He slots his keycard into the hotel room door. Immediately, upon opening, his throat seizes up. His eyes itch and burn. Tears swell.

At check-in the night before, he had forgotten to leave a message with the hotel front desk to please inform housekeeping that he was allergic to the commonly used cleaning disinfectants.

He does not blame the housekeeper.

His first reaction is to open the window, allowing fresh air to infiltrate. He then buzzes Housekeeping, asking for the manager and requests that no commercial cleansers be used in his room. She promises all cleaning staff will be notified. He adds that he would also leave his own disinfectant to use instead. 

Thank goodness it is not freezing outside. The air begins to clear.

Jeremy has developed these allergies after being diagnosed with an immune compromise. That was over 20 years ago and his condition has not improved. Back in the day, he could not go into a restaurant  as the non-smoking section was laughable, to him at least. Smoke respects no boundaries. Today, most public places are smoke free. Store aisles carrying cleaning supplies are bothersome, as are cosmetic areas in large department stores. And often hotel rooms.

Jeremy’s job involves a lot of travel. He has been able to prefect his needs to a carry-on and manages to include the essentials to make his own disinfectant cleaning spritz.  Some may perceive this act as being rather anal, but unless you have experienced an allergic reaction to chemical cleaners, you would not understand how serious a reaction Jeremy suffers. One solution would be shopping at a local grocery store each trip to seek out a more natural cleanser, but the time and effort are not worth it to Jeremy. Some hotels have more environmentally friendly cleansers but Jeremey prefers to bring his own.

His carry-on includes the following: 2 small bottles white vinegar, regulated travel size, small essential oils of lavender, lemon and rosemary, a 50 ml bottle of vodka.

Jeremy then retrieves an empty plastic litre bottle from his duffle bag and proceeds to  concoct his bathroom cleanser. He mixes equal parts of the white vinegar with water, adds 10 drops of lavender, 5 drops of rosemary and 5 drops of lemon.  He tops off the mix with 20 ml of vodka and since the sun is over the yardarm, a shot of vodka for himself.

He sets the litre spray bottle aside with a prepared note to the housekeeper in English, Spanish and French. He wishes he spoke more languages.

To my housekeeper
Kindly clean and disinfect with this disinfectant spray instead of your regular cleanser.  Thank you so much. 

Along with the note he leaves a five-dollar bill. Jeremy appreciates all cleaning staff, knowing the job is not an easy one.

Today we can purcase more natural cleansers and most hotels are switching to less strong products. Thanks to people like Jeremy.

You, too, can make your own cleanser. Or, if you prefer to purchase, read your labels very carefully. ‘C is For Clean’, is a Canadian company and an excellent source for natural cleansers. It is highly recommended, to go chemical free when possible, for the health of all members of your family, pets included.  

Do not substitute cheaper fragrances for the essential oils. Use the real thing. We do sell some essential oils of very high quality.

You can substitute rubbing alcohol for the vodka, but do not be tempted to imbibe that one.

Whether at home or on the road, travel clean.