hand sanitizer photo with purple flower

Covid – Six Proactive Tips to Stay Germ-free

Prevention is better than cure, that is a fact. So, what can we do to protect ourselves from germs, especially from the very prevalent COVID threat? Scientific research has irrefutably proven that COVID transmission not only occurs via respiratory droplets, but that we can also get infected via faecal matter. We know that we must keep our hands clean, the message is loud and clear. But do you know that you must be extra vigilant when you go to the toilet, especially public and shared facilities? Toilet plume (the faecal aerosol droplets that are released into the air when you flush the toilet) can spread COVID by infecting the air and bathroom surfaces up to 3 feet away from the toilet bowl.

Essential oils have well documented antimicrobial effects against a range of bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens. The essential oils of thyme and lavender exert potent antiviral effects against influenza type A virus. Tea tree oil has also been proven to be strongly anti-viral.  Some of the essential oils with certain active compounds show strong anti-viral activity against SARS CoV. The essential oils of tea tree, neroli, lemon and geranium all significantly reduce ACE2 expression in HT-29 cells with geranium and lemon essential oils being the strongest. A study reported 221 phytochemical compounds and essential oils to be effective against coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The lipophilic nature of essential oils means they can penetrate viral membranes easily, leading to membrane disintegration.

Let us look at what we can do to proactively reduce the spread of disease with the help of essential oils:

1. Spritz a pre-toilet spray into the water of the loo before you go for a number two.  The pre-toilet spray forms a barrier on the toilet water’s surface and prevents toilet plume/viral and bacterial aerosol droplets from escaping from the loo into the air and onto the bathroom surfaces. 

2. Upon entering a communal bathroom/after someone else has used the toilet, spritz an antiseptic toilet spray to purify the air and prevent viral and bacterial transmission. Look out for pre-toilet and air-purifying sprays containing essential oils with antiseptic properties. You are getting rid of bad odours, and crucially, you’re sanitizing the air that you breathe in.

3. Always remember to keep your toothbrush well-away from the toilet, at least 3 feet away. The best place to store your toothbrush is in the bathroom cabinet where the aerosol droplets cannot reach it.  

4. Sanitize your hands throughout the day. When it comes to hand sanitizer ingredients, always check the labels!

a. According to the W.H.O., 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the only known means to quickly, and effectively, inactivate the harmful microorganisms on hands, with minimum risk of you building up resistance to antimicrobial agents. But do be careful! There are two safe and acceptable types of alcohol: Ethyl alcohol/ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. Do not use any sanitizers containing the highly toxic forms of alcohol, called methyl alcohol (also known as methanol or wood alcohol), and/or 1-propyl alcohol, or 1-propanol.

b. Prolong the sanitizing effect of your hand sanitizing. There are specific essential oils that have antiviral and antibacterial properties. The essential oils linger well after the sanitizing alcohol has evaporated, thus furthering the antimicrobial action. Look out for hand sanitizers that contain, apart from ethanol/isopropyl alcohol, essential oils such as thyme, rosemary, tea tree, rose geranium, lemon, neroli and lavender.

5. Keep your devices clean. On top of regular hand sanitizing, do remember to routinely clean your computer keyboard: Dampen (without getting it dripping wet) a cotton swab with 70% rubbing alcohol/ethanol and clean on top and around the keys.  The same applies to your mobile phone, this time using a clean cloth to apply the cleaning fluid.  Never spray cleaners directly onto your devices. 

6. Make it a frequent habit to sanitize the surfaces you touch. Use vinegar or 70 – 90% ethyl alcohol to disinfect the steering wheel, indicators, handles and knobs in your car. The same applies to light switches, door handles and knobs in your home.

Do share your proactive tips with us, we would love to hear from you and to adopt more ways of staying healthy.

Natural Greetings

Barbara @ Fynemists