Clean up Your Cleaning Routine
Let’s talk cleaning. First, I hate cleaning. Anyone with me on this?
On the other hand, I do love a clean home that smells fresh and uplifting.
My sense of smell is pretty sensitive these days, especially since I cleaned up the products I use. It’s interesting how the more ‘clean’ products you use, the more unappealing some smells become.
I felt awful about this but I had to ask my commuting buddy to ditch his toxic car air freshener because I was feeling nauseous from the scent. And, the smell of dryer sheets and perfumes make me want to walk the other direction!
Can you relate?
There is a reason for this. Most of the home cleaning products out there are loaded with chemicals. And those chemicals are not tested for long term impact! The chemical of choice are called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). As consumers, we trustingly use these products to wipe down our counters, floors, and bathrooms but when you read the label closely, some ask you to wipe and then rinse with water. Who has time to do that?
To top things off, chemicals are unnecessary for proper cleaning. There are so many more natural ways…listen to gramma!
When Dave and I had kids, everything changed. We became mindful about every product we used around the kids, what we put in them, and what we put on them. We have seen enough cases of chemical sensitivity and auto-immune disease come through the clinic to know that every little tweak you can make matters.
So you’ll see what our cleaning products look like now over to the right.
So why focus on cleaning up your cleaning products?
- Some of the most dangerous toxins out there reside in our cleaning products.
- It’s such an easy change!
A few years ago, researchers at the University of Washington tested a variety of popular household cleaning products, including air fresheners, all-purpose cleaners, soaps, laundry detergents, dish soap, dryer sheets and fabric softeners, as well as personal care products like shampoos, deodorants and lotions.
In summary, this is what they found:
- A whopping 133 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the products – even in those labelled ‘green’, ‘natural’ or ‘organic’.
- On average, 17 VOCs were found in each product, with anywhere from 1-8 of those 17 chemicals being toxic or hazardous.
VOCs – What are they and why should we care?
Volatile organic compounds are gases emitted from solids or liquids. They’re found in many household products, from paints and varnishes to cleaning products and disinfectants.
- Eye, nose and throat irritation
- Headaches, loss of coordination and nausea
- Damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system
- Some VOCs can cause cancer in animals, some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans
As mentioned earlier, it is important to understand that most damage from chemicals happen over time. If you want to see more studies…have a look at some interesting ones here.
- This study showed that housecleaning increased respiratory symptoms in women with asthma.
- People who clean their homes with bleach were found to have more lower respiratory symptoms. MOM!!!
- This study, where participants self-reported cleaning product use, discovered a link between using cleaning products and breast cancer.
- Many cleaning products contain ‘fragrance’, which is an umbrella term for a cocktail of chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions, respiratory issues like asthma, headaches and hormonal disruptions.
We didn’t need to hear much more to make a decision for change. It really is simple to clean up this routine. Just make one small step at a time. Each step will add to your overall health and vitality.
This is how it looked for us:
First, many toxic bottles went out my door and were replaced with vinegar. Dave would always comment on the fact that our home smelled like a salad. hmm.
Then, out when the dryer sheets – in went the shower head that removed chlorine and other harmful chemicals. Then, in came the Santevia Filter for our water.
Out went our radiation loaded home phone. (Yes this is a toxin…a whole other blog!) In came a lower radiation phone.
Then, in came essential oils to up the ante on our health and improve the clean scent of our home. Problem solved: from salad to a citrus aroma!
We are not perfect because every now and again I’ll find a spray bottle of VIM hidden in the cupboard as we revert back to old habits…but overall, I feel really proud about the healthful changes we have made as a family.
I hope you are excited to join us in this journey to improved health!
If you liked this blog…you may like the following:
Click here for another helpful resource on Removing Toxins from your Summer Products.
Or, to order essential oils which will be an ingredient in many of these products, click here.
Or, email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a class in your home called Clean up your Cleaning! (free stuff and fun with friends and fam)
Linda Ljucovic, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, BA, Balance Point Health Centre, Oakville