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Eco-Friendly Clean Up Without Getting Sick Yourself

My boys have a running joke that sickness runs in threes in our family. It’s funny because there are four in our family. First Ben gets it. Then Leo. Then Thaddeus, and at the end of the week, while I have a load of cleaning to do usually, I don’t get sick. I think it’s because I have my secret Keep Mama Healthy way of dealing with the fog of illness. In this blog, I’ll share my secrets with you.

No Commercial Disinfectants

I don’t like the way they smell. I don’t like what they do to Mother Nature. I don’t like the wasteful packaging, and, if you know how to clean properly, there’s not much need for them. The key to disinfecting, according to experts, is scrubbing with soap and letting surfaces dry. Soap breaks open viruses and bacteria, and drying finishes the buggers off. In your 16 oz. reusable bottle, add 1.75 oz of eco-friendly Pro-Tek and fill the rest with water. Scrub hard surfaces and let them air dry. (For extra disinfecting punch add a capful of bleach, but then it’s not as eco-friendly.)

I hunt down everything a sickie boy might have touched, like switch plates, handles and knobs, faucets, etc and make sure they are scrubbed and allowed to dry. 

Not Facing It

Normally when I change a bed, I ball up all the sheets and carry everything to the laundry room in a giant pile steadied with my chin. When I’m changing a sick bed, I’ll make a few trips with smaller loads and look the other way while I’m at it. Germs that can’t get to my face have a much lower chance of making me sick. Talk to the hand, germs. Of course, I’m always sure to wash my hands thoroughly after touching contaminated surfaces.

Wash Cloth

And speaking of washing, things I don’t tend to wash that often like blankets, stuffed animals, jackets, and bathrobes all get their day now.  If it’s cloth and a snotty, cough-y child was anywhere near it, it gets an all-expenses-paid cruise through the laundry cycle.

The Good Stuff

After the babes have been sick it’s tempting to spend all my time focused with a spray bottle and rag, but that’s exactly when all the little good things are most important. Coffee dates with far away friends on video phone. A spicy chai with local honey. A new pair of leggings. Turning up the Led Zeppelin station on Pandora and shaking my tush while I cook. Drinking lots of good, clean water. Recycling. Baking banana bread from scratch. Kitty snuggles first thing in the morning. Meditating and my spiritual practices. All those little good things add up to living a really good life, moment-to-moment. I believe those juicy moments are integral in keeping me healthy.  

Outside Myself

Sickness in the house means Mama needs Mother Nature more than ever. Research shows that bright, cheerful sunlight stimulates T-cell and vitamin D production in the body, and plants give off chemicals called phytoncides–all work in conjunction to boost the immune system. The fresh air! The calming beauty of my desert countryside. The brave sage and pinyon pines reaching for the sky, regardless of the weather. Especially after the boys have been sick, I make it a point to get out for a hike. Mother Earth takes good care of me, both body and soul.

What are your go-to’s for staying healthy when your family is sick? Share your strategies with us in the comments.