When I was a kid, we all had to clean every Saturday. My jobs were to vacuum, dust and clean the kids bathroom. I always got a headache after I was done. Every time. Now, I had a few other bad habits as a kid that contributed to my headaches, BUT the point is, I would immediately get one after doing my weekly cleaning chores. Why is this?
Here's the deal. All mainstream cleaning products have chemicals. Too many chemicals in the air and on our bodies can create toxic overload in our system. This includes things that TOUCH our bodies. This includes things that touch our food, which then enters our bodies. This includes things that get used on surfaces and are then active on those surfaces, which we then touch. Get the picture? Chemicals might be in small amounts in ONE cleaner, but the likelihood that we will only encounter that one product in a 24 hour period is very unlikely.
Take the chemical chlorine for example. Chlorine is in some cleaners as a bleach. It is used in city water filtration (we'll talk about water in a couple weeks). It is also used to bleach paper towels and toilet paper. It is also used in many laundry detergents, which leave residue on our clothing. It is not *as* toxic when touched. It *only* causes skin and minor eye or lung irritation. That's all...
BUT did you know that it can reach highly toxic levels when combined with ammonia? So, if you mix chlorine bleach with another cleaner, even hours apart, they could combine to create a toxic gas that you the breathe in. An even more likely situation, especially if you have children, is this...
Let's say you clean your bathroom, toilet included, with a cleaner with chlorine in it.
Then, your child uses the restroom.
Their urine has ammonia in it. Because it's urine.
At this point the chemicals mix & create a gas. If even just for that moment, your child has breathed in a toxic gas.
But what if they then do not flush the toilet? Because they are kids.
Those chemicals create a toxic gas and continue to release that in the air.
What is the big deal about chemicals?
Well, like I said. It's not just one. We are exposed to a large amount of chemicals on a daily basis.
Sodium Laurel Sulfates
The list could go on and on. Among these are skin, eye, and lung irritants. However, also among these are known carcinogens, ingredients that are linked to cancer. Also ingredients linked to asthma, allergies, and some that are considered neuro-toxins.
Another concern is fragrances. We will get into this later in the week, but unfortunately there are not regulations in place for cleaning products in the US. Companies are NOT REQUIRED to list ingredients. These same companies also frequently list unknown or dangerous ingredients as "fragrance". Artificial fragrances are hormone disruptors. Like I said, there will be a full-day devoted to fragrances and air fresheners later in the week.
For now, the point is that we just do not know everything that is in these products.
I got rid of mainstream cleaners several years ago, but as I was typing this up, I had my husband dig under our kitchen sink to see if there was anything left under there. Way in the back, he found a bottle of carpet cleaner from when we steam cleaned our carpets about 2 years ago and an almost empty bottle of windex.
NEITHER had any ingredients listed on them. The windex said "contains ammonia" & the carpet cleaner had a huge warning about not drinking it due to health hazards... Yet it's safe to pour into our carpet and drive in with steam?
Personally, I would like to avoid all of these things. I cannot control the toxins my children & I are exposed to when we leave our home, so my goal is to reduce the amount of toxins INSIDE the home.
Check out the links below & be on the lookout for some great brand recommendations and DIY cleaning recipes coming later today!
I am a mommy of SEVEN (yes 7) beautiful kids! They are amazing, wonderful, hilarious & the greatest babies I could ask for! I am married to my best friend & high school sweetheart, Michael.
I love to craft. I love to decorate. I am passionate about natural living & natural birthing. Sometimes I write stuff. I plan parties like my life depended on it. My favorite color is pink. My house is definitely NOT taupe. I typically cannot keep plants alive. I am only allowed to have dogs as pets because all others tend to have the same end result as the plants. Luckily my track record with kids is pretty good! Also, I drink a lot of coffee. And I really like tacos.