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Toxic Chemicals in the Home

Toxic chemicals in cleaners

How many toxic chemicals do you have in your home and what are they doing to your health?

In a modern world full of the latest technology in cleaning products that promise to give instant and effortless results we have to wonder what we may be sacrificing for that luxury. Let’s take a closer look at some of these “super” conventional cleaning agents in our weekly cleaning schedule and their impact on our health and wellbeing.

Summary of what toxic cleaning chemicals could be doing to your health:

Eczema, allergies, cellulite and difficulty losing weight, fatigue, fatty liver and poor brain function- concentration and memory, hormonal imbalances and abnormal cell function are just some of the health issues you may be suffering on their account.

To detoxify your cleaning closet, first rid it of cleaners that are toxic or that you suspect may be toxic. You can be sure of the toxic ones if the label says WARNING, DANGER or POISON. When you buy new cleaning products, look for those that list their ingredients on the label, and make sure those ingredients include no petroleum-based surfactants, chlorine or phosphates. Also look for the words “nontoxic” and “biodegradable.” A host of products now available in natural food stores and in many supermarkets are designed to clean as effectively as their petrochemical counterparts, but won’t pollute your home or the earth in the process.

Safer Alternatives

Baking soda - cleans, deodorises, softens water, scours.

Hydrogen peroxide - (3%) is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mould, bleaching and anti-mildew properties. A great replacement for chlorine products.

Borax - (sodium borate) cleans, deodorises, disinfects, softens water, and cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.

White vinegar - cuts grease, removes mildew, odours, some stains and wax build-up.

Cornstarch - can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.

Lemons - used to cut grease, deodorise and shine, also to remove tarnish when mixed with salt.

Essential oils - (such as eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, orange oil, lavender, lemon myrtle etc.) are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mould, anti-mildew properties, and leave your house smelling fabulous.

Soap - unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.

Micro fibre cloths - (like Enjo) microscopic fibres attract and trap dirt, bacteria and grease in the tiny fibres (instead of moving it to other parts of the surface you’re cleaning) and remain trapped until loosened in your washing machine (with a gentle detergent).

Some cheap and easy to use natural home cleaning recipes:

To clean and disinfect walls, windows, toilets and counter tops.

Just put some 3% hydrogen peroxide into a 200ml spray bottle and add 4 drops of lemon myrtle (or an essential oil of your choice). Spray it on and wipe it off as you would with other household cleaners.

For benches, sinks and bathrooms

1 500ml trigger spray bottle

200ml white vinegar

200ml warm water

Optional:

Essential oils- 1 tsp

100ml pure organic soap water (you can make this yourself, by soaking a bar of soap in 100ml of water) or 1 tablespoon of organic liquid Castile soap.

Toilet or oven cleaner

1 cup bicarbonate soda

1 cup vinegar

Sprinkle bicarbonate soda into toilet bowl, or oven and spray vinegar on top. Watch it react. Leave it for ten minutes then clean with a brush and flush or wipe.

To finish off the toilet, put a few drops of tea tree oil or lemon oil on a cloth and wipe around the bowl and seat to provide some antibacterial protection (or use the soapy vinegar spray recipe).