Home disinfectant of choice and why?

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    Most of us have taken microbiology and have ran tests with antibiotics, lysol, bleach, alcohol hand sanitizer, etc. Home cleaners these days area a fairly controversial subject. Its fairly common to use strong chemicals in the house for cleaning by a lot of people. Some people stricly use eco friendly cleaners to disinfect that aren't toxic but have questionable effectiveness (for example - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRWRDqsnpqk )

    BLEACH

    PRO'S - Probably the strongest disinfectant you could or would want to use in the home. Examples are chlorox sprays, best choice all purpose cleaner with bleach, or putting 1 part bleach to about 5 parts water in a spray bottle and using that in the home. Cheap.

    CONS - Most don't like the smell of bleach. If your smelling bleach your inhaling some bleach, clearly this isn't good and has been related to causing respiratory problems, some speculate this can cause cancer as well, which I haven't seen real evidence of but this turns me away from using bleach regularly to disinfect the home.

    OVERALL OPINION - Good disinfectant but use at your own risk and use carefully to minimize inhalation or just avoid.

    LYSOL

    I think this is almost as powerful as bleach, pretty cheap if you buy the refiller bulk bottles. Doesn't appear to be as toxic as bleach. Overall I'd prefer this to bleach for routine use but probably would only use in the bathroom.

    Hydrogen Peroxide

    Yes, I've heard of people buying hydrogen peroxide, putting it in a spray bottle, and using it on toilets, sinks, counters, etc. It is a decent disinfectant, cheap and way less toxic than bleach or lysol. But must be shielded from light during storage, spoils after a few months after opening, has a longer length of exposure compared to regular home disinfectants.

    Rubbing alcohol

    I've also heard of people using rubbing alcohol in spray bottles and using it to disinfect the house, particularly the wintergreen scented rubbing alcohol. Again a decent disinfectant. I would consider it a little weaker than hydrogen peroxide. Cheap. Probably about as toxic as hydrogen peroxide. I've heard you don't want to use rubbing alcohol in the kitchen or of course on anything kids might put in their mouth.

    Vinegar

    An old school home disinfectant, I think the acidity of vinegar can kill some organisms. Cheap, some won't like the smell. Not sure how effective.

    Lemon juice

    Smells good, I think the acidity is what makes it work. Some use it on kitchen counters. Kind of expensive I think if you buy the concentrated juice. Not sure how effective.

    Soap and water - Cheap and effective against most organisms. Its all I use to clean my kitchen along with hot water and either a sponge and towel. You can find good smelling orange or lemon antibacterial soap for cheap. I'm kind of scared of using any chemicals in the kitchen personally. Of course clean hands before cooking/handling food, and wash food before cooking/consuming. Anything kids could put in their mouth, or touch and then put their hands in their eyes/mouth, I'd just clean with antibacterial soap & warm water.

    Borax

    Supposed to be a more natural eco friendly disinfectant. I've also read it is a weak disinfectant and can actually pose a home health risk by being so weak that mutated strands of bacteria can be created through use of Borax in the house. On this note I'd avoid it.

    Floor cleaners

    A lot of disinfecting floor cleaners these days. I use the original pine sol with disinfectant maybe twice a year on my floors and thats about it. I use orange antibacterial soap and hot water in the kitchen. Use lysol or bleach spray in bathrooms and some in the shower after I scrub it, I put a thin layer of lysol on a paper towel and wipe off my mouse/keyboard, door knobs & light switches, and inside the car a few times a year also. Since working in a hospital I'm a lot more of a germaphobe, but not too bad and really just focus on showering after my shift and hand washing. I do think home disinfection with safe products is a good discussion and hope to hear an opinion or two. What products would you say strike the best balance between being an effective disinfectant that isn't toxic and very safe to use in the home?
    Last edit by heelhook80 on Dec 4, '09 : Reason: fonts
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

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    Great topic!! I haven't done the comparisons to use in my own home, but I work in people's homes as a nurse. My favorite thing to use is Control III. You can dilute it to the strength you need, and I really like it, BUT my trach/vent patient swears she can feel a residue of chemicals from it and will not let us wash her tubings and suction equipment with it!!
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    One of my former clients was having trouble finding Control III for use with their trach/vent stuff. Do you know where it can be found and can anyone buy it or do you need a prescription for it?
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    I'm a bleach girl. Chlorox has formulations for the home that don't smell so bad. Also, I rinse well to minimize any unpleasant odors and find that they disapate quickly. I also put some sweet-smelling air freshener in my bathroom. So the smell is not a problem ... and I haven't heard/seen any conrete evidence saying that it is harmful if used properly.
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    Quote from caliotter3
    One of my former clients was having trouble finding Control III for use with their trach/vent stuff. Do you know where it can be found and can anyone buy it or do you need a prescription for it?
    I don't think you need a prescription if you are going to pay for it yourself, but I do need one to order from a company that will be paid by Medi-cal,(-aid)/Medicare. Same goes for diapers, chux, gloves, etc.-- that normally wouldn't need a prescription.

    I've never seen it sold retail, (but haven't searched, ie medical supply places) but it is available online.
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    Quote from nursel56
    I don't think you need a prescription if you are going to pay for it yourself, but I do need one to order from a company that will be paid by Medi-cal,(-aid)/Medicare. Same goes for diapers, chux, gloves, etc.-- that normally wouldn't need a prescription.

    I've never seen it sold retail, (but haven't searched, ie medical supply places) but it is available online.
    Thanks for the info. Never thought to look for it online. Maybe that is why the client couldn't find it in retail med supply stores.
  9. 0
    Well,I use lysol at my house. I spray everything down that I can with it. I only use bleach in an extremely tiny amount when I have to because it makes me sick....it gives me awful headaches and makes me nauseated....always has...even the scented kinds. I have a 2 yr old so I have to disinfect. I boil his sippy cups and utensils. Coworkers have told me they put a capful of bleach in their bath or dishwater...they swear by it. As for me, Ill stick with the lysol and lysol products.


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