In Detox Part I, I went over common personal care products with ingredients to stay away from and safe alternatives + DIY recipes. Now let's tackle 4 common household products.
Did you know?! Most household cleaners are skin and respiratory irritants. In addition to being toxic for using in your home, they are also not very environmentally friendly. One planet here folks!
A note about “antibacterial” products - Many people use bleach or other antibacterial products in their homes believing they are keeping things clean, sanitizing everything, etc. While I understand that people mean well, LISTEN UP - the evidence does not support this practice. Using bleach in the home is associated with increased infections in children, particularly respiratory infections. Pretty interesting since this is WHY people tend to want to use these, right? Anyway...did you know - that if you use botanicals with anti-bacterial properties they will take care of the bad stuff and NOT cause the same problems that bleach and typical antibacterial products do? For you science nerds out there, it’s because bacteria don’t develop resistance to nature's remedies the way they do with synthetic chemicals. Pretty cool, right?! Psst - this is also true when using plant based remedies for their anti-infective properties as well.
Ingredients to avoid: bleach (sodium hypochlorite), phthalates (fragrance), antibacterial ingredients (typically triclosan), perchloroethylene, ammonia, 2-butoxyethanol
My favorite -Thieves Cleaner! I realize it sounds ridiculous to be excited about a cleaner, but this stuff rocks. ONE bottle will clean your whole house - glass, kitchens, bathrooms, whatever! While the bottle has dilution ratios for every type of cleaning, I am lazy and just do a bottle of 1:30 and it works for pretty much anything. If something is really dirty, I will add a little extra Thieves cleaner to it so it’s easier to clean. Smells amazing, and you will never be holding your breath and gagging while cleaning the bathroom.
OTHER SAFE OPTIONS:
The majority of the Seventh Generation products are cleaner. Many have thymol (derived from thyme) as an ingredient to help kill the bad stuff without using toxic junk. Check the EWG site for specifics! www.ewg.org
You can also always go the route of making your own!
OK how many times a day do you wash your hands?! 30? More?! Just me? I do have a toddler. OK - What’s in your soap? The stuff in your products is absorbed through your skin, even when you just wash your hands with it! So - let’s get rid of all the usual suspects again: triclosan, artificial fragrance and color, parabens and phthalates.
We use the Thieves hand soap. Buy a 3 pack and then just get the bulk refill, it’s a little more cost effective. You can also do the unscented Seventh Generation hand soap, and add your own oils, such as lavender or peppermint or anything you like! Or, try the recipe below.
Lavender Mint Hand Soap:
¼ cup liquid castile soap - unscented (like Dr. Bronner's)
2 tsp Sweet Almond Oil
5 drops Young Living Lavender Essential Oil
5 drops Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil
2 cups distilled water
*important to use distilled water to avoid bacteria and mold!
Combine ingredients and stir gently. Pour into foaming pump soap dispenser.
Artificial fragrances are some of the worst indoor air pollutants. They are respiratory irritants and children tend to be especially sensitive to them. When you know better - you do better! Replace your synthetic plug-ins, candles, or wax melts with beeswax candles or (my favorite!) an essential oil diffuser.
Going into the holiday season, here are some of my favorites for diffusing this time of year: Christmas Spirit, Evergreen Essence, Pine, and Northern Lights Black Spruce. Or if you just have a starter kit - Thieves smells like Christmas all year!
If you like candles, beeswax is the best and soy is next. You can make candles with your oils as well to smell like anything you like. Even the unscented beeswax candles have a nice honey-like smell.
Would you have guessed this?! Likely - THE MOST TOXIC THING IN YOUR HOUSE. No stress - I have a super easy alternative that is better for you and your family AND the environment. Wool dryer balls. You can buy these anywhere - Amazon, Target, Etsy. If you’re crafty you can make them! I hear it’s super easy...but have not done it myself.
These are a natural way to help get static out, dry your laundry faster, and make it smell good! You just put your oils right on the dryer balls. I like lavender or lemongrass. Other options - Purification, Thieves, orange or lemon or your other favorites!
7 Toxic Reasons To Ditch Dryer Sheets | healthylivinghowto.com
Here are the seven most common chemicals found in dryer sheets and their effect on the central nervous system:
1. Alpha-Terpineol causes central nervous system disorders. Can also cause loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, and headache.
2. Benzyl Alcohol causes central nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, central nervous system depression, and, in severe cases, death.
3. Camphor on the US EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Central nervous system stimulant, causes dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles, and convulsions.
4. Chloroform on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Neurotoxic and carcinogenic.
5. Ethyl Acetate on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list. Narcotic. May cause headaches and narcosis (stupor).
6. Linalool causes central nervous system disorders. In studies of animals, it caused ataxic gait (loss of muscular coordination), reduced spontaneous motor activity, and depression.
7. Pentane causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness. Repeated inhalation of vapours causes central nervous system depression.
Yikes!!! Right?! Even worse - your dryer sheets are not likely to list the ingredients, as they aren't required to.