What your current cleaning products are hiding from you
We all want a clean home and often assume the mainstream cleaning products advertised are the most effective, even the safest way to help us keep our homes clean. While they may be “approved” for use in small doses, traditional home cleaning supplies can leave a lingering mess of chemicals that can detrimentally affect your home.
Environmental experts have discovered that the average household cleaner contains a minimum of 62 toxic ingredients. How can this be true if the cleaning industry is still selling so many products to seemingly satisfied customers? The sad truth is, unlike food and drugs, there are no regulations as to what can go into a cleaner or how it must be labeled.
Rebecca Sutton, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) states that, “In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.”
Homeowners striving to keep their spaces clean have no idea of the harm they could be introducing. A study from Norway’s University of Bergen found that the regular use and inhalation of chemical-based cleaning sprays was equal to smoking 20 cigarettes per day.
The facts are alarming and leave many homeowners conflicted about how to keep their spaces clean without using traditional methods. Fortunately, Mother Earth has provided us with solutions that are both effective, friendly on your wallet and safe for your home.
Chemical Free Cleaning Routine
Nature does an amazing job of maintaining a healthy ecosystem when we let it do its thing. In true nerd fashion, we decided to see what we could learn from nature and replicate in our homes. We wanted to know if we could keep out unwanted creepy crawlers, clean our kitchen, and wash our clothes more naturally.
We were pleased to learn that there are hundreds of ways to kick the chemicals and still have a clean and comfortable home. Whether you are already taking an eco-friendly approach, or are searching for the proper way to dispose of your current cleaners, here are 5 of our favorite ways to embrace a chemical free cleaning routine.
Natural Pesticide: There is a simple way to keep the creepy crawlers away without spraying potentially harmful pesticides. Peppermint essential oil and warm water sprayed around doorways and window seals will help keep out unwanted visitors. Spiders and many other bugs smell and taste with their legs and strong smells, such as peppermint, deter them from entering.
Dryer Sheets: Your dryer sheets probably make your clothes smell like flowers, but 44% of scented laundry products emit at least one carcinogenic air pollutant. That’s not worth smelling like an ocean breeze. Instead you can fill a spray bottle with essential oils such as lavender, frankincense, and bergamot to give your clothes a clean and refreshing scent. Just add three or four drops of your favorite smell to water and spray away.
Kitchen Counter: Many people fear the presence of raw meat and justify using harsh cleaners to make sure they do not contaminate other surfaces in their kitchens. One of the strongest and significantly safer cleaning solutions is hydrogen peroxide. You only need about 3% of your spray bottle mixture to be hydrogen peroxide and fill the rest with warm water. Trust us, it’s enough. It does act as a natural bleach, so just be careful not to get it on your favorite shirt.
Air Fresheners: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the main ingredient in air fresheners that simply mask a smell instead of eliminate it. These compounds are known to trigger allergies or worsen existing conditions such as asthma. A simple way to eliminate odor is to use a diffuser and oils such as eucalyptus and lavender. Not only do they smell great, they also have antibacterial properties that actively fight odors instead of masking them with chemicals.
- Window Spray: While name brands may guarantee crystal clear windows, they also emit a cloud of chemicals damaging to your health. If you’ve already tried more organic or eco-friendly cleaners you’ve probably found that it takes twice the work for a spotless shine. You can create a streak free, natural window spray by combining one part water and one part vinegar in a glass spray bottle. Don’t worry, there is no strong odor once the solution is wiped away, only clear windows and a clean home. Have extra solution? This simple mixture doubles as a powerful floor cleaner that shines and disinfects.
These are just five out of hundreds of ways you can create a chemical free cleaning routine. We would love to hear some of your home hacks as well. Leave us suggestions in the comments below!
Inspired to take action but need a quick solution? Stay tuned for part two of the blog where we will highlight the brands we trust with products that are transparent in their ingredient list.