Most of us can look around our home and find household products that we have always used and are filled with chemicals. Some of these items are staples, things you wouldn't even have thought of to look at the label, cleaning agents, aerosols, and soaps that our parents used, we use and possibly even our children now use.
But did you know that there are some super easy swaps for these items? Ridding your home of heavily chemical laden products would do a world of good for you and your loved ones!
Here are 10 items you should clear out of your home as well as easy, safe and all natural replacements!
Have you ever read the ingredient list on an aerosol spray? Chances are you’d see fragrance or perfume on the list, and that single ingredient could contain up to 400 more ingredients, most of them toxic. These sprays also contain chemicals like xylene and formaldehyde. These ingredients are carcinogens and neurotoxins harmful to our bodies, children and pets. Aerosols also affect the environment. The tiny particles that get released into the air not only affect the ozone but the rain. NASA explains how aerosols can affect the rain: “Aerosols are thought to suppress precipitation because the particles decrease the size of water droplets in clouds. However, under some environmental conditions, aerosols can lead to taller clouds that are more likely to produce lightning and strong downpours. In a few places, meteorologists have even detected a cycle in which the frequency of thunderstorms is connected to mid-week peaks in aerosol emissions.” These are only some of the reasons to avoid aerosols. Common household aerosols include: Hairspray, cleaning aerosols, and automated aerosol "fresheners".
What to replace them with: For cleaning and refreshing the air, try essential oil based sprays. Essential oils don't mask smells, they actually change the molecule of the air! These are safe and effective for any room of the house as well as furniture and linen! Look for clean ingredient lists, including pure essential oils, water and sometimes witch hazel. Look for all natural disinfectant sprays for cleaning surfaces or make your own by combining cleaning essential oils such as lemon, orange and eucalyptus (for areas of mold and mildew), some Castile soap and water into a spray bottle.
2) Dryer Sheets
One of the most chemically laden and harmful items you will find in your home are dryer sheets. Who would have thought?! According to the health and wellness website Sixwise.com, some of the most harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener alike include benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), ethanol (linked to central nervous system disorders), and chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen), among others. Fragrances are, again, one of the most dangerous culprits in dryer sheets. Dryer sheets emit Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDC's). EDC's can affect developing reproductive and nervous systems, metabolism, and cancer. The chemicals in dryer sheets can also severely affect asthma, people with allergies and skin sensitivities! What is more concerning is that the manufacturer does not have to list all of or any of the ingredients for that matter! Dryer sheets are designed to slowly release fabric softener during the drying process. The thing with fabric softener is that it doesn’t actually soften anything. Instead, it lubricates the fabric with a slimy coating that prevents static and creates the sensation of softness.
What to replace them with: Dryer balls! So simple and easy to find, dryer balls are made out of wool. You can even drop a few drops of 100% pure essential oils on the dryer balls to give your laundry a clean and fresh scent. The wool dryer balls dry your clothes 20% faster, and reduce static. They also last 6-12 months depending on the amount of laundry you do. Typically 2 balls are enough for a medium/large load of laundry, you can use more than 2. In addition to the dryer balls, you can add white vinegar to your rinse cycle. This is easy to do in most washers by adding the vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser to help soften clothes and reduce static cling. If you have an allergy to wool, try using a cloth with a few drops of essential oils and toss it into the dryer with your clothes.
3) Ingredients in dish soap, hand soap, bubble bath, and shampoo.
One of the number one chemicals in dish soap and hand soap is SLS. SLS is a detergent and agent that creates bubbles and foam. Its harmful to the skin and hair on the body. It worsens skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It strips the skin of its natural oils and on top of all of that, it stays in the body for 5 days! SLS is found in hand soap, body wash, dish soap, toothpaste, shampoo. This means your body is constantly being bombarded by this ingredient and your liver is working overtime trying to filter it out of your system. Apart from SLS, other chemicals to avoid in dish soap and hand soap are fragrances. Fragrances are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream where they pose health risks including endocrine disruption, organ toxicity, allergies, asthma, neurotoxicity and cancer. Fragrances also frequently contain phthalates (which won’t be listed on labels), which are associated with birth defect, hormone disruption and toxicity. 1,4 Dioxane is a contaminant found in most cosmetics and products meant for personal care. On the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, it has a high hazard rating of 8. Another hormone disrupting ingredient is parabens. Parabens are preservatives commonly used in bars of soap. According to the FDA, “the most common parabens used in cosmetic products are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.” You can see why its important to find a natural alternative. Your body is constantly being bombarded by hormone disrupting, skin stripping, toxic ingredients that are making their way also into your blood stream and then organs.
What to replace them with: All natural soap! Its that easy! You can find castille soap which is a liquid soap made from plant based oils. All natural bar soap made with essential oils and plant based oils. Our soaps and shampoos are completely free of chemicals. Check out our liquid hand, body and dish soap as well as bar hand and body soap here: https://www.tranquilitymatters.ca/search-results/q-soap/qc-products
4) Chemical Cleaners
This one is huge! From sink and drain cleaners to bath room cleaners to disinfectant sprays, these everyday household items are so filled him harmful chemicals most have the poison symbols right on the bottles! Many cleaning products irritate the eyes, lungs, skin as well as cause headaches, dizziness and even asthmatic conditions. Some of your household cleaning products may also release VOC's ( Volatile Organic Compounds). Naphthalene, found in carpet cleaners, is known to cause cataract formation and liver damage over a long exposure. The perchloroethylene in carpet cleaners is carcinogenic, and it may cause dizziness, headaches, kidney dysfunction, neurological damage and other problems from short term exposure. Ammonia produces fumes that can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause and irritate asthma or heart or lung problems. Mixing ammonia with chlorine products (such as bleach) produces an even more dangerous gas which is potentially fatal.
What to replace them with: All natural products of course :) You would be surprised how many natutal effective solutions there are to replace chemical cleaners! Disinfectant sprays made with essential oils (like ours!) . For cleaning tile and grout as well as bath and shower, try this simple recipe:
*3/4 cup Baking Soda
*1/4 cup Castille Soap
*1 tablespoon Vinegar
*1 Tablespoon Water
*10 drops of pure Lemon Essential oil
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the bicarb soda and castille soap and stir.
2. Add water, vinegar and essential oil and mix into a paste.
3. Apply the paste to your bath, grout, shower, let it set for a few minutes and then scrub clean.
4. Store any leftover paste in an airtight container.
There you have it! I know this blog post was a lot to read, but what is more important than your health? At the end of the day, its all we have. We are in bliss when our health is good, and when its not, it can be all consuming. Take care of your temple inside and out. We were given two things in this life to take care of: our body and our planet! Lets make steps right now to ensure we are taking the best care of both those things!