I’ve been passionate about natural cleaning and the decluttering of chemicals and synthetic toxins for a long time. 12 years ago parents in my baby classes were shocked to find out that most so called “baby oils” were full of cheap petrochemicals. They thought they were choosing the best thing for their families. Actually they were unwittingly putting products on their babies’ sensitive skin that others were using to remove tar from their shoes!
I’m still shocked that, more than a decade on, many people don’t realise what’s in the every day products they’re using.
We’re so trusting that manufacturers wouldn’t put anything harmful in our toiletries, wellness products or cleaning items. However, it’s just not the case. (As I write this I’ve just seen that some of Claire’s make up products for children have been found to contain Asbestos!) Mostly cheap, easily sourced ingredients are used to create low cost products and to add colour, fragrant or suds.
I feel that being an educator is part of my role as a Holistic Declutter Coach. Therefore, helping people declutter their belongings isn’t enough. It’s also about helping them understand what some of the other harmful items lurking in their homes could be. As with everything I do, it’s always the clients’ choice what they decide to get rid of and what level of “stuff” is acceptable for them to live with. But for me it’s important that’s an educated choice.
Cleaning is obviously something that goes hand in hand with decluttering, especially as we head towards spring cleaning season. (Well, according to the calendar anyway. I think someone might need to let the weather know!) I would encourage you to consider decluttering your under sink/cleaning cupboards to help reduce your toxic load and make your home a safer and healthier place.
Some of the things to look at out for are:
Synthetic fragrance is in so many things like air fresheners, drier sheets, laundry powder, washing up liquid and cleaning products. It’s is often made up of phthalates which have been linked to asthma, obesity, ADD, breast cancer, type II diabetes, behavioural issues, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, disorders on the autistic spectrum, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues.
The actual ingredients in fragrance/perfume don’t have to be listed on the products. Because the proprietary blends are classed as trade secrets we can be completely unaware of what’s in them. If the packaging says it includes natural fragrances they may only be part of the blend so don’t assume that it’s all natural.
Last year the FDA banned a whole load of antibacterial products in the US because a) they weren’t convinced the products were actually effective or had any proven lasting effects and b) they were concerned about the long-term health implications of using these products. They’ve said that soap is all you need.
These preservatives are antifungal/antimicrobial but they are also hormone disruptors shown to cause skin irritations, reproductive issues and be immuno and neuro toxic.
Some parabens are banned or restricted in the UK but not all are and could be found in the liquid handsoap on your sink.
Anything Marked As Harmful
A lot of cleaning products are way stronger than required for homes that are cleaned fairly regularly. If there’s a big cross on the label that says “harmful” you don’t really need to know any more than that about what’s in it!
What Can You Do?
Ok so these chemicals are everywhere. I know you want easy solutions so here are some quick and easy recipes you can whip up with products you probably already have in your kitchen. I’ve partnered with dōTERRA who create products with essential oils so there are some ready-made solutions too. I recommend their products to my clients and use them myself.
dōTERRA’s On Guard range
MULTI-PURPOSE CLEANER: Mix 2 tbsp of concentrate per 24 oz. of water.
BATHROOMS: Mix 3 tbsp of concentrate per 24 oz. of water.
DISHES: Mix 3 tbsp of concentrate per gallon of water.
TOUGH JOBS: Apply concentrate directly on designated area and let soak.
Avoid direct use of concentrate on hardwood floors and natural stone.
This powerful essential oil blend is combined with plant-based derivatives that provide a non-toxic and biodegradable way to clean and eliminate odours.
dōTERRA On Guard® Laundry Detergent 6x concentrate is free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, and toxins,
¼ cup white vinegar
1 ¾ cups water
30 drops doTERRA essential oils
Recommended essential oil combinations:
15 drops each of Lavender and Lemon
10 drops each of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Wild Orange
30 drops doTERRA On Guard®
15 drops each of Grapefruit and doTERRA On Guard
Add all ingredients to 16-ounce spray bottle.
Fridge and Microwave Cleaner
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups hot water
15 drops Lemon oil
Combine the ingredients in glass spray bottle.
Spray mixture inside fridge or microwave, then scrub and wipe using damp cloth.
Stove Top Cleaner
¼ cup baking soda
¼ cup table salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
4–5 drops of Purify Cleansing Blend
Stir all ingredients together until they form a paste and spread it over the stove top and burners.
Leave it on for 15 minutes or longer for hard-to-remove stains.
Using a sponge, scrub the mixture into the grime.
Remove excess cleaner and wipe surface clean.
16-ounce spray bottle
1 ½ cup white vinegar
½ cup distilled water
8 drops citrus oil of choice
Add vinegar, water, and essential oil(s) to spray bottle and shake.
Note that not all essential oils are created equal. doTERRA oils are Certified Pure Theraputic Grade and are do not contain any type of fillers. If you’d like information about where to get these oils and products please drop me a line or visit my doTERRA website. I can offer you a 25% discount of retail prices so get in touch if you’d like to do that.