Safe Hand Sanitizer???

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Is anyone else just a bit concerned about the amount of alcohol our kids slather on themselves daily? Or that triclosan, the antibacterial agent in most soaps and cleansers, is an endocrine disruptor in children and can make them go through puberty at an early age?

    I am. Have been for a while but did not know other sanitizers were available. Our school has the kids use sanitizer before lunch - they each get a pump or two when they line up for lunch. It saves time, or that is the argument. The school does not even teach good hand washing, to my dismay.

    Now there is a company called CleanWell. Two parents with a child who had only 10% immune function at birth started it. They were looking for a safe, natural hand sanitizer. One that didn't risk a child's development to keep them clean.

    They came up with a blend of essential oils and had it tested. The microbiologist firm who tested it was sure it would not work.

    SURPRISE!! It worked as well as commercial hand sanitizers. The blend, which contains geranium, oregano and thyme among other things, meets or exceeds ALL standards for sanitizers. ALL. It kills MRSA, Salmonella and everything else.

    The brand is CleanWell, and is available at, Target, and many other stores.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Good to know Susie. I will tell the girls this. They teach the kids good handwashing....but when you're in public it's a good idea to carry it with you just in case.

    Irritates me that I see this sanitizers all over hospitals/nursing homes. And I rarely see a nurse or medication staff wash their hands anymore. Sanitizer's weren't meant for use like that. I was relieved when our instructors still preach good solid handwashing at every opportunity. Which, while I do carry sanitizer in my purse, I will still wash my hands in good ol' soap and hot water at any opportunity.
  4. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Being one of those people disgustingly addicted to television, I happened to see a investigative report type program just this week on the topic of antibacterial hand sanitizers. Guess what gals???


    Shocking huh? It is proven antibacterial hand sanitizers have ZERO affectiveness beyond what any old ordinary liquid or bar of soap have. 100% the same qualities. I was stunned hearing it.

    So the "New new" is to just use whatever liquid or bar soap you actually like. I prefer soft soap, meaning non drying gentle products. Due to having such horridly bad skin in our long Canadian winter season. The amount of money saved by buying normal product as opposed to these gimmicky 99.9% germ killer type products is quite high in a family of 4.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    This year our schools have placed hand sanitizer in ALL classrooms and the library because of the whole swine flu issue. I know my younger two use it now, but before this year, we only used it if there was nothing else available, like when we are out camping or fishing. Otherwise, my kids are all drilled on washing after the toilet and before eating (we don't use any special soap -- just regular bar soap, or liquid if that's what we have, and I don't go out of my way to by anything anti-whatever), and to try to sneeze or cough into their elbow crook instead of their hands or the air around them. Overall, our family is very healthy. Aside from one or two colds per year, that's about all we usually deal with. Sometimes I laugh because I think my boys' lack of a real social circle has a lot to do with the reason they rarely get sick! :wince:
  6. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I'm more concerned with all the dang 2 liter bottles of 62% alcohol scattered throughout my building. Talk about a fire concern. Oh - and let's put tissues next to them to wipe your hands on. Can you say "wick"?
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh, good lord skeeter, NO! People are sooooooo stupid. argh!
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    husband was warned YEARS ago about overuse of antibiotics and anti microbials. His doctors attributed his surviving his illness for so long to his having built up an excellent resistance to "bugs" (the exact words were: "every kid should eat a little dirt now and then!")

    When I had my abdominal surgery a few years ago, I got a secondary intestinal infection from a bug called Clostridium Difficile. It came very close to killing me. C. Diff has become resistant to the usual Flagyl used to treat it. I had to take Vancomycin IV for it. Worse yet, once you've had C. Diff, you never get rid of it. It lives on in your digestive tract and can grow and take over any time you go on antibiotics that kill the good bugs in your intestines.

    I do wash my hands frequently, but on medical advice, I do NOT use the so-called sanitizers. It's the time of washing that makes more difference than what you wash with. I use a standard hand soap.

    I sanitize cooking surfaces with a bleach solution (5%), as well as using that on pet dishes and the like.

    I had to take penicillin for a dental infection recently and that, which is hardly used these days, was enough to make the damned intestinal bug flare up some. It went away on it's own, which is a good thing.

    The main thing is that I have to be VERY careful of my personal "bathroom hygiene" so I don't infect anyone else.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm a firm believer in using good old soap and water where possible. I do think schools should be teaching good hand-washing techniques and not taking the easy option and handing out sanitiser. If hands are dirty (as in "covered with dirt") all the sanitiser will do is redistribute it.

    Soap and water works well, because the phosphate in the soap links to the bacterial coat and put it in solution. You then rinse and it washes away down the drain. If you use sanitiser, it may kill the bacteria but it doesn't remove them. You HOPE you killed them all! Because if you missed a spot, then you didn't kill them all. And as I said, any dirt etc is not removed. Just rearranged.

    For example, I'm eating in the car while parked somewhere. I'm eating spicy chicken tikka, which is very strongly flavoured and also coloured red. I need to clean my hands afterwards - but what can sanitiser do? It will merely rearrange any red colouring on my hands. Also it won't remove the garlic smell from my hands.

    However, I will use sanitiser when I can't use soap and water. For example, eating in the car - I will wipe my hands on a napkin then I use a water bottle to rinse my hands. I then wipe again - another napkin or maybe a towel. When my hands LOOK clean, then I will use sanitiser.
    Or in public, especially at a doctor's waiting room or in the ER (such as with mother in law in recent days) I use the sanitiser fairly frequently because cross-contamination in a place like that is a big risk - doctors' waiting rooms and ER waiting rooms are notoriously full of sick people!

    Another use I have for my gardenia-scented sanitiser is in summer when I'm feeling hot - I rub it on my arms to help me cool down.

    I have four small jars of the stuff. One small jar sits in my bag. It's been there for the last year and is still more than half full.

  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I almost never use any hand sanitizers...except when I was visiting nursing homes for my mom. Or at the hospital. Or on a cruise liner.

    Everyday soap and water is best - Some bacterias and germs are actually healthy.

    I think our world has become so over the top consumed by cleanliness and sterility - it's unhealthy. My sister is a teacher and she's got an air cleaner in her room as well as many boxes of tissues and bottles of sanitzers and guess what? She's ALWAYS sick.

    Staying hydrated and washing your hands are the best protectors against sharing cold and flu germs if you have to be in contact with others on a daily basis. **However, I will check this Cleanwell stuff - it sounds perfect for carrying in your purse. easy child works at the day care place and she uses that other stuff all the time!
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I go out of my way to buy soaps that are NOT antibacterial. I don't want any of the bugs to develop resistance. My kids are taught and retaught proper handwashing all the time. Esp to sing the Happy birthday song 2 times or 2 animals from old MacDonald or other song. We have even used stopwatches to time how long we are washing and to learn how long 20 seconds really is.

    I HATE that school keeps the 1/2 gallon size sanitizer in each room and the kids use it instead of washing before lunch. We have several children at the school who like the taste of sanitizer and will slurp it off their hands if not watched very very closely. These children are in classes with the big bottles just sitting out by the door and they do NOT have aids to watch them. It is a dangerous situation that could easily be avoided, in my opinion.

    There are times where the sanitizers are handy. Our sports fields all have port a potties but are usually out of sanitizer. So I use it there. Also if we are at the grocery and one of the kids runs a hand over the meat coolers. THAT grosses me out completely. I do keep a spray bottle of alcohol in my purse (came with gel sanitizer, gets refilled with alcohol) and I use it on toilet seats, shopping carts handles, chair arms at the doctor and the movies, etc...

    We clean with bleach here, and make our own cleaning products for the most part. If I need a new spray bottle we will buy a house brand cleaner and keep the bottle for re-use because it is much cheaper than buying an empty spray bottle.

    I just thought that knowing about an alternative to alcohol would be interesting to some of you.
  12. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    yes c. diff is horrible. once only found in nurseing homes, now hospitals & general public. My kids took zero antibiotics until late teens. they were never sick. I fired a dr once becuz he demanded I take an antibiotic and I asked will it make me better faster? is this bug dangero9us? he couldnt answer to suit me, I did not want the antibiotic, I was at his office for a routine work required physical...

    Ive been peeved by overuse misuse & abuse of antibiotics, and antibacterials for years wrote a paper about it in school, and did inservices about it often at work. I know too many people who just dont get it. :-(
  13. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    years ago when the sanitizers first came out I was working at the county nurseing home, and we were a test market. Even then the staff were told many times, the sanitizer is NOT a replacement for hand washing by soap & water. The only time that we actually did use it then was if we were AT the medication cart dispenseing medications and used our pen to record a medication given we used a small squirt after useing our pen bwfore turning the page on the medication chart. If we got caught not washing at the sink both before and after touching any person or clothing or dish we would be fired on the spot.

    I keep a sprayer bottle of water in car except when it is freezing cold a galon ziplock. and a roll of paper towels in another gallon ziplock.
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Dreamer, the only antibiotics I had taken before the C.Diff incident had been ampicillin and sulfa. I was very frail after the surgery, but certainly not before. I definitely caught the infection in the hospital while my normal gut flora were wiped out by the strong antibiotics they put me on immediately after the surgery.

    A lot of our own bugs are what wind up making us sick. MRSA is a classic example of this; it is a staph bug that lives on a lot of peoples' skin or in their nasal passages.

    husband was very prone to infections due to his blood disorder which caused neutropenia (lack of disease fighting white cells). At the same time, HIS bugs were NOT antibiotic resistant, because he'd never taken any of the modern antibiotics before he got ill.

    What we saw was a pattern developing over time where it took stronger and stronger antibiotics to get rid of recurrent infections
  15. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    yes, it stinks cuz yes even people who didnt misusee antibiotics suffer, becuz the bugs themself become supercharged. it stinks. its a public health threat.
  16. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I know several people who died from mrsa and c;diff. :-( both are nasty. and the medications to treat them are not without problems and often very very expensive.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  17. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The Flagyl isn't too bad and it is out in generic now. The Vancomycin is exhorbitantly expensive and I have lasting damage from it. It did save my life, but good grief! What do we do when THAT quits working.

    And, an awful lot of this is due to people and parents insisting on a RX for an antibiotic anytime they see the doctor with a problem. That's eased up, but I can remember folks in the medical field twenty years ago already complaining about this problem.

    And, add in the fact that a LOT of patients quit taking antibiotics once they start to feel better. That, of course, just means that the fittest of the bacteria survive the incomplete treatment and they are the ones that go on to reproduce
  18. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    yup. & dont forget the ppl who save the unused antibiotic and then a few weeks or months later, drag it out & start useing it for some symptom that popped up, hoping the old unused antibiotic will help. LOL........I got on this high horsee re antibiotics back in uh............1991. thats when at work it become a buzzword, the new mrsa and c'diff we began to see. and antibiotic resistant tb etc, too. we worried yes, that long ago. but....people complain and say they do not have time to be inconvenienced with mild illness, dont feel its fair they dont get a rx for everything........oh they CANT be sick, DO something and do it NOW.
  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The ironic thing is that I currently have a head cold am am treating it with rest, lots of beverages and soup, and a lot of Kleenex.

    I did call psychiatrist's office to see if they still wanted me to come in with the cold (due to the H1N1 concerns) and they said it was fine.
  20. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that information.

    Right before Xmas, both of my 10 year old's hands on the tops were red, raw, cracked and peeling, to the point of bleeding. I could not figure out what it was. We have a family history of both eczema and psoriasis so I had an appointment with the dermatologist set for after the holiday.

    Then one day, we were at Costco and sitting down for a snack (their hot dogs are my guilty pleasure) and my son got up and hand sanitized. My oldest son's girlfriend said "You know, he hand sanitizes an awful lot, maybe that could be what's making his hands peel"

    We got him to agree not to use any for one week. Within that time, the bleeding stopped, the skin was healing and he was not crying in pain anymore. It took about 2 1/2 weeks for his hands to return to normal.

    He has expressed a desire to hand sanitize again so I am letting him three times a day but he is not allowed to put it on the tops of his hands.

    I am going to get the product you recommend. He plays with the dogs and the cat alot so I do want him to continue to clean his hands afterwards.