You don’t have to be the crunchy-type to dislike the thought of household toxins poisoning your family. Sadly, federal regulations of chemicals in household cleaning products are basically nonexistent. Manufacturers do not readily disclose a full list of chemicals in their products because they are not held to reasonable safety standards. This means that while we are trying to provide safe, clean, and healthy homes for our families, we may be unknowingly exposing them to harmful chemicals. Some of the toxins in our everyday products can be linked to health conditions like asthma, reproductive problems, learning disabilities, and even cancer, to name a few. Even knowing this, it will probably be tough to part from your Windex, Tide, and Fabuloso.
So where do you begin?
A good resource to utilize is the Environmental Working Group Website (EWG). EWG provides hazard ratings for a wide variety of cleaning products and ingredients so you can make informed choices as a consumer (and mom!). You can easily review your staple household products and utilize their Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
Once you get started down this road, it can be overwhelming! Start small and swap products out over time. For our family, we believe that investing in safer products is an investment in our health.
Laundry: Swap dryer sheets for wool dryer balls. If you are committed to fragrance, add a drop of essential oil to your dryer balls. For washing, try a concentrate like Thieves or Branch Basics. They will last you a while and can be utilized all over the house from countertops to floors. Branch Basics also provides great resources for clean living on their website.
Kitchen: Green Grab dishwasher detergent and Seventh Generation liquid soap. For scrubbing, don’t be afraid to throw it back to your grandma’s time and use baking soda! For mopping floors, a steam mop most often does the trick.
Bathrooms: Call me crazy, but I find baking soda and vinegar works wonders for toilets, showers, and sinks, as well as clogged drains. And I love to watch it bubble like a 7th grade science experiment. If you can’t get past the smell of vinegar, add some lemon or try one of the concentrates mentioned above.
Smell goods: Ditch the candles and try potpourri. It can be done on the stove top or in the slow cooker and will make you feel as fancy as Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I can’t tell you how many times friends have been over impressed with my ability to slice fruit and throw it in a boiling pot of water. Try one of these recipes for starters.
A few final tips to keep in mind:
Look for products that are fragrance free; fragrances are some of the worst offenders.
Wear protective items like gloves when cleaning.
Consider storing cleaning products outside of the home in the garage.
Open your windows to cleanse the air in your home.