There may still be snow on the ground, but Spring is officially here and one sign of Spring is the urge to clean house!
But before you reach for those commercial cleaners and sprays, stop and think about what is really IN your household cleaners. You’d be surprised to learn that many are filled with toxic or hazardous chemicals that can harm you, your family and your pets. When we use these chemicals to clean our home they can linger in the air for you and your family to breathe them in! The chemicals in cleaning products can enter our bodies by absorption through the skin or through ingestion of household dust. Chemical residues can even be left on dishes and cutlery! And when cleaning products are flushed down the drain, they can have a serious impact on our environment.
Research shows that there are hundreds of harmful and potentially DANGEROUS chemicals that can be found in household products, but here are the top 5 chemicals that are most common and that you should be looking out for:
Linked to some cancers, toxic to reproduction and development, immunotoxin, non-reproductive organ system toxin, skin, eye and lung irritator.
Can cause central nervous system damage and respiratory problems.
Can cause cancer, allergies, and is toxic to the immune and non-reproductive organ system, is classified with “enhanced skin absorption” and irritates the skin, eye and lung.
- Butyl Cellosolve (also known as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether):
Potentially neurotoxic, may cause damage to the brain and nervous system.
Linked to developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, organic system toxicity and skin, eyes and lung irritator.
So how do we get our get our homes clean and smelling fresh while protecting our family from germs if we can’t use these products?
Look to nature!
Essential oils have been used for centuries to clean our homes. They contain anti-pathogenic properties, which can help to clean your home and keep it smelling fresh. Not only are some oils anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and even anti-viral, but they can cut grease, dissolve grime, and remove odours! Plus, it’s more economical as just a few drops of essential oils can go a long way!
Here are just 3 simple ideas for how to swap your harmful product for a healthy one:
Natural Fabric Softener:
Fabric softeners promise soft, fresh-smelling clothes, free of static and wrinkles. But in order to do this they coat the fabric with a host of harmful chemicals. Not only do some of these chemicals remain on the fabric and come into direct contact with your skin, but when these chemicals are exposed to high heat they are released into the air which can reduce the air quality of your home.
Vinegar makes an excellent natural fabric softener, and you can add a drop of two of lavender for a relaxing scent!
Simply add half a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle container in your washing machine in place of a commercial fabric softener. The acid in the vinegar not only neutralizes smells/mildew/bacteria, but it also helps break down detergents so little soap residue is left, helps keep dark/color dye lasting longer, and softens the fibers of fabric for fluffy laundry every time. You do not smell the vinegar at all. But if you wanted a relaxing scent you can add a drop or two of you favourite essential oil like lavender to your sheets or towels.
Natural All-Purpose Cleaner:
All-Purpose Cleaners are some of the worst culprits for DANGEROUS chemicals. All you have to do is look at the Skull & Cross Bones symbol, the Flames symbol, or the Poison Control number on the bottle to know that you are dealing with a hazardous product! These are put there to warn consumers about acute health hazards associated with just a single or short-term exposure to the chemicals in the product!
Luckily we can learn from our ancestors who for hundreds of years have known and used key elements in nature to stave off germs naturally!
Historical data talks about this one mixture in particular that was used to help keep merchants safe from the Black Plague in the 15th century. It contains the essential oils of Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary. Thieves who rubbed on the oils to prevent illness while they robbed graves during the plague also used this blend!
This combination of oils is also found in Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner. It is the perfect blend for household cleaning, not only because of its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, but also because the oils work to dissolve grease and grime.
To make your own Thieves blend combine:
4 drops of Clove
3 drops of Lemon
2 drops of Cinnamon
1 drop of Eucalyptus
1 drop of Rosemary
Add this blend to 4 cups of distilled water, also add 2 Tablespoons of Vinegar. Pour into an empty spray bottle. Use to clean, no need to rinse!
We have ALL used air fresheners at some time, or have seen countless commercials for fabric refreshers and plug-in or home scent sprays, but these air pollutants can reek havoc on your respiratory system and can be especially dangerous for pets and small children!
Instead of using harmful chemicals and fake fragrances, trying using the beauty of nature instead…use essential oils!
The added benefit is that instead of just masking bad odours, essential oils work to actually eliminate them!
Here’s a well-known essential oil blend for purifying the air/fabrics in your home:
1 drop each of:
Add this Purification blend to 2 cups of distilled water and pour into a spray bottle. Spritz the air, fabric, or any other surface. No need to rinse.
To learn more about these essential oils/blends and other ways to use them, call Sylvia 204-72-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit CanadianMoms.ca