Cleaning products are often something people are concerned about when it comes to items in the home and their health. The American Lung Association warns that cleaning products may release VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) that can contribute to respiratory problems, allergic reactions and headaches. Not only can toxic cleaning products be harmful to humans, but wildlife and plants are also affected by chemicals, gases, and packaging waste.
On an individual basis, the cleaning products you use probably aren’t going to immediately cause illness, but when all the toxic cleaning products are used together and often in the home, it’s a good idea to start switching to better cleaning options.
It’s also important to note that when it comes to cleaning, fragrance is often used in cleaning products. This is a type of “signal” to us that an area is now clean. Many of us associate pine or citrus with clean. In actuality, “clean” doesn’t have a smell! Many artificial fragrances commonly used in beauty and cleaning products contain phthalates. Phthalates are a known endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen or other hormones in the body.
Here are some simple tips to get you started on switching out to less toxic cleaners for the home. I have also shared some of my favorite products for reference.
1. There’s no reason to have a separate cleaner for the floor, tub, toilet, counter etc.
Get one cleaner that can do multiple jobs! For example, Castile soap is one of the best natural and biodegradable soaps that can be used for: dish soap, dishwasher detergent, floor cleaner, all purpose cleaner and hand soap.
2. DIY cleaners are a great option because they are:
-easy to make
-made with items you already have on hand
-you know all of the ingredients in it
Fill a spray bottle with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water, add a little bit of lemon juice or lemon oil for a great all purpose cleaner.
For oven cleaner, mix 1/2 c baking soda and 10-20 drops of lemon oil and some water to make a paste. I also love to use baking soda as laundry detergent with a few drops of essential oils for scents.
3. When it comes to routine cleaning, a great option is a reusable cloth
Options for reusable cloths include microfiber, e-cloth or Norwex cloth.
4. There is a difference between general cleaning/wiping down and disinfecting.
If you use wipes for cleaning, use a multipurpose wipe or water wipe. These are great for wiping down counters. Disinfecting wipes are often filled with several chemicals and are unnecessary if you are just wiping down the bathroom counter of make up, toothpaste, etc.
About Karalynne Call / Just.Ingredients
Karalynne Call is a Certified Nutritionist, owner of Just.Ingredients, and a mom to six busy kids. She began her health journey 15 years ago as she battled severe depression. She quickly learned how impactful the chemicals she was consuming and using in her home were on the body systems and overall health. Her mission at Just.Ingredients is to share the importance of choosing better, whole, non-toxic ingredients in your diet and home through simple and budget friendly tips. Find Karalynne’s favorite products and Cleaning Guide by clicking here.