Swap It Sunday: All Purpose Cleaner
I have mentioned before that we are bombarded with chemicals in our environment. We want to believe they have undergone extensive testing and deemed safe, but the reality is, they have not been subjected to the rigorous safety testing standards that we would hope. Remember those endocrine disrupting chemicals I mentioned in Fabric Softeners? They are in so many more products that just your laundry soap. These chemicals are making people sick. An epidemiological study was conducted last year to determine the economic burden of the emerging health issues associated with phthalates and phenols etc. It stated: “the economic burden of health impacts of endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates and flame retardants is estimated at more than $300 billion a year in the USA” (1). That is insane! And its big news. You are probably wondering why the media didn’t make a huge deal out of this when the study came out. Think of the implications of making a mass media craze out of this. There are hundreds of major companies that make these products. The consequences of making this extremely public on a national level may be more detrimental than quietly trying to deal with it behind the scenes. Or maybe there is another reason we don’t know about. All we can do in the meantime is do small things overtime to slowly and gradually decrease our exposure. We will never be able to completely eliminate the possibility of coming in tact with these chemicals, but we can at least take out the things we can control.
The good news is: there are laws being passed at the state level to force transparency and require companies to list ALL ingredients. Right now, some ingredients are not required by law to be listed on consumer products. This is scary! We need to be able to make informed choices. Some companies are taking action by banning the use of these ingredients in their products.
Here is what WE can do in our own homes:
One: We are exposed to these chemicals through dust. The chemicals bind with dust particles in the air so one of the biggest things we can do is keep our homes free from dust. Wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth and vacuum/mop frequently.
Two: Switch to homemade or toxin free cleaners. If we are using toxic chemicals to clean our homes, then keeping our homes free of dust doesn’t really matter because you are coming in direct contact with the chemicals anyway through the cleaner.
Here is my homemade all purpose cleaner that I use for EVERYTHING:
I use it to clean and sanitize the bathroom, I use it for furniture, to sanitize the kitchen counters, to clean the floors, I use it to dust, clean mirrors and windows. It pretty much works well for everything. You can even use a little bit on wood surfaces. The Lemon oil in there is very moisturizing and nourishing for wood. In fact, I will be devoting another swap it Sunday to a wood polish substitute that uses lemon oil.
Three: Diffuse air cleansing essential oils into the air and open the windows. We spend most of our time indoors which is where our greatest exposure comes from. Take steps to clean the air and keep fresh air circulating. Diffusing in the winter is a nice alternative since no one really wants to open their windows during that time anyway.
Four: Make informed purchases. Look into the furniture, wall coverings, and floorings before you buy then. You may not know for sure they are excluded but perhaps the companies from which you are looking to purchase will be transparent about their products.
If you want more references to the information I included in this post you can click here and here. It goes into way more detail if you really want to go crazy! I like to keep my posts as short as possible but I also don’t want to deprive you of more information if you want it!