Greener House Cleaning Services: Green Cleaning, Green Disinfecting, Consultations, and Home Organizing.
To get the surface extra clean--disinfected clean--you really have only one option...
You Guessed Correctly:
It is not to spray your home with something the label instructs us to:
Your Disinfectant Has to be As Safe As Can Be...
for animals, the planet, and you. (The following acid cannot be used on acid-sensitive surfaces like marble or travertine.)
The commercial disinfectant I've chosen for your home is EPA-reviewed and -approved and in their lowest-toxicity Level IV category. It is so safe for humans, animals and the environment that it doesn't even need a warning label. It can be used on food preparation surfaces and is (said to be noncorrosive, but I've learned at my own home that it's not to come in long-term as in weeks type of contact with one non-stone type of surface), nonirritating, colorless, odorless, and almost tasteless (a little tart).
It Also Has to be Highly Effective
The disinfectant I use is a dilute silver dihydrogen citrate--mostly water with the active ingredient a stabilized complex of citric acid and minute amounts of ionic silver. Microbes are attracted to the citric acid part of the complex and consume it along with the silver which is what deactivates their structural and metabolic membrane proteins, preventing reproduction and causing death.
Silver dihydrogen citrate is broad-spectrum and quite effective--tested on a variety of generally hard-to-kill microbes including Polio Type 2, VR-1002, Lansing Strain, Rhinovirus R37 VR-1147, Strain 151-1, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus Aureus, Staphylococcus Aureus, Salmonella Choleraesuis, Influenza A VR-544, Hong Kong Strain, Herpes Simplex Type 1 VR-733 F(1) Strain, and Escherichia Coli 0157:H7 ( E-Coli).
It is fast-acting: thirty seconds to two minutes are all that are needed for the bacteria tested, thirty seconds to ten minutes for the viruses, and ten minutes for athlete's foot. (Some surfaces shouldn't come in contact with an acid at all or for the time needed to kill all that the disinfectant can. As with all of life, there are many variables to consider.)
Better still: tests showed a 24-hour residual effect whereby if the disinfected surface otherwise left undisturbed were introduced to one of three standard bacterial strains (Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa ATCC 15442, or Salmonella Choleraesuis ATCC10708) within the 24 hours, it would still show a 99.99% reduction in all three microbes tested.
For Larger Areas of Your Home, Peracetic Acid
Showers, tubs, and sinks may (though I tend to use the silver dyhydrogen citrate option more often now) get a different treatment: a wipe- or spray-down with a mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Household-strength peroxide and cooking-strength acetic acid (i.e. vinegar) create a dilute (effective and safe enough to use at this concentration) peracetic acid which is far more antimicrobial than either of the two alone, and its power to disinfect is not diminished by "dirt" half as much as with bleach. If you dilute the vinegar to protect your surfaces, I imagine that you will either kill less or just need to leave the product on the surface for longer than the lab-determined 1-minute kill time, but I'm not the scientist so can't say for sure.
With this disinfecting method, the mixture is to be rinsed off after just one minute (literally), and vinegar aroma dissipates quickly; so, the scent of vinegar would not be around for long.
See these pages for more on creating a dilute peracetic acid at home:
Practically Edible's summary of Dr. Sumner's research Practically Edible artice
The September 1996 article on Dr. Sumner's research
http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arch/9_28_96/food.htm ScienceNews article
Ask me more about green disinfecting of your home in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley, AZ
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