Can you recommend any natural alternatives to hand sanitizer?
My mother always told me to wash my hands before eating. If you’re not around soap and running water, a hand sanitizer is the way to go. But the ones that you’ll typically find in stores can contain lots of scary chemicals like Triclosan, for example. This chemical is linked to allergies and asthma, and can make it’s way into our bodies. A 2002 Swedish study found high levels in 3 out of 5 human breast milk samples. Conventional hand sanitizers also contain harsh chemicals and can often do more harm than good. The best way to clean your hands is to wash with plain soap and water. Lather up, then rub your hands together for about 20 seconds. But if you’re on the run with your kids, here are some safe alternatives.

My tips:

  • If you’re going to be away from home for several hours, you can carry a ziplock bag and a couple of washcloths that you’ve wet at home. Sprinkle some lavender or lemon essential oil on them, or mint for a great pick me up in the car. It’ll even wake you up if you get sleepy while driving.
  • If you want to use a hand sanitizer, make sure you pick products made from natural plant-based alternatives to the chemical laden hand sanitizers. EO Products makes hand sanitizers that are made with organic ethanol (a type of alcohol) and organic lavender essential oil. Or try an alcohol-free product from CleanWell which won’t sting cuts or dry out the skin on your hands. Also, it’s OK if a child puts his/her hands in their mouth after using either of these products as they’re both non-toxic, unlike some conventional hand sanitizers.

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Beth Greer, aka Super Natural Mom®, is an award-winning journalist, green holistic health educator, healthy home expert and impassioned champion of toxin-free living. She’s also a radio talk show host, and trusted consumer advocate, who is leading a movement of awareness and responsibility about healthy homes, schools and work environments. Connect with Beth on Facebook and Twitter.