Providing a clean home is much easier today than a non-toxic one. Many of the cleaning products we use in our homes clearly state that they are “hazardous to humans and domestic animals.”
Environmental experts say that the “average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals. We’re exposed to them routinely — from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners. Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption, and neurotoxicity.” (Source: experiencelife.com). If that isn’t shocking enough, there is also no federal regulation of the chemicals found in household products.
You can find some cleaner products in your stores and online. I began to make changes in my household and personal care products when I realized that they contain toxins that can cause hormone disruption. After years of infertility, we’ve tried pretty much everything – but this has been a positive change regardless. I feel most comfortable with the products that I check in a safe database* or if I mix them myself. (*See resources below)
I know that everyone is busy, so my homemade household cleaners are basic and things I can get easily – either when I’m grocery shopping or on Amazon. You’ll see below that many of them contain simple, cheap, pure ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Essential oils add fragrance without toxicity. Swapping out just 3 household cleaners can help you begin to make the change to a less toxic environment.
- Homemade Laundry Soup
There is a laundry list (pun intended) of toxins in laundry detergent. If you’d like to see what they are and why there are harmful, read this. This is an effective and safe way to wash your clothes. My husband and I both have very sensitive skin, so for anyone out there with the same condition, this homemade laundry “detergent” has never caused us an issue.
Homemade Laundry Soap
By Dr. Axe | Total Time: 5 minutes | 12-15 servings
- 1 bar grated castile soap
- 2 cups washing soda
- 1 cup baking soda
- 15 drops lavender essential oil*
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil*
*If you use scented castile soap (I love the Lavender scent that I linked to above), you can cut down or cut out the essential oils depending on how much fragrance you prefer.
- Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
- Use 1/4 cup per large load (adjust accordingly, especially for high-efficiency washers, for which you may want to wait until the water runs through soap dispenser).
Bonus: Add 1 cup of Distilled White Vinegar in the Fabric Softener Compartment. Trust me, it does not leave any traces of vinegar scent on the clothes, but it does naturally soften clothes.
2. Much Better than Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets smell good, so they seem nice but are full of harmful chemicals. Their reaction with the air creates formaldehyde, which is considered a human carcinogen. Acetaldehyde and benzene are pollutants found in these sheets and also found in vehicle exhaust, which is not thought to be safe in any amount.
Wool Dryer Balls are safe, work well, and best of all are reusable! With no fabric softener & dryer sheets, you’ll save money as well on this Eco-friendly alternative. I use this kind.
Feel free to add essential oils to them to also enjoy your favorite scents. I’ve found my laundry to be soft, dry, and best of all does not irritate our sensitive skin!
3. Homemade Floor Cleaner
I clean my tile floors with this solution, and it is also good for hardwood floors. Start by sweeping or vacuuming your floors to remove any dust and debris.
Homemade Floor Cleaner
½ cup Vinegar (use regular white vinegar or cleaning vinegar)
1 gallon of warm water
5 drops of essential oils (my favorites are lemon or jasmine)
Mix the vinegar with warm water in a bucket. Add a few drops of essential oils to give the solution a nice fragrance. Now get to mopping!
NOTE: Cleaning vinegar is noted to have 1% more acidity than regular White Vinegar, which consists of about 5% acetic acid and 95% water. That extra 1% acidity in cleaning vinegar makes it 20% stronger than the regular kind.
If you want to make more changes to your home, here are 2 reputable and well-researched resources:
Check for clean products in databases like:
Thinkdirty.com or use the smartphone app
The Environmental Working Group, or ewg.org