The Benefits of Using Natural Cleaning Products
- The benefit of using safer cleaning products is that you’re not exposing your children, your pets, and yourself to the chemicals that can disrupt multiple systems throughout the body and have potentially negative health effects.
- Many of the chemicals utilized in traditional cleaning products are known to have a biological effect on the body, impacting the hormone, endocrine, respiratory, and immune systems. They can be inflammatory, and/or affect your genes, and/or predispose you to cancer. (Christian Gonzalez, N.D., a naturopathic doctor and non-toxic living expert).
- Respiratory issues are particularly major—so much so that a 20-year studyfound that the prolonged use of certain cleaning products can be as harmful as smoking 20 cigarettes per day. It’s already known that cleaning product fumes may trigger attacks in people with asthma, but they can also induce the development of asthma and other respiratory problems in otherwise healthy individuals.
- Children are far more vulnerable to chemical toxicity, as their bodies are still forming and growing. There are a growing number of childhood illnesses that trace their origin to chemical irritants. Pets are also at risk; when they walk through a freshly-washed floor that’s been cleaned with chemicals, they’re likely getting the liquid on their paws and they lick their paws.
We are exposed to an overwhelming number of chemicals/ toxins every day which enter our body via ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin. We are further adding to this toxic burden through the regular use of cleaning products and detergents. The chemicals from these products enter the blood stream and require detoxification by the liver for removal. This places extra stress on the liver and supporting organs, to filter out the toxins. The majority of these toxins are fat-soluble and can be stored in fat or muscle tissue for years. The occasional exposure to these chemicals may not have a profound effect, however long-term repetitive exposure increases the risk of toxicity and adverse health outcomes. A medical colleague of Dr Sandra Cabot who specialised in autopsy, told her that the most common chemical toxin found in cadavers was detergent.
The average household will have approximately 250-300 chemicals in the form of cleaning products, garden products, handyman products or detergents. Some of these chemicals have such severe acute toxicity, they necessitate treatment in the emergency department for chemical burns or accidental ingestion. In Australia, there are poor government regulations to control which chemicals (or how many) are put into these products.
- Disinfectants: Often contain ethanol, formaldehyde, chlorine and ammonia and can cause organ damage and depression.
- Multipurpose cleaning products: Linked to dermatitis, rashes and chemical burns.
- Carpet cleaners: Can cause loss of appetite and dizziness in the short-term, and liver and central nervous system (CNS) damage in the long-term. Perchloroethylene, often found in carpet cleaners is a known human carcinogen.
- Air fresheners: Purposefully sprayed into a confined space, the aerosolised particles enter the blood stream quickly through the lungs and can cause nerve deadening and release chemicals inside the body that can damage the heart muscle. They can also cause allergic lung reactions.
- Chemical perfumes: The contents of a parfum or fragrance in any commercial product including the fire-retardant materials in your sofas and in your clothes do not have to be included on the ingredients label. Therefore, it is free license to manufacturers to add whichever chemicals they like. Avoid products which have these labels on the ingredients. A recent U.S. study revealed that many of the top-selling commercially scented cleaning products – including air fresheners, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, disinfectants, dish detergents, all-purpose cleaners, soaps, hand sanitizers, lotions, deodorants, and shampoos – emit more than 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including some that are classified as toxic or hazardous by federal laws. Even products advertised as “green,” “natural,” or “organic” emitted as many hazardous chemicals as standard ones
- 7 litres hot water
- 2 tbsp castile soap
- 5 drops pine/tea tree or essential oil of choice
Gentle cleanser with soap
Gentle cleanser for any household surface
- 2 cups distilled water
- 2 tbsp castile soap
- 15 drops essential oil (lavender, mint, tea tree, orange)
- Spray bottle
All-purpose cleaner with vinegar
You can use it on the counters, bathroom vanities, kitchen surfaces, floors, and even mirrors; it doesn’t streak!
- 16-ounce glass spray bottle
- 8-ounces vinegar
- 20-25 drops lemon essential oil
- Distilled water
- Add essential oil and vinegar to a glass spray bottle and top off with water.
All-in-one purpose cleaner
Use it in the bathroom, on your kitchen counters, on your walls, and on your appliances for a thorough, all-natural clean!
- Glass spray bottle
- 1 tsp borax
- 1 tsp washing soda
- 1 tsp castile soap
- 2 cups hot water
- 18 drops essential oils (I used 18 drops of lemon oil, but feel free to use what you like!)
- Add the borax, washing soda, and castile soapto the glass bottle.
- Pour two cups of hot water into the bottle and shake well to incorporate the ingredients.
- After mixing, remove the top and add the essential oils to the spray bottle. Replace the top, then shake lightly again.
- This spray is perfect for cleaning up greasy smears and smudges. The washing soda cuts through tough grease, and the essential oils will add a beautiful shine.
Toilet bowl cleaner
- Add essential oils and vinegar to spray bottle and top off with water.
- Spray in the toilet and let the mixture sit for a few minutes.
- Sprinkle with baking soda and then scrub with a toilet brush.
- This takes away that nasty ring, leaves a sparkling bowl, and eliminates odours.
- Try these DIY toilet cleaning bombsfor hands-off cleaning!
DIY toilet cleaning bombs
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup citric acid
- 1 tablespoon liquid soap
- 30 drops essential oils (lemon or wild orange)
- Bath bomb moulds or silicone moulds
- Spray bottle
- Mix the baking soda and citric acid together in a mixing bowl and stir well.
- Add essential oils in the bowl and mix well.
- Pour the liquid soap into a spray bottle and mist the powder mixture with it. You want to get the mixture wet enough that it holds together when you squeeze it together, but not soaked.
- Press the mixture into a small bath bomb or silicon mould.
- Allow the mixture to completely dry overnight or until harden.
- Pop the toilet cleaning bomb out of the mould and store in an airtight container or bag.
Furniture Polish Cream
- 1 cup jojoba oil
- 4 tbsp beeswax pellets
- 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 4 drops lemon essential oil
- Pint-sized glass jar
- Bamboo skewer
- A couple of clean, soft cloths
- Place the jojoba oil and beeswax pellets in your pint-sized mason jar. Fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water, then place the mason jar in the pan. Put the saucepan on your stove over low heat, and stir the mixture using a bamboo skewer until the mixture has melted completely.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and carefully remove the jar. Add the eucalyptus and lemon essential oils, and mix thoroughly with the skewer.
- Let the mixture cool for an hour or two on your counter, then transfer it to an airtight container for storage.
Using Your Homemade Furniture Polish
Before polishing your furniture, make sure it is clean of any dirt, grime, or dust. You don’t want to accidentally trap dust and dirt in your furniture’s finish! When you’re ready, use a soft cloth to apply a small amount of the polish to the surfaces of your wooden furniture. Buff the polish to a shine with