We’ve all heard about detoxing our bodies, but what about detoxing your home!? There are many chemicals used in our everyday, home products, and most of them can lead to health concerns. The Environmental Working Group found in their research that over 2000 cleaning supplies in the U.S. can lead to health issues such as asthma, allergies, migraines, cancer, birth defects, and more. By removing these unnecessary toxic products from your cabinets, kitchen cupboards, and bathroom sinks you can really “clean” your home and benefit the health of you and your whole family.
Chemicals to Avoid
Phthalates: Found in air fresheners, fragrances, dish soap, toilet paper, etc. Look for the word “fragrance” on labels. Known hormone disruptors, cause reduced sperm counts, asthma, allergies, developmental issues (undescended testicles, hypospadias), cancer.
Perchloroethylene (PERC): Found in dry cleaning solutions, spot removers, carpet cleaners, etc. A known neurotoxin, and carcinogen, (increases risk of breast cancer). Acute side effects: dizziness, headaches, skin irritation.
Triclosan: Found in liquid dishwashing detergents, antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizer, etc. May promote growth of drug-resistant bacteria, endocrine disruptor, possible carcinogen.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QUATS): Found in fabric softener (liquid and sheets), antibacterial items. Similar to triclosan. Promotes drug-resistant bacteria, skin and respiratory irritation.
2-Butoxyethanol: Found in window, kitchen, and multipurpose cleaners including “Simple Green All purpose cleaner”. May not be listed on ingredient labels, as it is not required by law, however is banned in Europe. Can lead to kidney and liver damage.
Chlorine: Found in toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers. Known respiratory irritant and thyroid disruptor.
Diethylene glycol: Found in window cleaners. Nervous system depressant.
Butyl Cellosolve (aka. Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether): Found in all-purpose, window cleaners. Damages bone marrow, neurotoxic, can cause kidney and liver toxicity. Absorbs easily through skin.
Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APE): Found in laundry detergents, disinfectants, laundry stain removers, citrus cleaner/degreasers. Increases toxicity when biodegrading into chemicals that mimic estrogen which leak into streams. Have been associated with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer.
DIY Cleaning solutions
All hope is not lost. Luckily we have plenty of ways to make our own cleaning solutions that are effective and safe to use in our homes. The best part is that they don’t take much time or many ingredients to make.
One of my favorite parts of making my own cleaning solution, is using essential oils to not only make my cleaner smell nice but also for their antimicrobial and disinfectant properties. Our favorite essential oil company even has their own cleaner concentrate that can simply be added to water to make a great working (and smelling!) cleaner.
Natural Cleaning Essentials
Essential Oils- Lavender, Lemon, Tea tree, Protective blend (Wild orange, Clove cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary)
Old rags, torn old T-Shirts
The All-Purpose Natural Cleaner
50/50 mixture of white vinegar to distilled water.
May add a few drops of essential oil such as lavender, lemon, Protective blend oil.
Use to clean kitchen counters, floors (tile, hardwood, laminate), sinks, tub/shower, windows, mirrors.
*Can also use Protective blend cleaning concentrate by adding 2 Tbsp to 24 oz of the 50/50 mix
Simply sprinkle baking soda into bowl, swish, scrub, flush! You may also make a paste using castile soap, baking soda, and an essential oil like tea tree.
*Can also use Protective blend cleaning concentrate by adding 3 Tbsp to 24 oz of water
50/50 mixture of white vinegar to distilled water in a spray bottle.
May add some rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka.
Adding a splash of lemon juice can reduce streaks.
Use microfiber cloths or newspaper to wipe down mirrors, windows.
Natural Moth ball
2oz dried rosemary and mint
1oz dried thyme
8oz whole cloves
Place in sachet and hang in closets, drawers.
Olive Oil (2x amount of lemon juice)
Splash of white vinegar.
Whisk together and rub on wooden furniture with soft dusting cloth.
Liquid Dish Soap:
½ cup liquid castile soap
1/8 cup water
4 drops essential oil of choice (orange, lemon, lavender)
1 tsp vinegar
Mix everything together and store in old soap bottle.
*Can also use Protective blend cleaning concentrate by adding 3 Tbsp per gallon of water
Distilled water in a spray bottle
Small amount of liquid vitamin E (to preserve)
*Rosemary and lemon- to freshen and invigorate the air
*Lavender and Chamomile- To calm and relax
*Grapefruit, Wild Orange, Lemon- To uplift mood
Toxic chemicals can also be found in shampoos, hair sprays, perfumes, air fresheners, sunscreens, lotions and laundry detergent. There are natural and safe products out there – contact us to obtain truly safe alternatives and protect the health of your family.