Spring is a time to open the windows and give our homes & bodies a chance to take in some much needed fresh air. It is also a good time to review the products we are using in our homes and on our bodies to keep clean. Let’s start with the nitty, gritty house cleaning products first!
Welcome to the world of crazy names & unpronounceable ingredients! The average American home contains between 3 & 10 gallons of cleaning chemicals at any given time! Due to advertising loopholes, even ‘green’ type cleaners are not always the product we expect them to be. Here is a brief rundown of things to look for…
- Poison, Warning or Danger indicate toxic ingredients and should be avoided.
- Caution isn’t as severe but care should still be taken.
- Flammable or Combustible indicates solvents or volatile organic compounds.
- Air Quality or Ventilation statements indicate product could cause respiratory distress.
- Skin Irritation warnings also indicate harmful ingredients.
- Surfactants or Dispersal Agents are sneaky ways to hide toxic names under the guise of secret formulas.
- Ingredients ending in “-ol” or “-ene,” like benzol or toulene usually indicates a toxic solvent. Look for “chlor” in an ingredient name which suggests a chlorinated compound, “glycol” in a name is often a petroleum based product, “phenol” suggests the use of a coal tar derivative.
What if we could leave all those crazy chemicals behind and take a more natural approach? Below are three of my favourites to get started with…
Vinegar: very effective, inexpensive, non toxic, environmentally friendly, anti-microbial, stain remover, mildew eliminator, dissolves soap scum, lime de-scaler, & even fabric softener
Lemon: antibacterial & antiseptic, smells fresh, cuts grease, stain remover
Baking Soda: non-toxic abrasive cleanser, great for sinks, toilet bowls, shining pots & pans, deodorizer
For more ideas on what to clean with these products, visit the link below.
All Purpose Cleaner
Take one whole lemon and place into a glass jar. Fill jar with white vinegar and put lid on. Let sit for two weeks. The lemon will soften the smell of the vinegar as well as add a grease cutting benefit to the vinegar. After two weeks, pour 1/2 c vinegar & lemon mixture into a spray bottle. Top it up with water. Voila! You now have a safe cleaner to use around the home!
As with all cleaning products, keep away from children in a safe spot that only adults can access!
What about Me?
Alright, enough of the house cleaning talk! What about you? What are you and your family using to clean your bodies and wash your clothes in? Unfortunately, just like household cleaning products, there is a myriad of ingredient & chemicals that go into the shampoos, conditioners & lotions we use. How do you choose a good product? Thankfully there are excellent websites like the ones listed below that do a great job of pointing you in the right direction!
www.healthychild.org & www.ewg.org/skindeep/
As for my family, we use locally hand crafted soaps made by my friend Kelly. Her soaps are fantastic and reasonably priced. She also makes a fantastic clothes detergent! Check out her website for more information.
We also use Kalaya products. These products are also locally made with excellent ingredients. I like them so much that I’ve chosen to sell them from my office.
When buying other products, I try not to get caught up in the packaging and look at the ingredient list. If I am still not sure after reading the label (& this happens often), I visit the EWG site mentioned above and see what they have to say about it.
Still have questions? Feel free to call or send me an email. I’ll do my very best to find you an answer!
519-503-7926 or firstname.lastname@example.org