Disinfectant Disaster & Other Cleaning Tales


On the weekend I was picking up a couple of things at the local supermarket and I noticed that they had small bottles of disinfectant concentrate.  My current bottle (that I have had for a few years) is nearly finished so I decided to buy some more.  I do not routinely use disinfectant but I usually use a couple of drops when I am cleaning the compost bucket and the kitchen bin.

I was putting the new bottle away in the laundry cupboard and managed to drop it with catastrophic consequences.  The hard plastic bottle cracked when it hit the tiled floor and quickly began to leak.  I grabbed the bottle and put it in the bowl I use for handwashing, which happened to be on the laundry bench.  Nevertheless, there was an amount of disinfectant concentrate on the laundry floor.

Rather than waste it, I got a bucket of very hot water and decided to mop the floor of the laundry and toilet .  The fumes were dreadful, the floor ended up spotless and I had a debilitating headache for 48 hours.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

I decanted the remaining disinfectant from the bowl into the almost empty bottle so I have enough for another few years but I know I will be VERY careful when I am handling it.

I was reading this post on Frugal Downunder yesterday and noticed that the first comment mentioned using tea tree oil.  Why didn’t I think of that?  In the future that is what I will be using instead of disinfectant.

Most of my cleaning consists of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.  I buy the cleaning vinegar from the supermarket and put 1 litre in in a 2 litre bottle then top-up with water and allow to stand for a couple of weeks.  This way you get twice as much for the price.  I found this savings tip on Simple Savings.  The bicarb is bought in bulk from Simply Good so no packaging is generated.

I have a selection of re-usable cloths, some are microfibre and some are cotton.

I use beeswax furniture polish which I buy locally at a market.

The main problem we have is mould as we live in a high rainfall area with very high humidity during the summer months.  Clove oil kills the mould spores and I was able to buy some this year in bulk.  It is expensive but you need very little (5mls in 500ml of water) in a spray bottle.  I am gradually treating all of the walls, ceilings, furniture and even shoes and it certainly has made a huge difference.  The syringe is so that I can accurately measure out 5ml.

I do not have a lot of chemicals and the disinfectant disaster reminded me of the reasons why we are better off without these chemicals in our homes.  In almost all cases there is a less toxic option.

2 thoughts on “Disinfectant Disaster & Other Cleaning Tales

  1. Pingback: Clove Oil | organisedcastle

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