The “Big 3” For Non-toxic Household Cleaning

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In the United States, toxic chemicals bombard us all day long. From the chemicals in our skin care, hair care, cleaning products, and the foods we eat, toxins surround us constantly. Carefully and conscientiously selecting cleaning products is a simple way to lessen toxic load.

The body works hard to maintain balance, or homeostasis.

Even a healthy immune system has a hard time when overloaded by toxins it can’t handle. Chemical ingredients and artificial fragrances in our cleaning products vary in the type of health hazard they cause. Some cause immediate reactions (e.g., skin irritation, headache, watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, upset stomach) while others are associated with chronic, or long-term disease.

“Other ingredients in cleaners may have low acute toxicity but contribute to long-term health effects, such as cancer or hormone disruption. Chemicals that are so-called “hormone disruptors” can interfere with the body’s natural chemical messages, either by blocking or mimicking the actions of hormones. Hormone disruptors zap the immune system.

A weakened immune system leads to inflammation in the body.”  This just emphasizes the importance of removing toxins from as many products as possible.

I started eliminating toxins from my home not only for myself but for the health of my small children. “Children are often the most vulnerable to chemicals because their organs and immune systems are still developing. Certain chemicals may interfere with the development of their neurological, endocrine and immune systems, a problem that can be detrimental to even their adult lives.”

Baking soda, white vinegar and castile soap are three basics for nontoxic household cleaning.

BAKING SODA:

Benefit: Absorbs and eliminates odor.

Use as: Non-abrasive cleanser to clean countertops, sinks, and tubs.

How to: Sprinkle some baking soda on carpet and vacuum after 15 minutes for a fresher look and feel. For scent, add a drop or two of lavender to the baking soda.

WHITE VINEGAR:

Benefit: Contains natural antifungal and antibacterial properties that cut grease and dissolve mineral deposits.

Use as: Cleanser for coffee maker, floors, refrigerator and so much more! (NOTE: Do not use on marble. Test a small area of your countertops before using)

How to: Add some white vinegar to your spray cleaners for an extra punch. Use half vinegar to half water to clean out your coffee maker.

CASTILE SOAP:

Benefit: Lifts dirt, cuts grease, and eliminates tough stains.

Use as: Very gentle cleaner for fragile items.

How to: Pour a small amount over baking sheets and pans then scrub for a few minutes for clean, shiny results. You can use this to make your own detergent, foaming hand soap and more.

Happy cleaning!

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