Healthy Home Tips for Intentional Clean and Safe Living
The world of cleaning products can be a tricky one to navigate. Just like our personal care products, companies are not required to disclose what is in their products and toxic chemicals are allowed in our products. With the rise of cancers, asthma, and infertility issues, just to name a few, we are continually learning that the products we use in our homes are directly related to our health, and it is crucial to clean up our act.
Why is this important?
Cleaning products can release a multitude of chemicals in to the air. These chemicals are linked to cancers, endocrine and hormone disruptors, and asthma to name a few. Even unborn children in a mother’s womb may suffer lower birth weight, wheezing and respiratory issues. Products can also be related to skin irritations such as eczema. When we spend most of our time indoors with the ones we love, it is important and vital to our health to know and understand what we put out into the air because we are breathing it in.
Where do I start?
My first rule when it comes to cleaning and products is that less is more. Vinegar and Water is a dynamite combination and is perfect for daily/weekly cleaner. Vinegar has antimicrobial properties and can be used on a myriad of surfaces and appliances such as your floors, countertops, showers and bathtubs. Did you know that some cleaning products can actual attract dust because they leave a residue or film on the surface. So again, less is more and can cut down on the overall dust in your home. Who doesn’t want to clean less?
Mixing Vinegar and Baking Soda is another way to make a powerful cleaning component. Pour this down your drain once a week remove smells and any clogs that are building up.
Do the Research
If you need tougher products for stains or deep cleans then do a deep dive into your products. What do we mean? Download the EWG App (Environmental Working Group) or go the website: https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners Start plugging the products that you use into it and the website will give each one a grade from A to F. You can read why it is harmful or good to use, and they will even give you references for better products to use.
(Hint, Hint…Next Blog post, we will be doing a reference guide to our favorite products)
If you are really looking to make your home more safe, healthier and clean, do the research! What you find is alarming and changing your method of cleaning can also make your life more efficient and easier and SAVE you money. Win, win, win! You really don’t need ALL the products.
While you are at the EWG website download the Healthy Home Guide and read more in depth on some of the key areas we have touched on. https://www.ewg.org/healthyhomeguide/cleaners-and-air-fresheners/
Another great resource is to watch the movie Stink! It is available through Netflix or on Amazon Prime. A documentary by a single father that begins when with a foul smelling pair of pajamas and him wanting more answers.
BIGGEST RULE: Avoid the Smell
Fragrances and the “bleach smell” doesn’t equal clean. I can no longer use products that have a bleach base or fragrance as I have an instant headache and the smell lingers all day.
You know that smell I am talking about? Well if you don’t, just walk the cleaning product aisle at Target, Costco, or even the grocery store and you will instantly notice how the air changes immediately. I have to avoid it at all costs or quickly cover my nose and mouth. Once you start to eliminate these smells from your life it is truly like a slap in the face when you do encounter them.
Quick Tip: If you get frequent headaches, removing cleaning products with bleach or strong smells along with removing fragrance from laundry detergents and just removing dryer sheets altogether could help eliminate these headaches….but this is really for a whole other post.
Rules of thumb:
- Look for Ingredient transparency. If you can’t find the ingredients or want to learn more then look up the products on the website. Do they have full disclosure? If yes, you can feel more confident that you what is the product is safe.
- No Synthetic Fragrances or Dyes or generic terms like preservative, surfactant or colorant. These terms can cover up what is really in a product and have direct links to your health.
- Look for Certified B Corporation companies such as Seventh Generation. What’s a B Corp? Companies that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Learn more here. Many companies such as Patagonia, New Belgium Brewing, TOMS are B-Corporations and are making a global shift.
- Open your windows when you can. Let the fresh, clean air in.
- Vacuum with a good filter
- Take your shoes off at the door.
- Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.
Ingredients to avoid for starters:
- The word FRAGRANCE
- Ammonia/Chlorine Bleach aka Glutaral and Sodium Hypochlorite
- Hydrochloric Acid
- Phosphoric Acid
- Sodium or Potassium hydroxide
Health Concerns Linked to:
- Disruption of Thyroid Functions
- Asthma and respiratory issues
- Birth defects
- Thyroid Dysfunction
- Endocrine disruptors
SMALL STEPS = BIG IMPACT
This is just a snippet into the world of cleaning products. The one thing that we do know is that small steps each day, each month, each year lead to BIG Impacts not only for you and your family but for the environment and all of us that inhibit it. We also know that we do not know everything but we are continually educating ourselves each day to help educate you.
Come Back this Friday for some of our favorite cleaning products that are safer, cleaner and will help you with your intention of a healthier, safer, cleaner home.