Are you looking for ways to reduce your exposure to environmental chemicals but not sure where to start?
It is sometimes difficult to escape all the toxins we are exposed to in our society. From smog to cigarette smoke to strong perfume, chemicals are everywhere it seems! I think the best place to start making changes is within our own home. I started making cleaning products from scratch about 5 years ago after a strong skin reaction to a popular bathroom cleaner. Determined to find a more natural solution to cleaning, I bought a book by Kim Logan called Clean House Clean Planet. To be honest, I haven’t looked back since. Making your own cleaning products is cheaper, funner and they smell fantastic! Win. Win. Win.
If you look at most labels on commercial cleaning products you either won’t find the ingredients because the government does not require that all the ingredients be listed or you see a list of things that look like a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo. As consumers, we should be getting a full disclosure of the ingredients so that we know what we are bringing into our homes. A few of the chemicals found in cleaning products and the harmful effects are:
Quaternary ammonium compounds: can destroy mucous membranes in your nose and lungs and are known irritants to the eyes, skin and lungs. Found in glass cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants, floor cleaners and furniture polish.
Formaldehyde: suspected carcinogen, nasal irritant, cause headache and red eyes. Found in disinfectants, detergents and furniture polish.
Glycols: irritate the eyes, skin and nose. Can cause fatigue, nausea, liver and central nervous system damage. Found in degreasers and floor cleaners.
I challenge you to give homemade cleaning products a try. There are lots of books and websites available for more recipes for different cleaning tasks. Here is one of the recipes I use most often. You can use a lot of different essential oils in place of the tea tree such as: lavender, peppermint, thyme, lemon or bergamot. They all have antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. This cleanser works great for the bathroom sink, tub and toilet. If there is a lot of caked on soap scrum use a scour pad instead of a cloth. Give it a try.... you will be very impressed!
From Clean House Clean Planet
2 C baking soda (I buy in bulk) ½ C liquid castile soap (such as Dr. Bronner’s brand found at the health food store) 2 tbsp white vinegar 30 drops tea tree oil ¼ C water (more or less for desired thickness) Funnel Squirt bottle (re-use a bottle from a store bought cleaner)
- Mix liquid soap and baking soda with a fork to get out any lumps.
- Add vinegar, tea tree oil and water and mix until smooth.
- Pour into a squirt bottle using a funnel.
- Can be used for cleaning the toilet, bathtub or sinks. Rinse with water.