With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and current resurgence throughout the United States and the world, it may seem like a difficult time to be green. When fighting an invisible and potentially deadly virus that may live on surfaces for up to several days, we want to reach for the most powerful tool in our arsenal. That means using strong, chemical-laden cleaners versus non-toxic cleaners.
As a result, we are filling our homes and offices with toxic vapors and air particles, which exacerbate health symptoms and chronic conditions (e.g., skin and respiratory irritations). So, let’s look at why eco-friendly cleaning is important now, more than ever before.
cleaning vs. disinfecting
Yes, there’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning merely cleans the surface of dirt, grime, and germs. However, a cleaning agent does not kill pathogens, which will remain active on the surface after cleaning.
Products containing at least 70% alcohol have been proven effective in eliminating the coronavirus and other viral pathogens on surfaces. However, you will need to follow manufacturer’s suggestions. Some products—even non-toxic cleaners—may need to sit on surfaces from 30 seconds to up to 10 minutes to do their job.
good ol’ soap and water
You can’t go wrong with soap and water treatment. Anything with soap as an ingredient—and if it sudses for at least 20 seconds—will essentially blow up virus cell membranes. Period. End of life for a virus. So, that’s why the old-fashioned, grade school mantra of washing hands really rings true.
Here are a few soap ingredients to look for when buying natural soap products:
Caprylyl / capryl glucoside
Sodium methyl 2-sulfolaurate
Sodium lauryl sulfate
thymol: a strong active cleaning ingredient
You may find thymol listed as an active ingredient in some over-the-counter cleaners. Thymol is a strong, naturally occurring antimicrobial agent. And it is found in the essential oils that we use in our cleaning products at Alkemi Clean. Thymol also provides a safe and highly effective defense against coronavirus that is also approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).
Citric acid and alcohol—and products containing them—are also among the natural ingredients included on the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) list. However, that doesn’t mean that other green products aren’t equally as effective; it only means they haven’t yet been tested. Much wider testing of green products is necessary in combating COVID-19 both safely and effectively on a variety of surfaces.
be aware of…
Be aware of products that claim to clean but don’t advertise themselves as disinfectants or that they kill viruses. This is an important distinction. Note that the EPA has approved a number of chemicals, including non-toxic solutions, to kill the coronavirus. However, no product has been approved to claim so on their labels to date.
why eco-friendly cleaning is important now: the bottom line
In order to maintain the highest level of natural and non-toxic cleanliness in your home during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, opt for alcohol- or rubbing alcohol-based products.
Of course, if you or someone in your home is suffering from skin or respiratory irritations as a result of any cleaning product, we recommend discontinuing use immediately. Opt for a more non-toxic cleaning option instead.
want to ensure a more natural level of cleanliness in your home or office?