What’s in your cleaning closet?

Having a clean house is something that I try to accomplish, or at least most of the time strive for. Over the years I have become more and more sensitive to common household cleaners and chemicals and have noticed as I walked through the cleaning isle of the grocery store my throat becomes scratchy and my nose runs. What I didn’t realize is that I was developing a reaction from being overly exposed to toxic household cleaners and could no longer filter these toxins because my body filters have been on overload.

From cleaning ingredients powerful enough not just to cut through grease and grime, but also human bone and tissue to products labeled “nontoxic” and “green” that are in fact laced with hazardous ingredients, more than a few of the products on the market made Environmental Working Group’s recent “EWG Database Cleaners Hall of Shame” list.

Here are some of the most toxic cleaning products on the market, according to EWG.

All-Purpose Cleaners
Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner—This product is anything but green. It contains 2-butoxyethanol, a solvent that soaks through the skin and damages red blood cells; even more dangerous is that some people miss the fine print and don’t dilute it.

Citra-Solv Cleaner & Degreaser—Orange may seem natural, but these sprays contain d-limonene, which can react with ozone in the air to form tiny harmful lung-penetrating particles and the known carcinogen formaldehyde.

Clorox, Fantastik, Febreze, Formula 409, Mr. Clean, and Spic and Span— EWG says many sprays sold under these brand names contain quaternary ammonium compounds or ethanolamine, compounds that can cause or trigger asthma.

Safer Solution: Create your own potent germ-killing cleaner for pennies by combining nine parts water and one part white vinegar in a spray bottle. For extra-tough jobs, such as those involving raw meat, you can spray hydrogen peroxide (spot-test first) followed by the vinegar solution and kill virtually all germs.

Stain Removers
Whink Rust Stain Remover—A product used to brighten porcelain toilets and sinks, the fine print says, “May be fatal or cause permanent damage.” The product can also penetrate the skin and attack underlying tissues and bone. Is a bright-white commode worth it?

Safer Solution: For natural cleaning, dump half a bottle of white vinegar into the toilet, shut the lid, let sit overnight, and then scrub and flush in the morning.

Floor Cleaners
Spic and Span Multi-Surface and Floor Cleaner—California is more strict when it comes to toxic compounds, and it’s put a ban on nonylphenol ethoxylate, an ingredient in this floor cleaner that is toxic to the environment and disrupts the hormonal system.

Mop & Glo Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner—Contains high concentrations of a substance that the United Nations says is “suspected of damaging the unborn child.”

Safer Solution: Spot-test and use the nine-parts-water, one-part white vinegar solution to kill germs on your floor.

Bathroom Cleaners
Scrubbing Bubbles Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner & Extend-a-Clean Mega Shower Foamer—These lung-inflaming products contain 10 percent DEGBE, a solvent banned in the European Union at concentrations above 3 percent.

DampRid Mildew Stain Remover Plus Blocker— Contains a hazardous solvent and another ingredient banned in European Union cleaners.

Lysol Disinfectant Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Lime & Rust Remover—Sure, this will kill germs in your toilet bowl…but it could also kill you or your pet if it’s swallowed. The acid in the cleaner can also cause irreversible eye damage.

2000 flushes and X-14 Toilet Bowl Cleaners—These chlorine-based products are “fatal if swallowed.”

So if you have any of these items in your cabinet possibly its time to do a little greening in your cleaning products. I have found that a little borax, vinegar and olive oil are some pretty strong cleaning agents and will not kill you in the process.

Check out my recipe for an all natural wood cleaner and polish in the healthy homes section , you will love, love, love how it cleans, feeds and brightens your wood and your mood!

As with all days Eat…..Heal…..Live!

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Make You Own Wood Cleaner

As I walk down the cleaning isle in any store but a health food store the smells and chemicals give me a headache right away and I try not to breathe. Now I’m supposed to buy this stuff to clean my house right? And yet I feel sick standing with the unopened containers of all these “household cleaners” wondering which is the lesser evil. I know there are more environmentally friendly cleaning products and even those have me wondering if maybe I can do something myself. So I decided to launch my workshop series Healthy Homes Heal,  which takes us to a deeper level of evaluating all that is going into our daily health including the products we use to keep our homes clean.

I think one of the best ways to change our lifestyle is one step at a time. If we have too many things to change all at once it is overwhelming and it is hard to know what exactly is helping with making you feel better. Lets start comfortably with one simple new healthy non-toxic product and remove the old more toxic one! Sounds easy enough to me and so that is the goal for the first of this series.

Home Remedies are things I love because its like chemistry class at your kitchen table and you get to choose what to make. When you start to embrace YOUR POWER and realize the things your put in your body (by feeding or simply through absorption or inhalation) have an impact in how you feel, only then can you control your health with simple things like eating organic foods, using less toxic cleaning supplies and avoiding toxicity like hanging out while your friends smoke cigarettes. Image

Ok now onto making your own Wood Dressing and watch your wood become alive!  What you’ll need is an empty clean spray bottle I used a 32oz. one and used every drop throughout the next two days feeding and cleaning any wood in site. I used it on my beautiful antique dressers, my floors, my mahogany doors and jambs and even my untreated outdoor wood furniture! My furniture and floors look different two days later, they are richer in color and feel smooth and satiated I guess could be the word!

Wood Dressing:

1 32 oz. empty spray bottle

2 cups Olive Oil preferably produced in the USA

2 cups white vinegar

80 drops doTerra Wild Orange Oil or Lemon (I cannot attest for the purity of any other essential oil on the marketplace nor would I recommend using on your furniture)

Put all ingredients together in bottle and shake well. Be warned you will want to feed everything in sight! Shake bottle before each spray as the oils and vinegar will separate.

Another note once you apply this to your wood floors let it seep into the grain, wipe off excess if you feel you must . The floor can be slippery for about a half hour until it is absorbed please be careful not to slip while it dries. Use soft clean cloth for your furniture and the same principle applies here if there is excess wipe off with a clean cloth although you will find that most of your wood is starving and will drink in all this pure food!

As with all things in life love what you are doing NOW!

EAT….HEAL…..LIVE!