I used to buy toxic house cleaning products. Why? Because I was simply not informed. All I wanted was something that would:
- Kill all germs and bacteria
- Make my house smell fresh and clean
Well, it seems I was forgetting the most important thing: the impact of toxic house cleaning products on my health and my family´s health.
It is so important to understand the ingredients listed in the labels! If you go to EWG´s website you will get to know that for example:
- Active ingredients “are usually antimicrobial pesticides added to kill bacteria, viruses or molds”
- Antibacterial means that “the product contains pesticides that kill bacteria, viruses or molds. Pesticides are listed as ‘active ingredients’ on the label”
- Corrosive/caustic “can cause serious chemical burns to the skin, eyes or lungs.” The skin in my left hand got damaged for life, according to my former dermatologist, after using a bar soap to wash my clothes in India
But there is more! According to Alexandra Pope, expert on menstrual health, “[c]hemicals such as pesticides, plastics and heavy metals act as ‘oestrogen mimickers’ They are able to attach themselves to oestrogen receptor sites in the body thereby upsetting the oestrogen/progesterone balance and consequently the natural synergy of a woman’s body”:* Something to think about, right?
Now you must be wondering: “but what options do I have?” You can buy, for example, non-toxic house cleaning products. If you don´t know where to start, check EWG´s database. Another option is to create your own products at home. For example, now my two best friends are baking soda and white vinegar. I use them to clean everything!
- Bathroom: the lavatory, bath/shower and toilet seat are cleaned with pure vinegar and baking soda
- Fridge and oven: I use a mixture of water with baking soda that cleans and disinfects
- Floor: I use a solution of white vinegar and hot water
- Dust: I dust with a solution of white vinegar and water
- Windows: I clean the windows with a solution of white vinegar and water
In case you don´t like the smell of vinegar, you can add some drops of an essential oil of your choice, such as eucalyptus or tea tree. However, please make sure that the oil you buy is certified organic or from a supplier you trust and 100% pure.
In my book Back to Natural you can find more eco cleaning tips.
*POPE, Alexandra (2001). The Wild Genie: The healing power of menstruation. Bedfordshire: Authors OnLine (ed. 2014).