Don’t you LOVE the smell and feel of a freshly cleaned home? Everything is so crisp and clean – it can put a smile on our face and even inspire you to get started on a new project. BUT, what products are you using to clean your home and could you be increasing your exposure to toxic chemicals in the process?
The topic of chemicals in our homes seems to be on the forefront of people’s minds. Just last night I attended a get together where the conversation was dominated by talk of natural skin care, chemical free beauty products and alternative products to clean the home reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals and protect our children.
For those of you who purchase cleaning products in bright colored containers with shiny labels promising powerful disinfectant powers and the freshest scents or orange or lavender BEWARE! Here are some facts you need to know about chemical cleaning products:
- The average household contains over three gallons of toxic cleaners.
- These cleaners are usually petroleum based and pose damage to the heart, lungs, liver, brain and kidney when inhaled or ingested
- Other cleaners containing bleach form vapors when mixed with water that pollute the air in your home and increase the risk of cancer, ADD, Alzheimer’s, allergies and asthma.
- Practically no human studies have been done on most of the chemicals in cleaning products. It has been assumed by the industry that they are “safe until proven toxic.”
- Most toxic products are not required to list ingredients. However, most natural products DO list ingredients because they are harmless.
Eliminating toxic cleaning products can be as simple as purchasing “green” and non-toxic products at your local natural market or MAKE YOUR OWN!
DofH Homemade Cleaning Products:
- Disinfectant/De-greaser – 4 tbsp. Vinegar + ¼ tsp. liquid castile soap (we like Dr. Bronner’s) + 3 Cups Hot Water (Add 2 tsps. Borax for tougher jobs)Glass Cleaner – Vinegar + Hot Water
- Bathroom/Kitchen Tile Scrub – Baking Soda mixed with a few drops of olive or clove oil
- Stainless Steel Cleaner – Olive Oil
- Natural Air Freshener – Dip cotton balls in vanilla extract and place them discreetly around the home.
- Homemade All Purpose Cleaner – 1/4 cup baking soda + 1/2 cup vinegar + 1/2 gallon water
- Kitchen Floor Cleaner (for Linoleum or Vinyl) – 1 cup vinegar + 3 drops of baby oil + 1 gallon of warm water (Add ¼ cup borax for tougher jobs)
- Wood Floor Cleaner – Use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil
- Toilet Cleaner – 10 drops tea tree oil + 3 cups vinegar – Scrub toilet and let stand 15 minutes before flushing
- Shower/Bathtub Cleaner – Fill a spray bottle with half water and half vinegar for a basic shower cleaner. Leave on tile for up to 30 minutes before rinsing clean.
- Dishwasher Soap – Combining equal parts washing soda and borax.
- Oven Cleaner – Make a paste by combining 1 1/2 cups baking soda + 1/2 cup salt + 1/2 cup water. Spread the paste inside the oven, but not on the metal areas. Leave the paste in the oven overnight. When morning comes, add 1/4 cup of vinegar + 1/4 cup of water in a spray bottle and spray inside the oven. The solution must be rinsed off well to avoid a residue.
- Add drops of fresh squeezed lemon or lavender oil for a mouthwatering clean natural scent
- In lieu of paper towels (which are costly and not friendly to the planet) purchase some plain cotton cloths – a.k.a. bar towels. These are super absorbent and can be thrown in the washing machine and reused over and over.
Homemade cleaning products help to ensure Decades of Health!
A special thank you to Dana Dermody, Owner of A Fresh Start Cleaning Company in Pittsfield, MA for her expert contributions to this blog post and her tireless efforts to keep my home clean and promote a healthy lifestyle for her employees, friends and family!
Next week…DofH’s natural skin care and beauty alternative recommendations…