Most of us love a clean, fresh home, and enjoy the feeling of a freshly mopped floor under our feet and a bed freshly made with crisp, clean linens; but is this actually harming us? Unfortunately, the answer is quite possibly “yes”!
Harmful, toxic, and potentially dangerous chemicals are found in many of the commonly used home cleaning products. If you purchase popular, bestselling aerosol products, air fresheners, laundry detergents, dishwashing soaps, rug cleaners, all-purpose & window cleaners, or furniture polish, there is a good chance you are introducing harmful chemicals into your living environment.
VOC’s, for example, release dangerous compounds which can cause chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions and headaches. Phthalates, found in many cleaners (simply marked as “fragrance” on the bottles) are endocrine disrupters. These disruptors can result in a hormonal imbalance and a wide variety of symptoms.
Triclosan, found in most antibacterial products, has been shown to promote the growth of drug resistant bacteria. This can result in difficult to treat infections. 2-Butoxyethanol, another chemical found in many home cleaning products can cause sore throats, pulmonary edema, and even severe kidney and liver damage. These are just a few examples of what you are most likely cleaning your home with! Most people have no idea of the large number of toxins they are exposed to on a daily basis.
The great news is that there are perfectly safe and very effective substitutions which you can prepare in your home – and they are economical too! It is very easy to make cleaners for the home that work without killing you in the process. These cleaners can be made with simple ingredients like distilled water, white vinegar, olive oil, baking soda, castile soap, and certain essential oils which are antimicrobial, antibacterial, ant-viral, antifungal, anti-allergenic, deodorizing and disinfecting. All-purposes cleaners, furniture polish, grout and tile scrubs, hand sanitizers, and even laundry soap can all be made with very few ingredients and no harmful chemicals.
An extremely simple, yet effective recipe for carpet deodorizer is to combine 6 ounces of baking soda with approximately 12 drops of organic Lavender essential oil in a container, mixing well. Sprinkle onto the carpet and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. For carpets and rugs with an extreme odor, allow it to sit overnight. Simply vacuum it off and your carpets will smell amazing! This recipe is wonderful for pet and child “accidents” and the musty smells which lurk in carpeting. Baking soda naturally and safely freshens and absorbs odors, and the Lavender essential oil is anti-allergenic, antibacterial, antifungal and is an excellent deodorizer.
Keep your body healthy by utilizing safe home cleaning products. It is an important piece of what it takes to be in optimal health. It is also an easy and affordable thing to do.
Sharon Mayberry is a certified clinical Aromatherapist who offers one on one consultations and customized essential oil blends for personal and household use. She also offers periodic classes on how to make your own cleaning products. These classes are posted on our calendar online.