Consider Non-Toxic Cleaning For Spring!

As spring approaches and we open our windows to let the fresh air in, many of us begin to think about spring-cleaning.

Now, anyone who knows me is probably laughing, as I was not born with the gift of keeping a pristine house. Cleaning is not one of my favorite pastimes and never will be. I do however, love a clean, clutter-free space and try and do my best.

With asthma and allergies becoming common and almost expected ailments within the household, one needs to not only look at the diet but the environment as well.

Our lives are filled with toxic foods, chemicals, pesticides, cosmetics and more. Cleaning up some of these areas will go a long way in preserving your health as well as the health of your family.

The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the indoor pollution is 100 times greater than outdoor pollution.

Many individuals are obsessed with cleaning and bleaching everything in order to make sure their home is safe for children. Your intentions are beautiful but what you do not know is that you are exposing these small humans to high concentrations of toxic materials.

Formaldehyde, phenol, benzene and toluene are common ingredients in household cleaners. They have all been linked as cancer  causing and toxic to the immune system. Sadly, most cleaning supply companies are NOT required by law to alert the consumer.

Children are especially vulnerable to these toxins as pound for pound they are exposed and absorb higher concentrations. Many toys are cleaned and inevitably end up in the child’s mouth — something to think about.

Pregnant women can easily pass the toxins to her unborn, developing child. Chemicals such as dioxins and PCB’s have an affinity for fatty tissue. Children who are exposed in-utero are at the greatest risk for developmental defects.

Anti-bacterial gels and soaps may not be in your best interest as well. These items clean no better then plain soap and water   but do add to the risk of breeding the “super-germs” that are so resistant to antibiotic’s.

Commercial air fresheners should be avoided at all costs. There are many great smelling, eco-friendly sprays that are much healthier for your house or office.

So now what? Where do you begin? It’s easy.  Most of us already have the best non-toxic cleaners already in stock. White vinegar and baking soda in many combinations have great cleaning ability. Baking soda added to the wash actually makes whites whiter. Lemon is a great anti-bacterial rub for your cutting board.

Essential oils are not only safe, they are effective anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral solutions and smell great as well. Many essential oils, used in safe cleaning, have emotional benefits as well.  Lavender is calming, citrus is uplifting, eucalyptus is cleansing, peppermint is great for mental focus and so on.

Baking soda, borax, washing soda and salt are excellent tools when it comes to scrubbing and lifting stains on surfaces. You can kill mold and effectively clean grout by mixing baking soda and white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Add a few drops of liquid soap to baking soda or borax, add some warm water and you have made your own soft scrub.

Fresh carpet or fabric stains can be lifted right away by covering them with baking soda. Leave on for 10-15 minutes, then sprinkle with club soda. The fizz will help lift the stain. Blot up and then vacuum or wash.

For those of us who do not have the time or desire to mix up our own healthy formulas, there are some great products out there. One of my favorites is Modern Mermaid Eco Products that can be found in Whole Foods Markets as well as Journey II Health. Seventh Generation makes a great product as well and is readily available in local markets.


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