While our bodies are efficient, hard-working cleansing machines, the chemical load that is induced on our body daily is stressing. It is stressing our liver, our metabolism, our immune system and throwing off our hormones. As we’ve previously talked about the enormous load of chemicals we purposely put on our skin daily via lotions, concealers, shampoos and the countless other cosmetics, it is easy to overlook the other areas, that being our household cleaners. You know, the ones that we are spraying on our counters, putting in our toilets, cleaning our windows with and sprinkling on our carpets.
Yes those things, our household cleaners are more corrosive and in some cases deadly if exposed to high doses. Even cleaners labeled “safe,” “non-toxic” and “green” can contain hazardous ingredients. While there should be a law against false claims, there isn’t and so we are left to sort through the pieces.
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When we look at the chemical load we have come in contact with, researchers estimated that since 1950, at least 70,000 new chemical compounds have been invented and dispersed into our environment with only a fraction of these having been tested for human toxicity (1). Even more frightening, 150 of these chemicals found in the home are connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders (2).
As more and more of these toxic chemicals have been introduced to our everyday environment in greater amounts over the last 20-30 years, the level of toxins stored in adipose tissue of our bodies have risen. Bioaccumulation studies have shown that some toxins are being stored in our bodies for life (3). While I believe it is essential to cleanse your body at least once a year, it is crucial in the interim to purge your house of as many chemicals as possible. Whether it be your cosmetics, dish soaps or laundry detergents, ridding our home of as many chemicals as possible is only going to be beneficial to our overall health.
How Do You Know What To Purge?
Luckily we have websites like the Environmental Working Group who is working to educate consumers about safe verses toxic products. In fact they have created a household cleaners Hall of Shame where you can view the worst of the worst. We also have Pinterest. Good ol’ Pinterest that allows us to scour the web looking for the perfect homemade cleaner.
I challenge you, make the purge. Get rid of those toxic chemicals and choose a safer alternative. While I’ve never had luck making cosmetics, lets just leave that one to the professionals at Beautycounter. I do make my own household cleaners. In fact, we can find quite a few cleaning agents from things in our kitchen. Here are a few:
- Baking Soda – It can be used to eliminate odors. A paste of baking soda and water can help whiten sinks and bathtubs as well as absorb odors.
- Beeswax – It is great as a natural polisher, especially to wood.
- Cornstarch and Club Soda (or unflavored fizz water) – This combination works great at lifting stains.
- Hydrogen peroxide – This is a powerful disinfectant that can be used to kill mildew and using as a natural bleaching agent.
- Lemons – These are great all-purpose odor removers as well as used in all-purpose solutions and even glass cleaners.
- Pine Oil – It naturally conditions wood floors and smells fresh.
- Salt – Helps with scrubbing, whether it be cast iron or greasy pans or stubborn soap scum. A combination of baking soda and kosher salt gives you a little extra power.
- White Vinegar – Is a powerhouse of cleaning, disinfecting and deodorizing. The go-to for homemade cleaning products.
- Essential oils – Great for germ fighting, anti-bacterials as well as known for their smells. I like lemon, peppermint eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender for cleaning purposes.
Whether is information is new to you or old news it is important. We MUST reduce the chemical load we are exposed to if we desire health. Whether you choose to make homemade or buy safe products you will be reducing the stress load on your body and overtime you will be rewarded with lasting health. The best part? I’ve made a free printable to help you remember what kitchen items can be used to clean what. Affordable, realistic and safe, the best way to go. Just click the button below to get it instantly.