From flu outbreaks to deadly bacterial infections, childcare centres need to be on their toes.

In response, you may go searching for the strongest products that claim to eliminate bacteria, viruses and other pesky germs. 

But although we think these products are keeping us safe and healthy, the truth is that some of them are harsh for your health and especially for children. 

Skip the harsh chemical sprays in favour of these safer alternatives. Bonus: You can probably find them in your house.


The reason that pure lemon juice may kill some bacteria is that it has a very low pH when super-concentrated…in other words, it is very acidic. Some bacteria may not be able to grow under such conditions and they become inactive.

Here’s some science to back that up. Lemons are known for their antimicrobial properties. A 2017 book, “Phytochemicals in Citrus: Applications in Functional Foods,” describes how solvents made with lemon peel show antimicrobial activity against salmonella, staphylococcus and other pathogenic bacteria. These are two of the stronger, more resistant bacteria strands.

How does it work?

Basically, the test was carried out using lemon peel extract and citric acid (The acid found in lemon juice). It was mixed in with drug-resistant bacteria and it showed a reduction in bacterial growth after treatment, which proves its efficacy as a sanitizer. 

So there you have it, a cheap, easy and effective way to kill bacteria. And if you have some lemons at home, you can bring it to your centre tomorrow and begin your own basic disinfecting!

By the way, even if you don’t clean up properly, you don’t have to worry about what might happen to children who touch it. 

Well they might shudder at the sourness but that’s about it!


 Plenty of people swear by vinegar. 

It’s inexpensive, non-toxic (although a little pungent), biodegradable and has been used as a disinfectant for thousands of years. 

If you want to get rid of typical germs especially in your childcare centre’s kitchen or bathroom, you might be asking “does vinegar really work?”

The answer is a qualified YES. It’s not as effective as commercial sanitizers for sure, but it’s still a useful disinfectant nevertheless. 

How does it work?

Whether it’s distilled white vinegar or rosemary-infused vinegar, they all contain about 5% acetic acid. The acid in vinegar passes through the bacteria’s cell membrane hich denatures their protein and fat cell structure. When the cell ruptures, it…dies.

A study found that the topical application of vinegar yields a 2 – 12 times higher success rate in eliminating bacteria on an infected wound.

Acid on an open wound…OUCH!

But YAY to no more bacteria!

Yet another benefit is that vinegar neutralizes the allergens produced by the dust mites. This means disinfecting an area with vinegar could help eczema and asthma suffers. 

On a side note, did you know that if you pour vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it on lizards, they shrivel up? It’s a much better alternative to permeating the air with strong chemicals from an aerosol pest spray can!

  1. VODKA

We’ve seen it in the movies…the cowboy hero gets shot and uses some alcohol he finds in a nearby bar to disinfect his wound before he bandages himself. 

If you’ve wondered if it’s just a thing in the movies…not really. Alcohols like Vodka really are great for removing mold, killing bacteria and also great for shining fixtures like faucets, mirrors, countertops and tarnished doorknobs.

How does it work?

Alcohol has the ability to kill germs exceptionally well, with its high alcohol content of 40%. 

Vodka makes an attractive alternative to store-bought air deodorizers. The thing about regular air deodorizers is that they simply replace one odour with another. Vodka kills odor-causing germs and does not leave a lingering aroma. 

The smell of vodka dissipates quickly, and when you add natural essential oils, which have antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, a fresh scent lingers. Here’s a little recipe for you:

Ingredients and Equipment

  • 4 ounces of water
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 12 to 24 drops of essential oil
  • Measuring cup
  • Funnel
  • Spray bottle

Spray it on door handles, light switches and other commonly touched places in your childcare centre for quick disinfecting. Leave the fluid on the surface for a while to let the alcohol do its job. It will quickly evaporate anyway so you don’t have to wipe it off. 


Since we just talked about essential oils, tea tree oil has fantastic anti-bacterial properties too. Tea tree oil is known to kill common bacteria and viruses responsble for causing illness, including E.coli and H.influenzae. 

This unique healing oil is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree traditionally found in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. For centuries, Aborigines crushed the leaves and inhaled the scent to treat coughs and colds, even applying them directly onto the skin to speed up the natural healing process.

Since we’re on this topic, you could buy some tea tree oil drops from essential oil stores to let your students inhale slightly when they have coughs and colds too. It’s great when you get a stuffed nose or if you feel under the weather. 

How does it work?

Terpinen-4-ol is a compound found in tea tree oil and has been shown to help kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. Of course tea tree oil isn’t the saviour that cures every illness…

But this compound naturally increases our body’s white blood cell activity, which we know helps fight germs and other foreign invaders. So while it’s an external aid, it does help to improve our body’s immunity too. 

It goes without saying, you still have to take care of your body with the right nutrients and medicines, if necessary.


Now this is quite an old school method…

Remember last time when you fell and had a cut or scrape? And your parents or the school nurse applied this weird liquid that had fizzy bubbles forming over your wound? Yeap, that was Hydrogen Peroxide at work. 

Hydrogen Peroxide can help prevent infections from worsening and kill fungal spores. But still, it is usually used as a temporary solution before going to the doctor’s or applying some antiseptic creams.

How does it work?

There have been many studies done on the hydrogen peroxide, a name that’s seemingly scary but actually relatively harmless. 

Similar to vinegar, hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria by destroying their cell wall. Hydrogen Peroxide also causes temporary inhibition of carbohydrate metabolism and lactic acid production by bacteria cells. To put it plainly, expose the bacteria long enough to this compound and they will slowly die off. 

It’s common to see people gargling hydrogen Peroxide too since it helps with teeth whitening and helps reduce bacteria in the mouth. So again, you don’t have to worry about kids accidentally putting this in their mouths. 

They’ll be safe and have a cleaner mouth. (Just for the record, we’re not condoning slip-shod centre maintenance!)


Although baking soda itself is not a disinfectant, it works great when combined with natural disinfectants like vinegar if you need to unclog the drain (along with tons of bacteria in it). Or you could mix it with lemon juice to clean out your fridge (along with its odours)

As a cleaner, baking soda does wonders. It can clean almost anything from floor, carpet, bathroom, sink, remove tea stubborn stains on clothes, even whiten your teeth. 

You probably have baking soda sitting somewhere in your cupboard or kitchen too. 


That said, all these are great cleaning agents with anti-bacterial functions of some sort. But they are unable to completely eradicate harmful bacteria and germs that are sitting or flying around your childcare centre, threatening to strike at any time. 

In the event of an outbreak, these natural agents are definitely not what you should be using to disinfect your space. It’s still best to get professionals to properly disinfect and routinely maintain your childcare centre. 

Talk to us to learn more about how you can protect your students and your childcare centre.

If the article isn’t flowing smoothly and you also find it challenging to create the information in your paper

The very best study paper is one that can demonstrate the student the issues involved with this undertaking and the steps that need to be taken to overcome those barriers.

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6 Things That Are Naturally Anti-Bacterial To Safely Disinfect Your Learning Centre

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