This has always been an interesting topic for me because on the one hand I HATE cleaning and on the other hand I HATE chemical cleaning products but naturally I still clean my house…..but how?
Well before I go into how I want to cover the main reasons I avoid chemical cleaning products:
•Eradicating ALL bacteria isn’t helpful to building natural immunity.
Having a squeaky clean house might feel like you are protecting yourself against illness and disease but it can actually lead to the opposite. We need a certain level of bacteria to keep our immune systems active and efficient.
•Harsh Chemicals can cause serious respiratory and dermalogical problems.
If you or your children suffer from Asthma or reoccurring things like chesty coughs I urge you to look at what you are using to clean your house.
A friend of mine recently switched all her products to non-toxic and noticed her son’s asthma symptoms have completely gone – no episodes for 6 months now!
From a personal perspective, I have never been a “clean freak” but I became purposely mindful of what products I was using about 7 years ago when my daughter had a scare of maybe suffering from Asthma during a normal cough and cold season and I started opting for phases of using vinegar mixed with essential oils over anything shop bought from that point. Her “asthma” never amounted to anything other than a handy inhaler for a few days. Since being more mindful about reducing toxins in the home my children never suffered from any further respiratory issues until…..
We moved in with family when my daughter was 3 years old and were heavily surrounded by frequent chemical cleaning sessions. My daughter developed croup during this time after only a couple of months being exposed to heavily “toxic” products in her environment that were supposed to make it clean??!!! I never made the link back then but that is the only time in her life she’s had any breathing difficulties apart from the mention of Asthma from a doctor back before I switched our view of cleaning and products in general….coincidence?! Hmmmm…..it’s been 5 years since croup scare and we’ve not seen a doctor as a family for anything and I mean ANYTHING since!
Where do you start?
1) Assess the damage!
Look at what and how many products you use currently that are potentially toxic not just to the dirt and bacteria in your home but also to you and your family. If you are curious and want to check your products you might want to download the “Think Dirty” app and look up your products.
2) Ask yourself “Do I need to wear gloves?”
If you find your skin is irritated by your cleaning regime and you need gloves to protect you, chances are that product is causing some damage to everyone in your home.
Also if you have eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis there’s a strong chance the chemicals in cleaning products are contributing to and aggravating the condition. Even after cleaning the residue is still in the air and on surfaces you make contact with.
3) Do you or your children have Asthma or breathing difficulties?
If the answer is yes, you have nothing to loose and EVERYTHING to gain by ditching the toxic products and switching to alternatives.
What should I switch to?
There are a few options here depending on your time and budget….
Making up your own solutions like Vinegar Solution or Lemon Solution or Vinegar-BiCarb method (follow links to full recipes)
•Requires a bit more time and effort.
•Initial investment in “equipment” but long term cheap option.
2) Buy a concentrated solution of a natural cleaning product.
Did you know that even in “chemical” cleaning products 60% of the bottle is WATER??!
So it makes sense to buy the concentrate and make up your own bottles – not only much more cost effective but saves on all the plastic waste too!
Our favourite is Dr Bronners Sal-Suds which can replace virtually everything in your home cleaning cupboard in one bottle including washing detergent, dishwasher tablets and washing up liquid! A small amount of concentrate goes a LONG way!
•Initially an upfront expense but cheaper long-term.
•Doesn’t leave a vinegar smell
•Natural “Pine” essential oil – No perfume.
3) Join a wholesale shopping club.
There are many clubs promoting non-toxic products for almost all your cleaning needs. You sign up to get wholesale pricing and is often by referral instead of shop advertising some also produce concentrates you make up yourself as well.
•Feels like “normal” cleaning
•Small initial investment in the club and a few products.
•Complete “Home Converter” kits available.
•Usually promoted based on great cleaning results.
•I highly recommend working out what you normally spend on products and then comparing what you can get out of the concentrates.
4) Reduce cleaning frequency.
(This will scare the regular cleaners – sorry!)
Every other cleaning session just use water! The chances are there will still be some chemical residue on all surfaces of your house if you are a frequent chemical cleaner so you could dilute the impact by skipping a clean with products to a clean without.
If you cannot bare the thought of just water then a steam mop/steam cleaning device may be another option, using heat instead of chemicals.
The biggest benefits of turning away from the common chemical cleaning products is:
•Normal health – No breathing or skin problems
•Safe around children and animals – no need to “child proof” the cleaning cupboard – children can help clean and no gloves needed!
•Save money in long run. When you no longer need to buy all the different products to maintain your cleaning regime which are 60% water you can dramatically reduce your spend on products.
•Reduced Environmental impact. Less chemical waste, less plastic waste and less medicinal waste from treating the respiratory and dermalogical issues caused by the cleaning products.
As a family we use a mixture of all 4 solutions to maintain a toxin-free but still clean home. That doesn’t mean it’s surgically clean; it means it’s normal-life, healthy-body-friendly clean!
We hope this helps you and here’s to your future reduced-chemical, healthier family home 🙂
“Healthy Families are Happy Families”