The non-toxic guide to cleaning your home.
Home safe home.
After we lost our home, which you can read about here, the experience not only changed the way we lived but opened our eyes to a world we never really paid attention to.
Inside our house of the past, you would find an array of products:
Air fresheners, Laundry detergent, Bleach, Toilet Cleaner, Kitchen Spray
Shampoo, Conditioners, Soap, Lotions, Sunscreen, Make up, Moisturizer, Perfume
Deodorant, Baby Powder, Hand Sanitizer,
Motor oil, Gasoline, Anti-freeze, Auto detailing products
Paint, Caulk, Pesticides, Bug Spray, Fertilizer
Oven Cleaner, Carpet cleaner, Glue,
I am pretty sure that the average household can look under their kitchen sink, in their garage, and bathrooms to see similar items, but when is the last time you looked up the ingredients? Sure we all like to read labels when it comes to what we put in our bodies but what about what about everything else we are exposed to day after day?
It may not be as extreme for you, as it is for us, or maybe you are perfectly healthy and the products you have been using for years don’t seem to affect you at all. That, if I may point out, does not mean it’s good for you, nor safe for you or the people you love.
An important issue that seems to come up in our client one on one’s is the idea that:
No reaction = Safe.
There always seems to be that one person who doesn’t quite believe in any of this and thinks the entire notion of environmental toxicity isn’t realistic, but I am here to set the record straight.
Just because you don’t react doesn’t mean I am wrong or that you’re safe. Toxic is toxic.
I like to use a teaching technique with people to make things easy. I use a bucket as an analogy for the human body. We are all walking around collecting things in our bucket, and try to keep in mind we are only talking about your home right now:
Getting ready work, how many products do you use before you go?
Painting your bedroom
Laundry soap residue & fabric softener on your clothing
Walking barefoot on your recently cleaned wood floors
Cooking up a meal in your pots and pans
(These are just some examples to get the ideas flowing. Just so you can maybe take a moment and reflect on just exactly how much your bucket is taking in on a daily basis.)
When the bucket (body) gets too full, the immune system and our mitochondrial health will completely tank out, unable to handle the load. Our bodies are doing the best they can adapting the entire time, forcibly putting stress on our endocrine, central nervous systems and major organs. Dependent upon what genes you have, your stress level, any previous exposures, will all determine when your bucket will overflow and completely stop functioning all together to where you end up like me, debilitated.
For many, it triggers the onset of autoimmune illness, for others it allows for opportunistic pathogens or virus’s you’ve been exposed to previously to all epigenetically ‘turn on’ and activate. For a large majority, you get both.
Everyone metabolizes differently, which is something we all need to take into account these days when heated arguments break up family relations over this concept that we all react the same to chemicals, pharmaceuticals, toxins and even natural things. We all are in a continuum of 1-10, now born into toxicity - in this after effect of chemical experimentation that has been a result of the industrialization movement, abused by big companies in the name of progress since before I was born.
There simply is no one size fits all, toxins are working synergistically to create massive numbers of chronic illness across the world.
We have spent the last few years making wherever we call home, as non-toxic as possible. Personal items like shampoo, makeup & lotion were some of the first things that I paid attention to when I started to get sick. But the more I learned, the more I realized that it goes even deeper.
Unlike manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products, companies that make cleaning products are not required to list the ingredients they put in their formulations on the package, bottle or box. This lack of disclosure can make it almost impossible for consumers to find the healthiest products. Although some companies voluntarily reveal some ingredients, only about one in seven cleaning products reviewed by EWG in 2016 fully disclosed ingredients on their packages or websites.
Even when they do list the ingredients, manufacturers often use generic terms like “surfactant,” “colorant,” “preservative” or “fragrance.” These vague terms can mask dozens of compounds, some of which have been linked to serious health impacts.
Here’s a few factual tips to explain what’s actually in the stuff that we commonly see in our local stores that are supposedly made to make our homes so fresh and so clean.
Cleaners with ammonia or bleach are absolutely toxic, as you probably know. When mixed together they make a dangerous chloramine gas.
Most toilet cleaners, oven cleaners or heavy-duty degreasers contain toxic hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium or potassium hydroxide, or ethanolamines, which are known to cause inflammation and a ton of other health issues.
Products that contain quaternary ammonium compounds, or “quats” are associated with asthma, and reduced fertility and birth defects in animals. These chemicals can also cause skin burns, blindness and lung irritation.
Air fresheners, scented cleaning or laundry products that don’t disclose their fragrance ingredients on the product label are a huge flag. These products can trigger allergies and often contain suspected endocrine disruptors, such as phthalates and synthetic musk’s.
NON-TOXIC CLEANERS TO USE AT HOME.
The EPA ranks poor indoor air quality among the top five environmental risks to public health. What is interesting? Five out of 10 Americans are not aware of this fact. While we are focusing in on cleaning products in this article, I want to point out there are numerous household toxins that we will cover in the blog as a whole, but one a time makes this easier & shorter to read.
After searching and searching for non toxic brands of cleaners and laundry soaps, I quickly realized just how little selection there is. When we would go shopping, a lot of products would say they were non-toxic until you read the back. After searching high and low, we finally found some brands we trust and like:
It wasn’t until I read Marilee Nelsons’s story of Branch Basics that I was confidently sold on her company. She spent years fighting for her son Douglas, while he reacted to everything you could possible imagine, mold, chlordane, heptachlor, and dieldrin, dursban (banned in 2000), pyrethroids and other currently used pesticides, well contamination, diesel and car exhaust, you name it he was toxically reactive. I felt deeply connected to her story as I know all too well what it feels like to be affected by things that no one else is, it’s pretty isolating.
She created a company that sells cleaning products that are non-toxic, non-GMO, scentless, and human safe. I get pretty pumped to list companies on my site that I really believe in, and they happen to be one of them. If you’re looking for healthy cleaning products, definitely check out Branch Basics.
Make your own.
Now for the people who really want to go natural, and if you have the time, you can make your own non-toxic cleaner. Below is a list of all our favorites that we have collected.
NON TOXIC MULTIPURPOSE CLEANER
1 tsp liquid castile soap
2 cups water
*20 drops of essential oil of your choice (do Terra, young living, quality vs quantity) (different blends below)
Pour baking soda into a spray bottle, preferably made of glass
Shake well to dissolve Add other ingredients and SWISH -don't shake it!
Store in a cool, dark place. (Essential oils oxidize in sunlight)
Will separate when settles. Re-swish
NON TOXIC MULTIPURPOSE CLEANER with BORAX
1-2 tbsp Borax
3 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp liquid castile soap
2 cups water
*20 drops of essential oil (different blends below)
Essential Oils Combos to use:
(The following combinations to have antibacterial affects:)
myrtle, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus australiana, Eucalyptus radiata, marjoram, pine, cypress, lavender, spruce, peppermint and Eucalyptus citriodora oils
lemongrass, lemon myrtle, mountain savory, cinnamon and melissa essential oils
Roman chamomile, ylang ylang, spruce and lavender oils
frankincense, clove, orange and thyme oils
“thieves blend” =cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary & clove
NON TOXIC GLASS CLEANER
2 cups of water (distilled )
2 tablespoons vinegar
12-15 drops essential oil of choice- I use a mix of lavender, thyme & lemon
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle (preferably glass) and use as needed to clean window. I like to use a microfiber cloth, paper towels streak and are not sustainable to wipe windows clean with this recipe. Note: If you’ve used other toxic window cleaner in the past, mix a couple drops of liquid castile soap in the first time you clean the windows to remove the old residue.
NON TOXIC ROOM DISINFECTANT CLEANING MIST
65 drops Tea Tree
50 drops Thyme
35 drops Eucalyptus globulus
4 fluid ounce pure water
Combine all ingredients in a 4 ounce, fine mist spray bottle. Can also use it to wipe down counters.
1 cup distilled Water
1/2 cup non toxic dish soap (not castile)
1 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 teaspoon clove oil
1 teaspoon Lavender oil
Mix all ingredients into a large measuring cup. Be careful when you add the vinegar because the whole thing will fizz up. Pour into a squirt bottle and use for the toilet bowl, rim and seat.
SIMPLE FRESH TOILET CLEANER
1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
10 drops Eucalyptus or Peppermint oil
Combine all into a glass spray bottle and shake well before every use. Spray on toilet surfaces and wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
NO SCRUB TOILET CLEANER
1 cup Borax
1 cup Vinegar
10 drops Pine or Spruce oil
5 drops Lemon or Orange
Combine all ingredients in a non-metal bowl and pour all at once into the toilet bowl. Scrub and allow to sit for a few hours.
EUCALYTHYMINT SCOURING POWDER
1 cup Washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/4 cup of pink Himalayan coarse salt
20 drops of essential oil (I use peppermint, eucalyptus & thyme)
Combine all ingredients in a container with a shaker top. Shake well to mix and allow to sit for at least 6 hours before using. Sprinkle a small amount directly on surfaces or on a damp sponge and scrub. Rinse well with water.
FIZZY BATHROOM CLEANER
1/2 cup Baking Soda
6 drops Peppermint & Lemongrass
1/4 cup Vinegar
Combine baking soda and essential oil. Sprinkle into sink, pour the vinegar on top. After the fizz settles, scrub clean with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse clean.
5 tablespoon Baking Soda
5 teaspoon Salt
10 drops THYME essential oil
Combine baking soda, salt, and essential oil in a small cup. Add just enough vinegar to make a paste. Apply to surface and scrub with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse well.
SOAP SCUM PREVENTER
1 1/2 cups Water
1 1/2 cups White Vinegar
8 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract
5 drops Orange oil
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to mix. Spray a fine mist of formula on the shower curtain interior, bathtub, shower doors, walls, faucets, etc after each use.