Many people use a vast array of chemical-laden products around the home on a daily basis, while remaining unaware of the perils of household cleaners. What you may not be aware of is the fact that many of these chemicals can be damaging to your health, and that of your family. Apart from the inhalation aspect, skin irritations often occur when coming into contact with many chemical cleaners.
How can adding a load of chemicals to your home be good for your health?
Most people aim to keep their homes a germ-free environment, but if our homes are kept so germ-free that our immune systems no longer have to work as hard, we run the risk of weakening our immune systems.
Not only can we improve our immune systems by eliminating processed foods and eating more fresh foods, we can stop using chemical cleaners and start using natural, eco-friendly cleaning products.
In a time when respiratory illnesses such as asthma are at an all-time high, we should be looking to a more natural and gentle way of keeping our homes clean.Using all-natural, non-toxic cleaning products around the home is the best defense against dirt and grime, while keeping our bodies healthy, being kind to the environment, and not tested on animals. Everyone’s a winner!
The worst offenders… One of the most dangerously toxic household products is oven cleaner. I have never personally used the stuff, as I remember the fumes when my mother used it when I was a child, and that alone was enough to put me off for life! How right I was. Many oven cleaners release fumes which may affect the respiratory system, and contain ammonia and lye, which eat the skin. I prefer to use baking soda and water, sprinkled inside the oven and left overnight. In the morning a good scrub finishes it off a treat. It does a wonderful job. Also you don’t get any chemical residue odour the next time you use the oven. Many artificial air fresheners release nerve-deadening agents, which can interfere with your sense of smell.
Natural aromatherapy oils in a diffuser are a safer option.
Not only are they bad for the environment, but fabric softeners are really bad for you. Fabric softeners are made of noxious chemicals combined with a massive amount of fragrance that masks their nose-curling odors. They are known to contain,
Alpha Terpineol: can cause central nervous damage and respiratory problemsCamphor: causes central nervous disorders, is easily absorbed through skinChloroform: a carcinogenic neurotoxin preferred by Ted BundyBenzyl Acetate: linked to pancreatic cancerEthyl Acetate: a narcotic on the EPA’s “hazardous waste” list.
What to look for
Many companies claim their products are ‘natural’ but it’s best to check the labels, as they may only contain a few natural ingredients while still being laden with chemicals. Some of the ingredients to look out for and avoid are…
- Cyclosiloxanes (e.g. hexamethylcyclotrisiloxane, dodecamethylcyclohexylsiloxane)
- Glycol Ethers (e.g. 2-butoxyethanol, 2,2-methoxyethoxyethanol)
- Phthalates (e.g. DEHP, DEP, DBP)Parabens (e.g. methyl paraben, propyl paraben)
- Alkylphenols (e.g. nonylphenols, octylphenols)
- Ethanolamides (e.g. monoethanolamine, diethanolamine)Bisphenol A (BPA)Triclosan (TCS)
Buying from a well-known ethical, cruelty-free company is the best way to go. Then, not only should their products be natural, safe and non-toxic, they should also be environmentally-friendly and not tested on animals.
One of my favourite all-purpose household cleaners is this simple castille soap mixture.
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbs castille soap
- 15-20 drops of essential oil
- Pour all your ingredients into a spray bottle (preferably glass to avoid BPA). Give it a good shake to mix. Store in a cool, dark place to prevent the essential oils from oxidising.
Castille soap is cheap and readily available. I buy this one from Faithful to Nature.
Alternatively, these are a few products that I love and frequently use in my home…
- Londa Bio Oxy Bleach: This bleach powder is 100% chlorine free and breaks down to oxygen, water and soda ash. It poses no environmental hazards and produces no toxic fumes.
- Triple Orange Bio Sanitiser: Triple Orange’s new Bio Sanitisier is a fast acting, broad spectrum soap that is highly effective against bacteria, viruses, mould and fungi. It can be used safely on any surface wherever efficient hygiene and sanitising is required, such as toilets and high germ areas. The Orange Oil base will leave a pleasant Orange scent, free of toxic fumes and vapours. With its triple action formula it cleans, degreases and freshens without damage to the environment.
- Triple Orange Bio-Detergent: The cleanest wash and freshest fragrance guaranteed. Triple Orange™ BIO-DET is a powerful laundry detergent and degreaser which requires NO softener and is PH balanced. Triple Orange™ BIO-DET is 100% bio-degradable, gentle on your fabrics and acts as a softener as well. This product is great if you have a family member who has sensitive skin or suffers from eczema or psoriasis!
- SoPure Natural Dishwashing Liquid: SoPure’s Natural Dishwashing Liquid quickly cuts through grease, stubborn food, and residue. Shines and sparkles without the harsh chemical and fragrance after-taste. This Natural Dishwashing Liquid contains the latest in malodour control technology. It is fast acting, long lasting, and non-reversible which works by permanently chemically bonding to smelly substances.
- SoPure Surface Disinfectant: Easily kills 99,9% of germs, eliminates odours and mildly cleans all household and industrial surfaces. Made from the latest plant based technology means disinfection without harsh fumes. Fortunately there’s now a safe way to disinfect and clean effectively. 98% naturally derived.
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