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Does Witch Hazel Disinfect? Experts Explain Why It Can’t Kill Germs

Does Witch Hazel Disinfect? Experts Explain Why It Can’t Kill Germs

Witch hazel can feel like a household solution for everything – after all, there is a good chance that this herbal liquid has always been in your medicine cabinet. It is often distilled into an ointment or a concentrated extract that can be used in many different ways. It is often a major ingredient in Skincare products for the relief of itchy skin and can be used currently for topics like mosquito bites and it can even be found in products designed to relieve body pain. But unfortunately, it is not a magical elixir and it cannot be used to properly disinfect a surface to kill germs, including viral bacteria.

Does Witch Hazel Disinfect
Does Witch Hazel Disinfect
  • Witch hazel is often used for skincare solutions and topical pain treatments.
  • While it can be used to disinfect products or hand disinfectants, witch hazel is not meant to be a disinfectant.
  • Experts say that astringents like witch hazel are not the same as other household cleaners that you can currently use.

Because deep cleaning areas around the house have top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic people have wondered if they can’t use chemical cleaners to disinfect and disinfect surfaces, including witch hazel, which is often found in homemade hand sanitizer recipes. However, the fact that witch hazel is associated with hand sanitizers doesn’t mean it’s a disinfectant – it’s mostly included for its holistic health benefits.


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What is witch hazel?

You may be surprised to learn that witch hazel is actually a plant. Most products in the wellness area are made from tannins, which are found in the leaves and bark and are often processed into topical treatments, which you can find in the pharmacy. While it is used widely the outermost layer of skin against itching and reduce swelling, it can also be found in other topical and oral medicines. It is an astringent, which means that witch hazel has a chemical make-up that allows it to actually shrink and narrow the body tissues – which is why it is often used to treat inflammation.

By this natural anti-inflammatory Chemical composition There are some products that can mix witch hazel with alcohol and other ingredients to cleanse and soothe the skin. You may come across recipes online that require witch hazel in detergents or disinfectants, especially if they are to be applied to the skin.

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Does Hamamelis disinfect surfaces?

If you come across websites that list witch hazel as a disinfectant, it may be due to very limited research showing that tannins found in witch hazel could target bacteria related to avian flu and the human papillomavirus stand (this) 2014 study published in Plus one shared this finding). However, witch hazel should not be used to disinfect surfaces, and witch hazel alone is not an Environmental Protection Agency-approved product that is approved for surface disinfection.

The EPA has well-kept lists of approved disinfectants for killing germs, also with recently launched a list of cleaners They have been shown to neutralize the virus that causes humans to develop COVID-19. Hamamelis alone is not on any of these lists: Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells prevention that there is no “confirming evidence” that witch hazel is as effective as a real antiseptic.

Are there any disinfectants that can be made at home?

William Schaffner, M.D., the medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious DiseasesThe best DIY tools for a real disinfectant are bleach and water or hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol. All can effectively neutralize germs associated with the novel corona virus. Disinfection of hard, non-porous surfaces – from kitchen countertops to door handles to toilets – can be achieved if you use the following mixtures.

    1. You can mix 4 teaspoons Chlorine-based bleach with 1 liter of water Apply the mixture directly to the surface. You must let it rest for at least five minutes before wiping it off so that the germs are adequately neutralized. Also note the bleach and water solution must be made fresh every time you use it.
    2. If you have hydrogen peroxide, Simply spread it straight from the bottle onto the surface of the question. Let it sit for at least a minute before wiping it off.
    3. To use alcohol First, make sure it’s 70% isopropyl alcohol. You can apply this directly and keep it wet for at least 30 seconds.


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