is a time and a place to bring in the big guns. As I mentioned above, this is for spot cleaning. For example, cleaning the counter where you prepped the raw chicken for dinner (or the tray table on the airplane… so sick. But that is a DIFFERENT conversation, I am sticking to home cleaning for this post!!)
I am REPLACING my old products. There is a way to do this without toxic chemicals, and I have found it.
Lysol wipes are created using toxic chemicals with negative developmental/endocrine/reproductive/respiratory effects. Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Wipes are graded A by EWG and they are vinegar based. Many of you use vinegar to clean and you are already one step ahead of the game! This is similar in nature and it smells ok, too. You can smell the vinegar, but it’s pretty well matched with the citrus scent (that is NOT created by the non-specific (and dangerous) ingredient “fragrance”.)
Where can I purchase these cleaning supplies?
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth:
- Heidi’s Norwex Site: $11.99 (*there are also a variety of sets & colors)
Aunt Fannie’s Wipes:
Is there more?
I will post about other cleaning agents as I research them. What about bathrooms, specifically? I am still doing research on this topic. I will get back to you!!