It’s spring, and time for a fresh start after a long, cold winter!
We’ve had the house all closed up, and now it’s time to air it out, let in some clean, fresh air, and brighten up our home and environment.
A few simple things to start with are:
1. Open up the windows and doors and let the fresh air into your house. Replace the filters of your air conditioning system.
2. Wash your windows. It can be an amazing way to make your home or office look clean and refreshing.
3. Bring in a beautiful plant to lift your spirits and help clean toxins out of the air.
4. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry.
5. De-clutter closets, rooms, drawers, etc. Start to redistribute or throw out things that you haven’t used in a year or more, or that are old, broken or don’t make you feel happy.
One thing to be aware of as you are doing your cleaning, is that most of our cleaning care products today are a mixture of synthetic chemicals, including known allergens. These products are based on age-old recipes, that used to include natural ingredients.
But over the years, many of our cleaning products have changed, and many of them now contain toxic, carcinogenic ingredients. These can cause health problems when exposed to them on a regular basis.
The federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, which governs the safety of cleaning and personal care products, does not require manufacturers to substantiate the safety of their products before selling them.
For example, some US soaps, detergents, shampoos and conditioners will often contain two chemical preservatives — methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone.
These chemicals have been banned in the European Union for use in personal care products, on the grounds that they are sensitizing allergens. The U.S. has no restrictions, even though your skin is repeatedly exposed to these substances when used.
Product labels can list “fragrance” as an ingredient. “Fragrance” is a generic term, which allows a number of carcinogenic chemicals to be added to a product in order to make it smell good, without having to be listed.
These chemical mixtures often contain toxic individual ingredients that have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and serious allergic reactions.
By using the term “fragrance” on the label, companies can avoid telling consumers the truth about what is actually in the product.
If one company sells its products in Europe and in the US, it can make a particular product with two different recipes and two separate labels, but they will look virtually identical.
In Europe, where the regulation of ingredients in products is much stricter, its container will have to state that it contains seven known allergens in its “fragrance.” In the US, the list of known toxins is not required. As is the case with all (personal and household) products, companies can use almost any mixture of chemicals they choose.
The US federal law regulating the personal care and household products industry has one of the weakest regulatory programs in the world, and it remains almost unchanged since 1938.
The quality of the ingredients in your household cleaning products is extremely important. Buy environmentally safe, non-toxic home cleaners. (If you would like to see a list of highly rated green products that are carefully rated by the EWG (a non-profit group that does independent analyses of products for their safety, non-toxicity, and effectiveness), click here.)
Here is another thing to be aware of. Since our pets and children are much lower to the ground, their faces and noses can pick up toxic chemicals much easier. This can cause many health problems, including nerve damage and allergies, etc., since these toxins go directly into the bloodstream through the skin, without being filtered.
Household cleaners and body care items, such as soaps, detergents, household cleaners, toothpastes, shampoo, and conditioners should ideally be non-toxic and non-carcinogenic, in order to protect you, your family, pets, friends and the environment.
Non-toxic cleaning can give you a wonderful feeling, knowing that your
family’s and pet’s health is protected, and that your home is a place for
everyone’s bodies to rest and regenerate in a clean, healthy environment.
You also might want to consider going back to making your own cleaning products, using completely safe, non-toxic ingredients. They are extremely easy to make, and very inexpensive. Invite your children to help you, like mixing recipes in the kitchen. (Make it a science project!)
Most of the ingredients are staples that you already have in your kitchen pantry.
With a few simple mixtures, you can easily transform your house into a non-toxic, healthy home.
Non-Toxic Household Cleaner Recipes
Combine 2 cups of water, 1⁄4 cup of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl), 1⁄4 cup white vinegar, 2 tsp. corn starch and a 1⁄4 cup lemon juice in a spray bottle.
Shake well before using.
Spray this mixture on glass or windows, and wipe with a micro-fiber cloth.
Scrub for Counters, Sinks, and Stoves
Combine 2 cups baking soda, 1⁄2 cup Castile soap, 4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin, and a few drops essential oil (lavender, peppermint, or tea tree).
Store in a sealed jar.
Pour 1⁄2 cup baking soda into the drain, and then pour in 1⁄2 cup white vinegar.
Let stand 30 minutes. Flush with boiling water.
Combine 1⁄4 cup olive oil with 1⁄2 cup white vinegar. Add 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
Apply to furniture, and then wipe.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Sprinkle the bowl of the toilet with baking soda and add in a little white vinegar.
Wait 30 minutes.
Then scrub. You can also add 1⁄4 cup borax.
Creating that healthy home and office environment that supports you and your family’s health and well-being can be extremely rewarding.
Don’t put it off another day. Put on some uplifting music and start it today!
1. If you would like more information about healthful cleaning, you can listen to my radio show (Organic Healthy Lifestyle) podcast with the green cleaning coach, Leslie Reichert, about non-toxic cleaning. Click here.
2. I use some of the products from this company, Modere. If you would like a $10 discount to try a product, click here. (The discount won’t show up until you are in the check-out shopping cart.)
3. Click here to hear my podcast on hoarding, which has become such a problem today.