Spring Cleaning: Detox Your Home

 

 
Since we’re coming up to Spring cleaning, I thought I’d organize a post about how to try chemical free options. This is obviously so much easier if you are cleaning your house by yourself. However, I understand how hard some cleaning activities can be such as window cleaning. So if you would prefer getting someone else to help you such as NICK’S Window Cleaning company then I completely understand.
By now
I’m sure you’ve figured out that going green and chemical free are important to
me. I understand that not everyone has the same opinions or goals as me; or
maybe you just think it will be more expensive and/ or be harder work for
you. I can honestly say that I have found going chemical free to be easier and
less expensive than I originally perceived. To help me with this post I
recently spoke with Garcie Wong who’s been chemical free for almost 6 years
about why and how she does it.
 
After
seeing people she knew die from cancer that were far too young, Garcie made the
decision to remove as many chemicals from her home as possible and to pay more
attention to the products she chose to use- to be a “choosy
consumer”.  Together we have organized this post about how you can try going chemical free.
 
3 Reasons to try going chemical free
 
1. Health
Have you ever noticed any of the following symptoms when you’re cleaning: sneezing, coughing, headache? That’s not just from a dislike of chores, that’s the effects of the cleaners you’re using. Some of the products I used to use were so bad I had to open a window because the smell hurt my nose and throat. Yikes.
 
According
to the Consumer Federation of America, 150 chemicals found in homes are
associated with health concerns such as allergies, birth defects, and
psychological disorders. Another concern: in the past 20 years, asthma rates
have tripled[1]
 
Because they spend the most time indoors and have weaker immune systems, infants and toddlers are some of the most affected by the chemicals used in the home. Just think mama, if you spend
quite a lot of time inside caring for your kiddies, you and your kids are being exposed to a
variety of chemicals over a long period of time.
One way to get rid of those chemical particles floating in your house is to use an air purifier. Air purifiers clean the air by filtering out harmful toxins and replace it with fresh air for you to breathe. Homairguides.com has a lot of free information on this topic as well as tips on how you can improve the quality of air inside your home. The site also has a list of the top air purifiers for every purpose so you can find the one that’s right for you inside your home.
 
2. Budget
An
average household spends $600- $800 a year on chemical cleaning products. When
you find and/ or make your own alternatives you eliminate a lot of the cost
associated with keeping a home clean (check out my cost break down for my home
made laundry detergent here). If you think it’s expensive to try the natural route, consider how much a box of baking soda and bottle of vinegar cost; as two of the main ingredients for many home made cleaners, these two items are frugal friendly (see below for some great home made cleaners- most contain these 2 inexpensive ingredients).
 
3.
Environment
While a
lot of products claim to be eco- friendly and green, you have to read the label
carefully. Ingredients such as formaldehyde can be hidden under a variety of
names to trick you into thinking you’re using a chemical free product (see below for a list of common baddies). 
 
Consider where the water and waste goes after you’ve cleaned. Many chemicals leach into and pollute soil and water and some don’t break down, entering the food chain. How healthy is a fresh- caught fish if it feeds and lives in polluted waters?
 
Also think about the containers your products come in: Are they re- usable? Recyclable? In aerosol cans? If you want to try buying natural cleaning options, the container can be a clue to how eco- friendly the product is; an aerosol can- even if labeled ‘green’- likely doesn’t contain an eco- friendly option. If you decide to try making your own, you can re- use bottles and containers, just simply rinse and re- fill. 
 
What to avoid in cleaning products
 
Here’s a few chemicals to look out for in common cleaning products*:
– chlorinated phenols- found in toilet bowl cleaners
– diethylene glycol- found in window cleaners
– phenols- found in disinfectants 
– nonylphenol ethoxylate- found in laundry detergents & all- purpose cleaners
– formaldehyde- found in deodorizers 
– petroleum solvents- found in floor cleaners
– perchloroethylene- found in spot rmovers
– butyl cellosolve- found in all- purpose, window, & other cleaners  
 
* Info from Gaiam Life
 
Make your own
 
Want to try making your own? Check out these ideas:
 
 
All Purpose Cleaner
2 tsp
baking soda
1/2 tsp
dish soap (try castille soap rather than a regular dish soap)
4 tbsp
white vinegar
400mL
warm water
Add all
ingredients into a spray bottle & stir/ shake well
 
Glass Cleaner
¼ cup rubbing alcohol
½ cup white vinegar
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups warm water
Add all
ingredients into a spray bottle & stir/ shake well
 
Dusting Spray
2 tsp
olive oil
1 tsp
lemon juice
¼ cup
white vinegar
1 cup
warm water
Add all
ingredients into a spray bottle & stir/ shake well
 
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
¼ cup
baking soda
¼ cup
borax
1 cup
white vinegar
1 cup
warm water
Put all
ingredients directly into toilet bowl & mix with toilet brush. Let sit for
30 minutes before scrubbing
 
Granite Cleaner
½ cup
rubbing alcohol
8 drops
castile soap (again, instead of regular dish soap)
2 cups
warm water
Add all
ingredients into a spray bottle & stir/ shake well
 
Tile Cleaner
½
grapefruit
¼ cup
salt
Put salt
on grapefruit half and scrub directly on tile
 
Grout Cleaner
½ baking
soda
¼ cup
white vinegar
Mix in a
small container (don’t cover/ put lid on) & use toothbrush to apply paste
to grout. Let sit for 5 minutes then rinse off

 

 
Recipes from He and She Eat Clean.
 

See what I mean about the baking soda and vinegar? And you probably have all of the ingredients already; if not, what you have to buy will go a long way. I hope you give some or all of these a try- I made up my own all purpose cleaner and love it! 

 

As an added bonus, for anyone who’s been thinking about trying chemical- free cleaning, Garcie has offered up a Basic Package from Norwex- a value of $38 for TPB readers! This includes an Enviro Cleaning Cloth and a Window Cleaning Cloth- just add water! To enter, go to our Contests page!

 
 

About today’s content contributor

 

Garcie Wong is married to her supportive husband who cheers her on, with two teenaged
children. She has worked as an operating room nurse and has been a lawyer for 23 years and
is currently an Executive Sales Leader with Norwex. With the company for almost 6 years, Garcie loves
the flexibility being self- employed allows, while making a difference in
people’s lives.
 
 

A big thanks to Garcie for her contribution to this post. You can learn more about her and Norwex on her website and Facebook page.

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25167855@N07/5292576567/

 

[1]
Consumer Federation of America, 1997

March posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique
 
 

 

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