Tis the Season to Use Hand Sanitizer!

My (young adult) children are recovering from the flu, what the Dr. assumes was the H1N1 variety. Since one of their girlfriends' works with children, and the other works in heath care, they are routinely exposed to nasty germs. But, so are you! If you go anywhere, touch anything, you are being exposed to germs. Handle money, then touch your face and you have introduced all sorts of germs to your body. Hand sanitizing is a first line defense against germs. By simply washing your hands frequently you cut your risk of contracting many different viral and bacterial ailments. Since soap and water is not always readily available, there are hand sanitizers that you can carry in your purse, keep in your car, or keep in your desk. Of course you can buy hand sanitizer at almost any pharmacy or chain super store, but, for anyone concerned with being green, or if you just like control over what you put on your body and use in your home, you can easily make you own! Many, if not most essential oils have antibiotic, germicide and antimicrobial qualities (see the various oil descriptions A-Z from last year!). Below are a few recipes that I have found, not only for hand sanitizing, but for sanitizing your home. While I have not made any of these, the recipes look to be sound and, based upon their ingredient lists, these are ones that I would make. In fact, I do intend to try each one of these very soon. Meanwhile, if you find a favorite or dislike any one for whatever reasons, please let us know in the comments.

Germ Spray

6 drops Eucalyptus Globulus 12 drops Tea Tree essential oil 6 drops Lemon 1/4 cup distilled water Combine all the above ingredients then pour into a spray bottle. Shake well before each use (oil and water do not like to mix, so you must shake well for this recipe to be effective). This antiseptic, germ fighting spray is great to use, even on cuts and scrapes, but it can also be used as a room spray.

Viral Disinfectant Spray

10 drops tee tree essential oil 10 drops pine (black) essential oil 10 drops white thyme essential oil 10 drops clove essential oil 6 oz distilled water Mix ingredients and pour into a spray bottle and make sure to shake well before each use (remember that oil and water don't like to mix, so to be effective you must shake well).
Hand Sanitizer
1 Tbs. rubbing alcohol
3 Tbs. Aloe vera juice
2 ml cinnamon leaf essential oil
3 ml tee tree essential oil
3 ml lemon essential oil
Mix the ingredients together and pour into container of choice. Shake well.
Since alcohol is a natural emulsifier this recipe does not require shaking prior to each use. Additionally, cinnamon leaf essential oil can be a skin irritant. Should it irritate your skin, try doubling the aloe juice, if it still irritates your skin, double the tee tree oil and eliminate the cinnamon oil altogether.
*This recipe is from Brambleberry's Soap and the Finer Things blog. They state that they based it upon the research in the Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery (2009), available on line at www.sciencedirect.com
Natural Disinfectant Spray

1/4 tsp. French Lavender essential oil

1/4 tsp. eucalyptus globulus essential oil

1/4 tsp. lemon essential oil

1/4 cup vodka

16 oz distilled water

Mix ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle. Shake well before use.

This recipe is great for spraying kitchen counters, cutting boards, and the dish rack. It can also be used as an air freshener and on any furniture that you want your cats to stay off of!

Antibacterial Bathroom Cleanser
2 tsp Tea Tree essential oil 1 tsp Peppermint essential oil 2 tablespoons (may need slightly more) unscented liquid soap 1 Tbs. white vinegar 1 cup baking soda Measure the baking soda into a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Add approximately two tablespoons of liquid soap (you can use castile or regular dish washing soap, unscented is best). Mix well to create a paste-like consistency. If you need more liquid soap, add a little at a time, mixing as you go, until you have the consistency that you feel you can work with. Once you have the paste consistency, add the essential oils and mix well, then add the vinegar (which heps to boost the cleansing powder). To use, scoop out a little cleanser and use a sponge or other cleaning tool to gently scrub tubs, showers, and sink surfaces. A little of this goes a long way. It is a natural antibacterial cleanser that will help you clean your home without hurting the planet!
Hand Sanitizer
3 tablespoons Aloe Vera Gel or Liquid
5 ml Lemon essential oil
4 ml Tea Tree essential oil
2 ml White Thyme essential oil *This is optional
Mix all of the ingredients together, pour into a spray bottle, shake well and use. This recipe can also be used on furniture, but you will want to do a small test patch before using it all over.
*This recipe is from Brambleberry's Soap and the Finer Things blog.
Hand Sanitizer
1 ml White Thyme Essential Oil
1 ml Litsea Essential Oil
2 ml Orange Essential Oil
1/2 Cup Aloe Vera
1/2 tsp. Lecithin
Combine the lecithin and the essential oils together in a small container. Slowly pour the essential oils into the aloe vera, while stick blending the mixture. This will help to emulsify the mixture (think salad dressing). Lecithin is typically found in health food stores and is a natural emulsifier, with a shocking yellow color. This blend will go salad dressing thick and will not easily spray unless the spritzer is very hearty. Because of its lotion like texture, this recipe is best used on hands and body rather than furniture.
*This recipe is from Brambleberry's Soap and the Finer Things blog.

Peaceful Sunday

I am now back in the Fall weather of southern Ohio, but it seems as though I brought some Florida back with us, because today is a lovely 60, sunny degrees! What we in this area call an "Indian Summer", although I do not know why that term is used. At any rate, most of the gorgeous colored leaves are gone now, with lots of sparse limbs sprouting out from the tree trunks, but it is still beautiful in the sun, none the less!
Wherever YOU are today, I hope that you can take some time to appreciate the beauty of the nature that is around you, and allow yourself to bask in the wonder of it all!
For more pictures see http://flickr.com/uniquegarden To make it a bit easier for yourself (as I have over 2000 pictures), click on the set (on the right side) of "Friends and Good Times", then open the Englewood, Florida set OR click on "House, Yard and Scenery" and open the Fall pictures or the Sunset and Moonlight ones!

What You Up To Wednesday

Truth be told, I am actually in Florida, at the beach! I had not planned on this vacation, but I was asked at the last minute and just HAD to accept! I have been collecting sharks teeth, shells, and even an occasional sand dollar. Watching sunrises and sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico and birds....lots and lots of birds. I have truly enjoyed this break, but will soon be back to the Fall in souther Ohio. I heard that it was 40 degrees there yesterday while I sat on the ocean in the 82 degree sun! Man am I gonna miss it here!! lol.
At any rate, before I left, and as soon as I get back, I was/will be working on finishing up the winter, Christmas lines. I have begun making wine charms too (which I actually brought here to work on, but haven't yet managed to even look at yet! lol). I have many more pictures on my flickr account, but here are a few to get you started!