You guys will get so tired of hearing about how fall is my favorite. I feel like Will Ferrell in Elf. I just go around yelling "It's my favorite!" to anyone who will listen. Most people don't and that's cool but I still like saying it.
Not only does fall represent change but it brings the cooler temperatures that I love. However, with those temperatures, usually come colds, flus and general crud. Let's not even begin to discuss what this year may bring with Covid-19 still being an issue across the country.
With that in mind, I wanted to share a few things that I do around the house with the changing seasons. I make these changes every year to help support my family's immune system and to just keep things cleaner and less germy. Germy is a word right? If not, it will be for the duration of this blog post. Before I get into it though, let me remind you that although I am certified in aromatherapy, I am in no way shape or form a medical or even aromatherapy expert. I just have a little more knowledge in the aromatherapy field than most.
These are things that I do almost year round, if I can, but stress them in the fall and winter. Most of these are obvious. Taking your shoes off when you come into the house prevents outside germs from getting on your carpets and floors. The same thing applies with changing the kids clothes after a long day at school or daycare.
However, the not so obvious are with sugar, local honey and garlic. If you're never looked at the correlation between sugar intake and your immune system, I ask you to take a quick look. According to research, an increase in sugar consumption leads to a decline in immune support. Local honey also has a lot of benefits for your immune system and overall health. Check out this article (here) for a list of why honey is beneficial for you. Don't just take the beekeepers wife's word for it.
The one thing on the list that doesn't feel like a chore is increasing my family's garlic intake. I love garlic! When a recipe asks for one clove, I put in like 3. So this doesn't hurt my feelings at all and as long as the kids don't see it, they're good to go. Garlic has been know to help support your immune system and fight colds. See this article and research (here).
No one likes this word. I almost gag just saying it sometimes. It's usually the last thing I want to do but during this time of year, it is especially important. However, it is important to know the difference between the types of cleaning. There are three types. These didn't really matter to me until I had to take a food safety class to open the bar. There is a distinct difference in these three cleaning types and I feel that most of us are just cleaning instead of sanitizing and disinfecting.
If I teach you nothing else, I hope it is that you need to make sure that you are using the correct products for the correct items. Do you need to waste expensive disinfectant on a shelf? No! Unless you're eating off of it and touching it daily, why would you disinfect it?
I use one cleaner for everything. I'm not necessarily a Young Living loyalist but Thieves Cleaner has been my go to for a while. One bottle lasts virtually forever but I hear that DoTerra's On Guard is basically the same. If you want to go even cheaper, Revive-eo has a version you can find here. With this concentrated cleaner, you follow the instructions to dilute it for your needs. I have a spray bottle for general cleaning and then I also use this to mop my floors when needed. I even use this in my DIY recipe for liquid laundry detergent.
Sanitizing is another type of cleaning. This is what you want to do to your high traffic areas where you want to kills germs so that you don't spread them around. I love Burnett's Vodka! For cleaning, not drinking. That stuff tastes like drunk teenage nights in a field somewhere. It's horrible and usually has bad memories attached. However, for sanitizing, it is a great choice because it's cheap. I use this recipe here. I usually put lemon essential oil in it so that when the alcohol and vinegar evaporate, I get the clean smell of lemons.
Disinfecting is the last type of cleaning and I may be throwing you for a loop with this recommendation. Thyme essential oil contains a chemical called Thymol that is on the list of CDC Disinfectants. Here is the link to the CDC website, I would suggest searching for Thymol in the search bar. I tend to making the recipe in the graphic. If you just want to buy a commercial version, Seventh Generation makes a cleaner with thymol in it, just check the ingredient list first. They have changed the formula for some of their products without making an announcement.
I much prefer to use thymol products over Clorox and Lysol. Mostly because of the smell but the decrease in chemicals makes me feel happier too, especially if I'm ultimately achieving the same result
You do you. If you're looking for more natural products, check out the above. If you're a bleach queen....you get it girl. I'm a judgement free zone, I just like to give options if you're looking for them. If nothing else take this post with a grain of salt but I wish you and yours nothing but a safe and healthy fall and winter.