Are You Cleaning Your House with Toxins?
Since I was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer I have made significant changes in my life and lifestyle. I’ve learned a great deal about nutrition and healing. I’ve changed my internal dialogue, implemented numerous therapies, drastically changed my diet, and much more. A big part of this process has involved changing the products that I use, moving away from potentially toxic chemicals to safer, more natural options.
In fact, when I first took a close look at all of the cleaning products that I had been using to keep my home “clean” for my family, I was absolutely shocked. These products contained a laundry list of chemicals, and often included warnings such as:
Avoid getting on skin. Keep out of eyes. Harmful if swallowed. If accidentally ingested, seek medical care immediately. Flammable. Keep out of the reach of children.
I realized that in the process of removing the dirt, I had actually been spreading toxins throughout my house!
If you are concerned that you’ve been doing the same, let me assure you that you can keep your house clean without creating a toxic atmosphere. Here’s what I have learned…
The Chemicals in Common Household Cleaners
Many of the chemicals commonly found in household cleaners are listed in the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s TOXNET Toxicology Data Network. Their Household Products Database also provides health and safety information on specific products and ingredients. It’s a real eye-opener.
For example, many household cleaners contain ammonia. According to this database, short-term eye or skin contact can cause irritation, burns, frostbite and permanent damage. Inhalation irritates the respiratory tract. Ammonia can also cause headache, loss of sense of smell, nausea and vomiting. Even worse, higher exposure to ammonia can be life-threatening.
Is this the type of thing you want to spray around your house?
Other common products can be just as bad. Do you use air fresheners to “clean” the air of unpleasant odors? A 2015 study found that air fresheners are a source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor environments, and contain tiny particles that can cause respiratory problems among others.
How about those convenient little dishwasher or laundry detergent pods? These usually contain chlorine and are quite toxic. Unfortunately, because they look so much like candy, they have become a leading cause of child poisonings.
And the list goes on. The reality is, most common household cleaning products contain toxins. Some are relatively “mild,” some can be extremely dangerous, and none are things that I want in my home.
There are natural products that work well
In my quest to avoid harsh, potentially harmful chemicals, I have discovered some wonderful products that work just as well (if not better!) than the products I used in the past. Three of my favorites are:
- My Green Fills Laundry Wash, Rinse and Stain Remover – I am so impressed with Green Fill’s affordable, non-toxic and sustainable laundry cleaning supplies that I signed up to represent this product line.I’ve been using the Laundry Wash and Laundry Rinse (both of which are available either unscented or infused with a calming blend of essential oils to create their “signature scent”) for my family of five, and I can tell you that they work extremely well. For tougher stains I use either the Enzyme Stain Remover or the Non-Toxic Stain Stick. And when I want to brighten a load of whites I add in some OxyBoost Brightener to brighten things naturally with the power of oxygen.For ultimate convenience, My Green Fills is sold on an automatic delivery model. Just choose the quantity and frequency option that fits the amount of laundry you typically do, and they’ll send you more before you run out. Click here to claim your free trial!
- Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Basil Cleaning Products – Dish soap, hand soap and a terrific multi-surface cleaner, all with a wonderful basil scent that makes the house smell good. By combining a garden-fresh scent with plant-derived ingredients, Mrs. Meyers created products that clean well and are also appropriate for people who have sensitive skin. Of course, I like the fact that all of the ingredients are at least 97 percent naturally derive
- Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner – This is a natural and non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner that gets the job done without strong acids or caustic chemicals. I love the fact that this is made from a non-toxic, plant-based formula with absolutely no chlorine, petroleum-based cleaners or phosphates. Plus, it has a pleasant Emerald Cypress and Fir Scent (created by the use of essential oils and botanical extracts), and no harsh fumes to burn your eyes or make your nose run.
In general, to safeguard your health and that of your family, the idea is to look for products that are organic, natural, and free of chemical-based fragrances. I find the recommendations of the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) to be very helpful in this area. EWG’s mission is to “empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.” Check out their list of Top Green Cleaning Products!
Another option is to make your own cleaning products. I’ll talk about this in a future blog!
What “green” cleaning solutions have you found?
As always I welcome and encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences below. Thanks for reading!