Using a Non-Toxic, Safe, All-Natural Antimicrobial Deodorizer in My Family’s Home Hospice
By Cesar Collado
In the last 6 months, my father passed away and this Thanksgiving, another elderly family member became terminally ill. In both cases, we elected to create a home hospice so that they could pass in peace in their own homes.
For anyone who has had the experience of providing hospice care, the entire home develops the smell of a retirement home. There are many contributors to the impactful odors that accumulate when caring for a chronically ill person. Most musty and putrid smells are the result of bacteria, mold, shedding skin cells with body odor, and the airborne particles that result from continuous changing of bedding due to the inability to get up to go to the bathroom. Making things worse, the stench of chemical disinfectants, laundry bleach, and fragrances to mask odors can combine to create a variety of odors that make the household unpleasant at times.
Given the fact that I have fogged the homes with Mold Solution Concentrate and have provided laundry additives to remove mold and musty smells, I know everyone in the household appreciated the products by CitriSafe and Bio-Balance. Since Citrus Seed Extracts are long known to be antimicrobial, they have the ability to help neutralize odors caused by bacteria, mold, and viruses. As a result, I decided to put my mold protocol to a test to see if it could help my family with the “Nursing Home Stench” as we called it. The results where remarkable.
Today I would like to describe how CitriSafe and Bio-Balance mold protocol were effective in eliminating the “Stench” for others who might benefit.
Misting with Bio-Max Home Maintenance Mister and Bio-Max Maintenance Solution
It made perfect sense to me that fogging with either the Bio-Max Maintenance Solution included in the kit or CitriSafe Mold Solution Concentrate would be beneficial in addressing the smells associated with mold and bacteria. (Bio-Max Maintenance Solution is slightly more potent but made with the same active ingredients making either one appropriate) I was also not a fan of the smell of the masking fragrances in chemical cleaners and bleach smell combined with the natural odors. So, I fogged the entire home with the products to address the underlying cause of the odors. Fogging was the first step in my quest to eliminate any and all uncomfortable odors in the homes. The Bio-Max Home Maintenance Mister is extremely efficient in that it only required several ounces of the BioMax Maintenance Solution diluted in 48 oz of distilled water. The bottle lasts months.
I focused on the carpet since it is the “biggest air filter” in any household. A carpet believed to be well vacuumed can weigh up to 8 times its original weight when being removed due to the collection of microscopic debris. I was particularly focused on any airborne fecal particles that can spread due to bed changing. After fogging, I vacuumed with a HEPA vacuum to remove any microbial remnants. Using the less expensive ‘old school’ vacuum with
HEPA bags provided a startling conclusion regarding carpet collection of microscopic debris. It took several bags to completely vacuum the hospice bedroom, previously vacuumed with an expensive Dyson vacuum cleaner.
Using the CitriSafe Laundry Liquid
Home healthcare results in a full-time job for the washing machine and dryer due to the multiple changings of bedding and clothing throughout the day. I strongly believe in removing all bacterial and fungal spores during the washing process, but I do not like the pervasive smell of bleach or ammonia. We began washing all loads with CitriSafe Laundry Liquid without bleach. The CitriSafe Laundry Liquid takes the place of commercial detergents that often have chemical fragrances added to mask odors. CitriSafe Laundry Liquid performs better than other laundry additives because it combines the antimicrobial benefits of the CitriSafe botanical blend of citrus seed extracts and tea tree oil with a detergent. It works in the wash cycle.
The increased soak time with agitation and hot water optimizes the cleaning surfactants and works both during wash and rinse cycles. The bottle lasts over 30 loads, so it too was very cost efficient. The resulting laundered items had a very fresh, but very subtle citrus scent. IT is important to remember to avoid using laundry softeners as the cellulose additives are actually consumed by reproducing fungi and are often the cause of mold issues in the laundry room.
How Well Did this Work?
The results were remarkable in both cases. The entire house smelled much better for everyone. Given that it was a family holiday this week, many visitors were expected, and the family was relieved due to the difference. It still took significant effort to meet the daily laundry needs, but the absence of the chlorine bleach smell was appreciated.
The “Unknown” Smells
Because this is my third “rodeo”, I spent significant time researching some of the subtle smells that continued in the hospice bedroom. I know that cancer has a distinct odor. In fact, service dogs can be trained to detect cancer. I also research 2-nonenal (distinct smell associated with aging), which is an unsaturated aldehyde with an unpleasant greasy and grassy odor. This chemical was detected only in older subjects (40 y or older). It is most commonly noticed in nursing facilities and retirement homes; however, it can sometimes be strong in a particular individual.
Here’s how body odor works for older people: Hormonal imbalances that occur during aging often result in more lipid acid, a fatty acid produced in our skin. And as skin matures, its natural antioxidant protection decreases, resulting in greater oxidation of lipid acid. When lipid acid is oxidized, the chemical compound produced is 2-nonenal. It is particularly produced behind the ears and on the neck. It is often hard to self-detect, but will linger on fabric such as shirt collars and pillow-cases.
The recent research for this mainly comes from Japan where the older generations are held in very high regard. Japanese culture has a word for this smell, “Kareishu”. Several companies have set out to rid the world of it by producing perfumes and soaps that neutralizes the smell. The active ingredient is persimmon extract from the persimmon fruit. Persimmon works as a natural deodorizer against it. The tannin in the fruit dissolves Nonenal in a similar way lemon juice knocks out a fishy smell.
Since I did not know which product to buy and the imported “cosmetic” products were not inexpensive, I did some research and made my own bodywash with water, unscented castile soap, virgin olive oil, and persimmons extract. The body wash is gently applied with a washcloth and water to wipe the recommended areas and arms. I have no evidence but my own opinion that it does work. More to come…
What is most important in this article is the person in hospice. They are not just living their remaining days. They can be very self-conscious and “embarrassed” by the conditions where they can spend time with the family. I found an affordable way to make home and illness a little better for everyone. Most important, the hospice experience can be made more comfortable for the chronically ill with little effort.