How To Rid Your Home Of Chemicals
Is your home spic and span? Do your countertops gleam, your mirrors shine, and your floors shimmer in the sunlight? Before you give yourself a hearty pat on the back, there is something you should know. Many of the chemicals that you have smeared all over your home in an effort to make it squeaky clean are hazardous to your health–even more harmful than the dust and dirt you’ve worked so hard to remove.
Neat freaks need not dismay, however. You can rid your house of toxic substances without sacrificing your orderly abode.
Become Anti Antibacterial
You can have a neat and tidy home without slathering it in disinfectant. In fact, antibacterial household products are a major contributor to the creation of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. It is far wiser to stick with old-school soap and water and avoid anything that says it is “antibacterial.”
Air Should Smell Like Air
No one ever became chronically ill due to the smell of old sneakers or rainbow trout. Your favorite air freshener, however, has the potential to be quite lethal. In fact, Medical Daily reports that many air fresheners contain formaldehyde, a chemical that has been linked to cancer and that another common ingredient, p-dichlorobenzene, has been known to irritate the skins, eyes, and throat.
If you want to deodorize your home, try using fresh flowers or baking an aromatic batch of homemade cookies, instead.
Ammonia and lungs do not get along. In fact, ammonia doesn’t play well with a lot of things. It annoys your eyes, skin, and throat, and can even damage your vital organs. And, when mixed with bleach, it creates gases that can prove fatal.
Vinegar, however, has the ability to kill bacteria and render your countertops, mirrors, and chrome faucets sparkling clean. And it’s completely non-toxic.
Cast Out Carcinogens
In order to safeguard your family’s health, it is a good idea to read product labels and learn what those multisyllabic tongue-twister-ish ingredients actually are. You will likely be surprised–and not in a pleasant way.
David Suzuki, award-winning scientist and environmentalist, warns against the use of several common household product ingredients including four known carcinogens–silica powder, a dust found in abrasive cleaning powders; Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), commonly found in dish soup, liquid laundry detergents, and wipes; and Trisodium nitrilotriacetate, a chemical used in bathroom cleaners and some laundry soaps.
If you find these harmful ingredients in the products you use, you had better seek a healthier alternative.
Small Steps = Big Changes
You may be tempted to purge all of your cleaning products, cosmetics, and personal hygiene favorites at once, but doing so will not only prove to be a huge burden on your pocketbook, but it may also make it too difficult for you to adjust to all of these simultaneous changes.
In an interview with Nature’s Nurture founder, Sarah UmmYusuf, entitled “Ridding Your Home of Chemicals,” the expert states that it is better to focus on one area such as body care, then one product at a time such as deodorant, until you’ve found one that works for you, then move on to another one. Introducing one permanent change at a time will make ridding your home of chemicals much more palatable.
So, bid an enthusiastic farewell to mystery ingredients, toxic chemicals, and known carcinogens. Instead, embrace natural products that will clean your home and its residents without compromising anyone’s health. And the next time you are tempted to reach for a product bearing the words “anti-bacterial,” resist the urge. Future generations will thank you.
Do you possess a chemical-free cleaning tip that you’d like to pass on? We’d love to hear it.
About Author: Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, avid blogger, and OCD neurotic who has an aversion to anything labeled “corrosive.” You can follow her at The Embiggens Project.