Wanna know what will make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside? Googling "shopping cart germs". Go ahead, do it...I dare you. When I started actually researching this topic I was pretty grossed out (especially since I've lost the "do not lick the shopping cart" battle with my one year old many times).
Apparently shopping carts are dirtier than PUBLIC RESTROOMS. Researchers at the University of Arizona swabbed shopping cart handles in four different states and found fecal matter, E. coli, and a host of other types of bacteria. I've always known they were dirty, but can you say heebie jeebies?! After all of this research my first instinct was to never go shopping again, which would mean no more glorious Target trips with my little one (without Target though what is this life???). Clearly, eliminating Target was not going to happen so sanitizing the heck out of our shopping carts was my next best option.
I wanted to avoid the typical hand sanitizer and wipes for many reasons. While they may seem like the perfect way to disinfect on the go, they unfortunately have hidden down sides. Many hand sanitizers and wipes contain things like triclosan, parabens, and even synthetic fragrances. Triclosan disrupts hormone regulation and your immune system, and contributes to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Parabens are toxic and are linked to endocrine disruption, infertility, skin irritation, immunotoxicity, and cancer. And don't get me started on synthetic fragrances- we will save that for another day. These ingredients can all contribute to tons of health issues, especially with repeated and regular use.
Luckily I found an amazing alternative, my shopping cart savior- Thieves Spray! It is made with Thieves oil, which is a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary essential oils. It was created based on the historical account of four 15th century thieves, who protected themselves using these herbs while robbing Black Plague victims. It smells like christmas, and has been studied and proven to be very effective at fighting bad bacteria. A study by Weber State University found that when Thieves blend was diffused into the air it has a 99.96 percent kill rate against airborne bacteria after only 10 minutes of exposure.
Here are just a few of the other numerous studies done on Thieves blend/the individual oils it contains:
1. In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils
2. The battle against multi-resistant strains
3. Rosemary inhibits food-borne pathogens
4. Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil
You better believe that I douse our shopping carts with this christmas-smelling goodness. I can now rest assured that my dingus one year old will not catch anything crazy when he decides to lick the Target cart (I still do my best to prevent this, but hey, it happens). We love our Thieves Spray, and will never be without it. Not only do we use it on shopping carts, but it comes in handy everywhere. We spray restaurant seats/tables, highchairs, gas pump handles, and even ourselves when we need a hand sanitizer haha! What's even better is that it's super easy (and cheaper) to make it yourself if you have Thieves essential oil on hand!
The only things you need are: Thieves essential oil blend, witch hazel, water, and a small bottle!
All I do is fill a bottle with 1/3 witch hazel and 2/3 distilled water, and then add 10-12 drops of Thieves oil! Boom- DIY Thieves Spray!
Have you ever used Thieves essential oil or spray? Want to learn more about getting some Thieves essential oil of your own? Click here!