We should all be aware now that what we put in our bodies affects our health-- but what about what you are exposed to in your own home?
Most of the commonly used cleaning products-- what people use to "clean" their kitchens, clothes, home, etc... are full of toxic chemicals! You probably don't directly notice the chemicals in these cleaners because they are covered with artificial fragrances, but you are most likely inhaling them or absorbing them through contact with your skin.
Although good health starts on the inside, our bodies our sensitive to environmental factors, and it is important that you are aware of what you bring or keep in your home.
Toxicity in Common Household Cleaners
The EWG, or Environmental Working Group, reviewed over 2,000 common household cleaning products. Only 7% of cleaning products adequately listed their ingredients, so EWG's staff of scientists spent 14 months reading product labels, looking through company technical documents, and researching ingredients and contaminants toxicity databases.
Here's a quick summary of the EWG's findings:
- 53% of researched cleaning products contained ingredients known to harm the lungs. 22% of cleaning products contain chemicals that can cause asthma in healthy individuals.
- Most cleaning products contained cancer causing ingredients, or carcinogens. They contained carcinogens like formaldehyde, 1,4-dioxane, and chloroform.
- Quaternary ammonium compounds are found in many antibacterial cleaners as well as fabric softeners. Some of these compounds can cause asthma.
- Sodium borate, or borax or boric acid is also found in most cleaning products, and can disrupt the hormone system.
- Many brands that were labeled as "green" or "eco-friendly" did not disclose their ingredients adequately.
So what can you do about it??
1. Make your own everyday cleaning solutions.
These are two great cleaning solutions that are easy to make and that you can use for most surfaces in your home.
DIY Cleaning Spray #1:
This is a great spray to use in the kitchen, bathroom, on hard surfaces like tile, marble/granite countertops, stove-top, etc. Clean out an old spray bottle to store your spray in!
- 1/2 cup white vinegar (distilled)
- 1/2 cup water (preferably distilled)
- 12 - 24 drops of essential oil. For cleaning, we like citrus scents like lemongrass, grapefruit, orange, lemon. Or rosemary, peppermint, lavender. You can also mix oils.
Pour all ingredients into a bottle, dropping in the essential oils last. Shake well to mix, and shake always before use/spraying. Keep the bottle away from direct sunlight and heat.
DIY Cleaning Spray #2:
This cleaning spray is for lighter cleaning and surfaces, and contains liquid soap instead of vinegar.
- 4 cups of water (preferably distilled)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid soap (or a few pumps of soap)
- 10 drops of essential oil
Pour all ingredients into the bottle, dropping in the essential oils last.
Shake well to mix, and shake always before use/spraying. Keep the bottle away from direct sunlight and heat.
2. Use the EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
The EWG rates over 2,500 different household products with grades A - F, based on the safety of their ingredients and the information that they disclose about their contents. You can search for a household product that you currently use to check the grade, look at the EWG's top product recommendations, or research and find new products to test out.
Reach out to us on our Facebook page with questions, let us know if you have a favorite brand that is healthy and eco-friendly, or if you have a recipe for a cleaning solution that you would like to share.