**the options I present below are never an all-encompassing list. Rather I strive to give you the terms + tools to be on the lookout for when shopping so that YOU can become your own low-tox expert.**

Whether we like it or not, summer is coming to a close and we are both transitioning kids back to school and into the fall/winter months, which means more time indoors and likely more access or need for hand sanitizers, wipes, and general cleaning.

For those of you with school-age kids, every back-to-school list now includes hand sanitizers and wipes for the classroom but also anywhere you go there are usually wipes and sanitizer readily available. 

Especially in the past few years we have become a culture that is OBSESSED with sanitizing and disinfecting, but many don’t know how many negative impacts these products have on our bodies and health. Read below for the heavy hitters that are found in your average sanitizing products and some alternative solutions you can make that are less harmful.

Shouldn’t I Be Concerned With Getting Sick?

By and larger over the past few years, the majority of people have become scared of interacting with nature and other people. Our immune system learns daily from exposure to different bacteria, humans, places, etc. but if we continue to try and “kill off” any and all bacteria/viruses that come our way, we will end up with no good/beneficial bacteria in our bodies and a weakened/uneducated immune system.

This is incredibly important when it comes to children. They are born with very “un-educated” immune systems that NEED interaction in order to become stronger and smarter. We aren’t protecting our children by constantly having them sanitize their hands, wear masks and wipe everything down before they use it. 

Yes, there are safer ways to wash hands, sanitize, etc. especially before eating, but I think the major issue is that we are trying to protect them and ourselves from “germs” that may actually HELP our bodies over time to become more resistant to sickness and less likely to have massive reactions any time we are exposed. 

What’s the Problem with Anti-Bacterial and Antibiotics?

Daily we are now faced with antibacterial and antibiotic products, through hand soaps and sanitizers to even things like wall PAINT that claims to “sanitize the air” in your home. Antibiotics are being over-prescribed at doctor’s offices and are even being pumped into our conventional animal products/meats (to learn more about this, check out my Animal Product Guide).

All of this overuse is causing antibiotic resistance and antibacterials being stored in our tissues. Products like these cause symptoms/conditions like:

  • Disrupts our gut composition (microbiome)
  • Thyroid hormone disruption
  • Obesity
  • Decreased sperm quality
  • Earlier onset of puberty in girls
  • Increases inflammation
  • Associated with colon cancer cell growth
  • Antibiotic resistance- aka drugs no longer work to get rid of infections

Spotlight on Sanitizing Ingredients

Below are just a few of the most common toxins found in common sanitizers, hand washes and wipes on the market. Use these terms when reading ingredient labels to determine if a product is safe.

Triclosan + Microban

One of the main ingredients found in antibacterial/microbial products is Triclosan, a classified pesticide. Triclosan is fat-loving and can get stored in our adipose tissues and in breast milk, and has been found to reside in over 75% of the population. It is also easily absorbed through our skin (aka when we use hand sanitizers/wipes that contain it).

Thankfully the FDA is finding that it is harmful, but regulation has only come out to ban it in hand and body washes, meaning this pesticide is still being used in all other personal care and cleaning products. Some states have passed legislation banning it even further, but for the most part it is still being freely used today.

If you know my work, I often mention the role of tricky advertising in our market. Microban, a product that is similar to Triclosan, doesn’t disclose its product make up so it can be marketed as a “safer alternative” to Triclosan.

You likely will see the Microban label on things from luggage to children’s toys, but the best part? It doesn’t even claim to do any disinfecting, but has only been found to get rid of things that could cause products to change color or produce mold. 

Fragrances (Phthalates)

I’ve talked about the harm of fragrances in other Toxins 101 posts, but as a reminder fragrances can be made up of 100s of different chemicals that contribute to a host of issues: 

  • Hormone issues
  • Breast cancer
  • Birth defects
  • Thyroid issues
  • Weight gain
  • Insulin resistance + Diabetes
  • Lowered testosterone
  • Allergies + asthma
  • Developmental & behavioral disorders, including autism 

Many hand sanitizers, wipes and hand soaps all contain fragrances to make them more appealing, but the reality is they’re doing more harm than good to be scented.

Safer Alternatives for Sanitizing

Time and time again, the safest + cheapest way to “sanitize” is simple soap and water. You don’t necessarily need to invest in fancy products but rather need to wash your hands regularly. 

Hand Soaps

So, if soap is our best option for disinfecting without causing harm to our bodies, we still need to be careful that we aren’t using soaps that have antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients…and spoiler alert- most hand soaps available in restaurants, bathrooms, schools, etc. do.  

Further, most hand soaps contain fragrances (aka phthalates) that disrupt our hormones and have been linked with obesity, liver and fertility issues. This means saying bye-bye to smelly hand soaps from Bath + Body Works and other common options.

If you can send soap with your kids to school, choose a better option below. To avoid in public places, make your own travel soap dispenser or grab the one from Kosmatology below to keep yourself safe from these disinfectants while out running errands, etc. 

Hand Sanitizer

In the times that you can’t wash your hands, look for the following for hand sanitizers:

  • No Triclosan or Microban listed on the ingredient list
  • Look for ones that contain alcohol as the antibacterial agent
  • No fragrance or scented products (this is a whole other discussion on phthalates and how they disrupt our hormones)
    • If the fragrance comes from essential oils that is okay- some like clove, thyme, tea tree, oregano, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemongrass and cinnamon oils have been found to all be anti-bacterial and/or anti-viral.

Here are some examples of safer sanitizers you can buy:

Here is a DIY recipe if you’d like to make your own (my mom makes this for us and this is what we use and love!)



  • Mix aloe, glycerin and rubbing alcohol in a bowl
  • Add your essential oils and mix well
  • Add 1 TBS of silver or water to thin to desired consistency
  • Use a small funnel to transfer sanitizer into bottles like these or glass ones
  • Use as you would any other type of hand sanitizer

Sanitizing Wipes + Baby Wipes

I can’t tell you how many people went nuts buying Lysol or Clorox wipes over the past few years and how we now see them pop up all over the place for free use. These wipes are chock full of disinfectant chemicals that have instructions on the label to wash the surface with water AFTER using these wipes and to wash your hands after use.

These wipes are associated with:

  • Asthma
  • Cancers
  • Skin issues

Aside from these, even the “natural alternatives” for wipes are mostly made from plastic- the same ones that are used in plastic water bottles, food packaging, diapers, soda bottles, etc. These wipes won’t degrade, meaning they end up filling up landfills and degrade into microplastics, which have recently been found to be in 99% of our bodies.

Here are some tips for finding better wipes:

  • Avoid plastic wipes made from PET, polyester polypropylene
  • Look for ones from natural fibers + those with “biodegradable” or “compostable” on their label
    • These could be 100% cotton wipes or bamboo wipes
  • Avoid any fragrances with wipes
  • Avoid any of these terms: parabens, antibacterials (like Triclosan), PEGs, siloxanes and silanes

Here are some examples of safer wipes/products to use:

What I Currently Do + Use

Based on what I have learned, my family does the following:

  • Wash our hands with clean soap at home + while out (currently using Kosmatology or doTERRA)
  • Use our own DIY hand sanitizer when out shopping
  • Use Force of Nature for disinfecting at home with reusable microfiber towels

This means we don’t buy a million different products and use a common sense approach to when and why we should be sanitizing.

Make Germs Your Friend, NOT Your Foe

It’s time to get back with nature + people- our body’s immune system actually depends on it. If you have been an over-sanitizer, your gut and your family’s health may be weakened because of this.

It’s time to clean up your sanitizing products and cut back on how often you’re using them in general. I know it can’t always be avoided in schools, etc. but sharing education like this with administrators/teachers and even your bosses may help to clean up the environment a bit and make them all more conscious of what they are presenting to your child and workspace.