Zero Waste Living for you and your family

Spring cleaning, the natural way

Spring cleaning, the natural way

Have you ever considered looking at the ingredients in your cleaning products? Do you know how safe those ingredients are for you and your family? Do you know about the short term and long terms effects of using cleaners those cleaners on your health? 

Home cleaners, such as detergents, scrubs and sprays, are a major source of toxins in our homes! Most of us have been fooled into believing they are safe and have no serious health side effects. Unfortunately, this is just not true.

Did you know that there is no requirement in Canada for manufacturers to warn consumers about the health and environmental hazards associated with chronic, or long-term, exposure to chemical ingredients in household cleaning products?

This alone should be concerning for all us as parents and individuals. Not knowing the safety of the ingredients in products we are using on a daily basis is troublesome. We are washing our clothes, cleaning our dishes, scrubbing our toilets, spraying down our counters and freshening the air in our homes with toxic chemicals.

Research shows that air quality in our homes is terribly poor compared to the air we breath outdoors. As a result many of the toxins emitted from various sources land in our home – flame retardants in furniture, dust from outdoors, toxins in cleaning products. Most homes do not have sufficient air filtration systems and we do not open windows as often as we should. As a result these toxins floating in our home are not given the opportunity to escape. Even at low levels, these chemicals can be harmful and can add up, especially when we are exposed on a daily basis to cleaners (dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, kitchen cleaners, bathroom cleaners, wood and floor polishes, etc). This doesn't even take into account the countless body and skin care products many of us are exposed to along with the toxins in other products in our homes through our furniture, clothing and foods.

Babies and children are especially vulnerable to these toxins. They spend significant amount of time on the floor once they get moving around. Their skin is extremely sensitive and vulnerable and more likely to absorb to toxins in your environment. Babies and children put their hands on everything, they play with everything and then eventually put their hands in their mouths. Imagine putting your hands on a table lined with bleach and then putting your hands in your mouth - yuck!

Think you can just look at bottle and make decision for yourself about safety? Think again! There are no labelling requirements for cleaners in any consistent format in Canada or the US. What does that mean? Companies have no legal obligation to include their ingredient list on their product. They don't even have to share the information with us if we call asking. They can tell us the ingredients are “proprietary”.  How are we to make informed decisions when even the manufacturing companies hold no accountability?

One way to know what is going in your cleaners is to make your own home cleaning products. You will know all the ingredients and you can ensure that each ingredient is safe!

Making your own home cleaners is easy, affordable and safe!

You can clean most of your home with these three ingredients:1) Water, 2) Vinegar, 3) Baking Soda

For extra fun, you can add in an essential of your choice. Ensure that your essential oil company is trusted as there are many synthetic oils on the market. Personally for cleaning I love lemon, orange or cedarwood oil. Lavender is a lovely oil for a soothing effect and works wonderfully in home deodorizers.

Here are a few easy recipes to help you get started:

Easy all purpose disinfectant for kitchens, bathroom, and everywhere else (we use this product for ALL our cleaning at home -  sinks, countertops, tables, high chairs, strollers, cribs, and floors with this recipe).

Mix 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Yep, that's it! If you want it to smell nice, add lemon juice or lemon essential oil.

Easy scrubber for sinks, toilets, bathtubs and showers

Pour baking soda on surface, scrub using your scrubber of choice. Rinse with water. Then you can add your easy all purpose disinfectant to give it a fresh scent and get rid of any residual baking soda (it can make your surfaces pasty if you don't rinse it out well).

Home deodorizer and air freshener

Pour approximately 1 cup of baking soda into a mason jar. Add 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix the oil into the baking soda. Place a ventilated lid on top of your jar (either poke holes into the lid OR a piece of burlap with the ring).

Basic carpet deodorizer

Mix 2 cups of baking soda with 2-3 tablespoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle over your carpet and let sit for 1 hour. After 1 hour vacuum up the baking soda. If you have light colored carpets, use only the baking soda to avoid stains.

 



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