The Best Non-Toxic Ways to Clean Your House
The purpose of cleaning your home is to remove bacteria and dirt in order to provide your family with a healthier environment. Unfortunately, most of us clean our house with toxic chemicals that cause respiratory issues, chronic illnesses, and the accumulation of toxins in our family’s body, which weakens our immune system. There are a number of cleaning products on the market that use words, such as Natural, Safe and Non-toxic. However, most consumers do not realize that there isn’t a regulation on certain words companies can use in advertising. Unfortunately, toxic chemicals are common in many of the cleaning products.
We know that we must keep the cleaning supplies away from children and pets and that many have toxic and danger symbols. However, despite the fact that they can cause irritation and be toxic if ingested, they can have long-term health consequences and be an underlying cause of chronic diseases such as cancer and autoimmune disorders.
How cleaning supplies can threaten your health:
1. Bathroom cleaners contain ingredients that can cause irritation to eyes, skin and respiratory system problems, such as sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite (Bleach), or phosphoric acid. Sulfates can be a trigger of asthma. When two of these chemicals come in contact with each other, it can cause dangerous gases and can result in permanent damage to the lungs.
2. Grease cleaners operate on the basis of the enzyme. Although enzymes are natural proteins produced by living organisms, that does not mean that these cleaners are less hazardous to health. Particularly vulnerable are those who suffer from allergies, and they should bear in mind that do not use enzyme cleaners on carpets because the enzymes remain trapped in the fibers.
3. Window cleaners can contain ammonia and butyl cellosolve and can emit fumes that affect the respiratory and nervous system. One of the most popular brands of window cleaners shows children spraying the windows as though it is completely safe, these commercials are very misleading.
4. Oven cleaners contain lye and sodium hydroxide that aggressively destroy the grease in your oven, but also aggressively affect your skin or eyes and lungs. If you use an aerosol, they can easily reach the lungs. It is especially dangerous if these chemicals are not washed entirely and evaporate into food during baking.
5. Abrasive scouring powders may contain silicon dioxide and chlorine. Both can affect the skin and the respiratory system.
6. Furniture and metal polish may include formaldehyde which is a carcinogen, as well as petroleum distillates, which can cause neural damage. Sprays facilitate their way into the body through inhalation, and all this damage can be chronic, so be careful of the type of furniture or metal polish you use.
7. Dishwasher products is primarily made with petroleum, and dyed with colors made with lead or arsenic. These metals are dangerous for human life in larger doses. They can penetrate into the skin, and if dishes are not rinsed well, they can be ingested. Powders for automatic dishwashers contain phosphates, and some may emit harmful chlorinated chemicals when you open the dishwasher at the end of the cycle.
8. Bacterial and Germ Killers labeled antibacterial contain Triclosan or Quaternary Ammonium Compounds. Triclosan is a chemical that is used as a disinfectant. Scientific evidence has uncovered adverse health effects including the development of bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistance, association with endocrine disruption and thyroid hormone issues.
I can understand the purpose of having an antibacterial lotion if you do not have access to a sink, but there is no need to use it on a daily basis. It has been proven that simply washing your hands correctly will do the trick. There are thousands of products that contain Triclosan, such as toothpaste, soap, body washes, dish soap and clothing. It is unnecessary to have Triclosan in these products and unfortunately are the main cause to bacteria becoming resistant to Triclosan.
9. Cleaning supplies, air fresheners, plug-ins and candles that contain fragrances try to mask the odor with artificial chemicals that contain Phatalathes. Phatalathes, affect the endocrine system and may affect men’s semen quality, fertility in men, interfere with the production of the male hormone testosterone, reproductive abnormalities, allergic symptoms, asthma and birth defects.
Can you actually have a healthy and clean home?
If you think that you need to use aggressive chemicals to have a clean house, you might be surprised that you can have a cleaner house using all natural alternatives. With the added benefit of being cheaper!
The main ingredients that will be discussed are baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, water and essential oils.
1. Cleaning the Bathroom:
My methods: For showers, bathtubs, walls and glass shower doors I use a handheld steamer. I have the shark portable steam pocket. It kills all the germs, and it does not leave any streaks, and it reduces the time it takes to clean.
Toilet bowl Cleaner:
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 1/4 cup of baking soda
- 5 drops Melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- Mix the following together and put in a spray bottle. Keep in mind that vinegar and baking soda initially has a chemical reaction.
- Spray inside toilet
- Clean with a brush
- Leave overnight
Hard Water Stains in the toilet bowl that will not come out:
- Use a pumas stone
- 150 grit sand paper
Manganese Stains – Blue Stains that you can’t Remove
I had the hardest time removing blue stains from my bathtub. After having our water tested we realized, we had a lot of Manganese in the water. We had a whole house filter installed, but I could not remove the blue from the bathtub, until I tried the following
- Create a paste with Cream of Tartar and Hydrogen Peroxide and apply to areas and let it sit over night.
2. Remove the mold and mildew.
Mold and Mildew cleaners are very toxic. You should try to avoid using these chemicals.
- Use handheld steamer.
- It is best to prevent the occurrence of mold with good ventilation or reducing humidity. Mold can be deadly.
- If you find mold in your basement, it is wise to put a dehumidifier in the area.
- Essential oils for mold (Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca (Tea tree), Peppermint, Rosemary or Thyme)
- Purchase a cold water diffuser and start defusing any combination of the Essential oils for mold.
Mold elimination Spray
- 20-30 drops of any combination of the above essential oils for mold.
- 1 Cup of Water
- 1 Cup of Vinegar or Vodka
- Spray on mold.
- Do not wipes off.
- Use daily until the mold disappears.
** The vinegar smell will disappear within a couple of hours.
3. Cleaning windows, Stainless Steel or Shiny surfaces.
My method: I clean my windows, granite and stainless steel with glass polishing e-clothes. I spray water and wipe with one cloth and polish with the other.
It leaves no streaks! No chemicals! Moreover, you are not wasting paper towels!
4. Cleaning grease
Vinegar and lemon juice will help you to remove grease stains from the glass and shiny surfaces. Combine in a spray bottle.
- 2-cups of White Vinegar
- 3-lemons (cuts in 4 pieces)
- Put in Mason Jar for at least 2 weeks.
- Squeeze lemons to mixture for added cleaning power
- Strain into different container. You do not want any lemon pulp or seeds because it will clog up spray bottle.
- Mix 2-cups of water to the Lemon-Vinegar Solution
- Transfer to spray bottle
** You can squeeze lemons to mixture for added cleaning power.
5. Glass Stove Top
I spent many hours scrubbing and polish my electric glass stove top. I am a very messy cook. I am constantly dealing with boil overs and spills. A few years ago my husband suggested using a razor blade. It can be dangerous so be careful. Use a wet soapy sponge and wet the area, position the razor blade at a 45-degree angle and remove the caked on mess. It saves me hours of time and it does not scratch the glass.
6. Inside of Microwave
Place a wet, soapy sponge on a plate and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes. The condensation will allow you to easily wipe the inside of your microwave with the added benefit of disinfecting your sponge.
5. Inside of Oven
Grease and charred food residues are not easy to remove, and oven cleaners are very toxic.
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 10 drops of lemon essential oils
- 4 cups of water
- Place a pan with mixture in the oven and turn on.
- Evaporation of water will melt fat residue in the oven.
2. Create the following paste. If the combination is too watery add additional baking soda until you have a good consistency.
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- 3 Tablespoons of water
Apply the paste to any areas inside your oven that you want to clean. Leave overnight. The next morning spray with vinegar to get a chemical reaction. Leave for several more hours. Wipe clean.
6. Wood Polish
Use microfiber cloth to remove dust from wood furniture.
Every 2 months polish wood surfaces with the following:
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
If after this you still want to purchase cleaning products, there are many safe products on the market.
Read the labels! Do not buy if you see a skeleton head, if you see toxic, dangerous, can cause burns, or needs ventilation…. put it back on the shelf and look for a better solution. The better solution is not necessarily the product with a label that states it is “Eco-friendly” or “Natural” or “Non-toxic”. Do not immediately accept the marketing labels! First, look for the ingredients. Avoid ammonia and chlorine based cleaners, which emit harmful vapors. The best and most economical cleaners are in your kitchen.
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