A Non-Toxic Household: Everything You Need to Know About Natural Cleaning
Did you know?
There are over 40,000 chemicals available to be used in everyday household products.
The average household contains 62 toxic chemicals (in detergents, cosmetics, cleaners etc).
Less than 2% of synthetic chemicals have been tested for toxicity, mutagenic, carcinogenic, or birth defects, with a majority of chemicals never having been testing for long term effects.
By no means am I trying to scare you, but I do need to drive this point home – toxic chemicals are all throughout our homes; we encounter them on a daily basis, and because it is so normalised by society (and manufacturers aren’t even required to disclose all toxins in their products), we continue to use these products, unaware of the ramifications they will have on our own health, the health of our families, and on the planet.
Let’s take a look at some of the common toxins and chemicals found in cleaning products around the home:
Phthalates: commonly found in synthetic fragranced cleaning products like candles, air fresheners, dish soaps and wipes. Studies have found that phthalates can act as endocrine disruptors and can affect human reproduction and development.
Triclosan: found in most dishwashing liquids and antibacterial soaps. According to FDA, it can be linked to creating antibiotic resistant bacteria and causing thyroid issues. It is also not biodegradable.
2-Butoxyethanol: found in window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners. It’s that chemical which provides a sweet smell, however manufacturers aren’t required to disclose it on the packaging. It can cause severe liver and kidney damage.
And these are only a few. Other common chemicals include ammonia, sodium hydroxide, chlorine, isopropanol and sodium hypochlorite – look them up, it’s honestly quite horrifying!
DO NOT DESPAIR
The good news is that you don’t need nasty products to clean your house. As awareness of this issue grows, we discover more ways in which we can use natural products instead. Every ‘swap’ you make has an impact in reducing the toxicity of your household. And for those of you who think it’s way too much effort – well first of all, don’t be lazy, and secondly, cleaning your house with natural products is not any more difficult than cleaning with chemicals.
So, what will you need to make your home a non-toxic, sparkling sanctuary?
Bicarb soda: this is a perfect cleaning agent as it is a mild alkali and can easily remove dirt and grease. It’s a natural, non-toxic product and is effective at cleaning sinks, tubs and tiles without scratching them.
White Vinegar: due to its acidity, vinegar is an inhospitable environment for many microorganisms, and can also counteract many dirty buildups.
Essential Oils: these are concentrated plant extracts that act as natural cleaners / disinfectants / purifiers. If you do decide to purchase any essential oils mentioned in this article, please head over to my platform, Your Essentials to Thrive, to sign up as part of my team.
Thieves Household Cleaner: this is an all-purpose cleaner made with 100% plant and mineral based ingredients. Its concentrated formula makes it one of the most versatile home cleaning products – for use in every room!
Checkout my favourite cleaning hacks using all-natural products – here’s how I clean the main areas of my home:
In the Kitchen
For smelly bins: put a few drops of purification oil inside your bins to remove odours. It’s also a good idea to put several drops on a tissue and wedge it into the bin lining.
For the sink: combine ½ cup bicarb soda with a few drops of essential oils (such as lavender, lemon or citrus). Put this mixture down the sink and pour a cup of warm vinegar over the top. Rinse with hot water.
For the counter tops: fill a bottle 90% with filtered water and add 1 cap of Thieves Household Cleaner. Secure with a nozzle – this is the perfect all-purpose cleaner for those sticky countertops, range hoods and all hard surfaces.
In the Bathroom
For the toilet: mix 1 cup water with 1 cap Thieves Household Cleaner. Scrub the toilet bowl with this before letting it sit for 15 minutes. Flush and you’re good to go!
For the drains: just like the kitchen, sprinkle some bicarb down the drains and follow it up with some warm vinegar.
For grimy surfaces: sprinkle bicarb soda onto the surface. Lightly spray with warm water before wiping away.
Diffuse lemon essential oil for a refreshing, fresh scent!
In the Living room
For the carpets: sprinkle bicarb soda over the carpet. Gently scrub spots with a damp cloth. Leave for a few hours before vacuuming up.
In the Laundry
For whitening sheets: bicarb soda can also be used as a soaking agent for bed linen and white clothes.
What are your favourite natural cleaning tips? Let me know in the comments below!