There is nothing more refreshing than a clean home. The fresh smell, neat appearance, and removal of clutter from one’s house can feel uplifting. The US market is saturated with cleaners which promise to kill bacteria and germs. Surprisingly, many people are unaware of the toxins in cleaning products. If people use cleaners, that contain potentially toxic substances, they may be doing more harm than good when cleaning. The Organic Consumers Association reported, “Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.”
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) stated “Government agencies and independent research institutions have not adequately evaluated the safety of numerous substances found in cleaning products. Although government scientific and regulatory agencies have focused considerable attention on chemicals suspected of causing cancer, they have devoted far fewer resources to evaluating substances that may be toxic to the brain and nervous system, the hormone system, and other organs.” The lack of research and regulation on cleaning products led the EWG to write the “Guide to Healthy Cleaning.” This guide has reviewed and rated the toxicity and safety of over 2500 cleaning products.
Let’s talk about how you can rid your home of toxic cleaning products once and for all!
- Air Fresheners- People use air fresheners to eliminate or mask unpleasant odors. Air fresheners contain fragrances, a toxic ingredient, that can inevitably provoke asthma attacks or allergies when inhaled.
- Consider diffusing Young Living Essential Oils in the home, car, and blended with baking soda to be used as an organic carpet freshener. Check out some essential oil diffuser recipes here.
- All-Purpose Cleaners- People using toxic all purpose cleaners (cleaning wipes) may be exposing their family to nerve-damaging carcinogens that penetrate the skin and irritate the respiratory system
- Bathroom Cleaners- Toilet bowl cleaners that contain corrosive ingredients can severely irritate the eyes, skin, and respiratory system, causing asthma attacks and respiratory illnesses.
- Consider using Earth Friendly Shower and Toilet Bowl Cleaners, Young Living Thieves Cleaner, or soap, water, baking soda for countertops, showers, and bathtubs. A homemade toilet bowl cleaner using 1C. of borax, 1/4 C. distilled white vinegar, and let sit for a few hours before scrubbing the toilet.
- Dish Soap-A majority of dish soaps on the market are petroleum based (oil). Also, dish soaps may include dyes made with arsenic and lead which are absorbed by the skin and may contaminate dishes. Powdered detergents used in dishwashers may contain chlorine released in the air as the steam leaves your dishwasher.
- Furniture- Furniture cleaners that contain petroleum distillates (nerve-damaging ingredients), formaldehyde (a suspected carcinogen), and aerosol spray (inhaled exposing lung tissue to poisons) are extremely toxic.
- Laundry- Detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, wrinkle release, and static guards may contain carcinogens, petroleum, phosphates, and chemicals that are inhaled and absorbed by the skin. Exposure to these ingredients may cause nerve damage, respiratory illnesses, cancer, developmental delays, and organ toxicity. Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE) a petrochemical, found in many detergents, is banned in Canada and the European Union but not in the United States .
- Glass Cleaner- Glass cleaners may contain butyl cellosolve (a nerve damaging ingredient) and ammonia (when inhaled irritate the respiratory system) which cause harm to the body and immune system.
This new found knowledge may seem overwhelming. Begin the transfer to a toxin-free home by introducing one new toxin-free cleaner at a time. To use new cleaners regularly keep cleaning recipes in a useful place. Your favorite humans, four-legged friends, and delightful creatures will be happier and healthier as toxins are eliminated from your family’s home.