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What? What do you mean lose your antibacterial everything? But bacteria is gross…
Well, some bacteria is gross – but not really.
Look, I used to be of the mindset that if it wasn’t sprayed with bleach it simply wasn’t clean. When I had my first child 15 years ago, I bought antibacterial hand soap dispensers at every sink in my house and my parents house.
But after doing a little reading, I realized that those little bugs are what keep us from getting worse bugs – superbugs if you will. For example, when my daughter was severely mauled by a dog at the age of 3, she required IV antibiotics. The doctors were shocked by how quickly she responded to their use. “It’s almost like she’s never had antibiotics before,” they said. “She hasn’t,” was my reply. Antibiotics are powerful – if we use them for every little thing, they make us more resistant to them – and as evidenced by my daughter’s injuries, I want them to work well when they are needed! Nothing convinced me more about laying off antibiotics use than that hideous experience. And in my research I discovered that other antibacterial – and antimicrobial products with triclosan – are also doing more harm than good.
According to the New York Times: “Some recent laboratory studies suggest that antibacterial products containing triclosan may not be the best way to stay clean. Instead of wiping out bacteria randomly, the way regular soap or alcohol-based products do, triclosan may inhibit the growth of bacteria in a way that leaves a larger proportion of resistant bacteria behind.” They recommend instead “basic hygiene — washing hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers, keeping scrapes covered until healed and refraining from sharing personal items like towels and cosmetics.”
Besides – all of that triclosan stuff is wicked expensive…you’ll be frugal and green and healthier if you just buy regular soap – and wash often!
Although that’s the first thing I’m going to suggest you do with it – put a cloth diaper on your baby or toddler’s butt. As you can see from this post, there are many reasons to do that. Not the least of which is that potty training is easier!
You can also use a cloth diaper…
…as a cleaning rag. They don’t leave streaks and are great for polishing furniture (not that I really ever do this).
…in place of a paper towel – they are superabsorbant, after all.
…as a baby spit-up cloth.
…as a breast pad when nursing – just cut them into little squares or circles.
…in a first aid kit. They are great for stopping blood, padding splints, or rolling up behind someone’s head.
…for craft projects – they are great organic batting. I have a great kneepad for the garden made with a few cloth diapers sewn inside some pretty, waterproof fabric.
…as a pad under a baby’s butt in the bath.
That’s just a few…have another idea? Let us know!