How to Make Non-Toxic Cleaning Work for You
Raise your hand if…
- You want to make the switch to safe cleaning products, but it’s hard to tell what’s what when you’re standing in the cleaning aisle at the grocery store, and you need to be home in fifteen minutes to start dinner on time.
- You have non-toxic dish soap, but your bathroom cleaners all have laundry lists of ingredients on their labels, and you’re 99% sure that’s not a good thing.
- You tried brewing some DIY cleaners in the past, but keeping up your at-home chemistry routine was way too time-consuming to maintain long-term.
Anyone else staring at their phone screen/laptop/tablet with their other hand in the air?
We understand better than anyone that committing to non-toxic cleaning is hard.
It takes research, a mini Marie Kondo’ing of your cleaning cabinet, and some elbow grease to get into a solid, non-toxic cleaning routine.
That’s why we put together this Beginner’s Guide to Non-Toxic Cleaning.
We want you to have all the tools and knowledge you need to detoxify your cleaning with as little effort as possible.
- How Can You Tell if Your Home is Toxic?
- The Toxic Truth About Household Cleaners
- 7 Tips for Keeping Bugs Out of Your House Without Chemicals
- How to Detoxify the Dirtiest Room in Your Home
- It's Time to Finally Say Goodbye to Bleach
1) How Can You Tell if Your Home is Toxic?
Figuring out if your home is toxic can be tricky.
When you google “Is my home toxic?” a whole spectrum of results show up. From super science-heavy studies that are impossible to decipher without a PhD, to opinion pieces written by people whose knowledgeability on the subject matter is iffy at best.
Let’s just say “home toxicity” is one heck of a confusing internet rabbit hole.
So step away from your search bar, because all you really need to know to tell if your home is toxic is the definition of home toxicity.
Home-based toxins are any human-made, natural, or synthetic chemical that causes an adverse physical reaction to your home or yourself.
For example, dust can be described as a toxin, because it leads to sneezing and itchy eyes, but it’s not the end of the world if you spend an extra day or two between dusting sessions.
Plastic, on the other hand, is a more dangerous chemical. The chemicals in plastic can alter endocrine levels in children and adults and lead to hormone imbalances.
Your ultimate goal when detoxifying your home should be to try to remove the most dangerous toxins from your space.
Taking small steps like disinfecting your counters, sanitizing your bathroom, and installing a water filter are great ways to get started on the journey of toxin-free living.
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2) The Toxic Truth About Household Cleaners
According to the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning, over half of the most popular household cleaners in the U.S. can be linked to increased risks of asthma or respiratory diseases, skin allergies, developmental delays, cancer, or environmental risks.
Basically, most of the things you’re using to “clean” your house are actually making it a whole lot dirtier.
That’s why it’s so important to read the label when you’re buying cleaning supplies.
Not sure what you should be looking for and trying to eliminate?
Consult this list to figure out if any sneaky toxins are lurking in your products.
Your home will be happier and closer to toxin-free because of it.
3) 7 Tips for Keeping Bugs Out of Your House Without Chemicals
We really don’t want to, but we’re going to have to talk about one of our least favorite things.
You know what we’re going to talk about, don’t you?
They show up in your hotel bed during family vacations.
They creep through crevices and in through open windows.
They crawl across the cutting board and make you want to throw out every single thing in your kitchen because for all you know they could’ve crawled all over everything else (bye bye, expensive KitchenAid mixer).
They are never a welcome sight indoors (and rarely are outside).
Bugs are here to ruin your day, every day.
There’s just something about little creepy crawlies that makes the hairs on the backs of our necks stand up (we did not enjoy watching A Bug’s Life, in case you were wondering).
Safely getting bugs out of your house, though, can be difficult. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that most over-the-counter bug killers are rife with toxic chemicals.
Here are 7 tips for keeping bugs out of your house WITHOUT using toxic chemicals.
4) How to Detoxify the Dirtiest Room in Your Home
What you don’t know about your kitchen sponge can actually hurt you.
Most of us let our sponges live in our sinks forever (read: a couple months), forgetting about them and not realizing that according to the CDC, your kitchen sponge is even dirtier than your toilet.
The CDC recommends replacing your sponge every two weeks and, ideally, you should be using a plant based sponge.
Standard kitchen sponges are made of polymers (aka plastics) that aren’t always accepted by recycling facilities. Recycling facilities in most states only accept completely dry, clean plastics for recycling, and used sponges don’t meet that criteria.
Plant based sponges, on the other hand, are biodegradable and won’t have a lasting impact on the environment when you exchange them.
But if you know you’re the type of person who is going to forget that two week exchange window every now and again (🙋), there are steps you can take to disinfect and sanitize your sponge to exchange its lifespan.
By tossing your sponge in the washing machine in a nylon bag with detergent on the “high heat” setting or investing in a hanging sponge holder, you can extend its life and delay your next trip to the grocery store.
5) It’s Time to Finally Say Goodbye to Bleach
More likely than not, bleach is a part of your life.
Whether it’s at your stylist’s, in your mom’s bathroom cleaner, or at the car wash, chances are you’ve run into some form of bleach.
And it’s not surprising. Bleach is an extremely useful cleaning tool. It literally kills toxins - what could be better?
Any other cleaner, it turns out.
Although bleach does kill mold and mildew, it also releases toxic chemicals into the air that can cause lung damage, cancer, or a host of other illnesses.
Still not convinced? Here are five more reasons you should say goodbye to bleach.
Non-toxic cleaning is a total gamechanger.
By removing dangerous toxins from your home, you can reduce allergies and inflammation, increase your immunity to infectious diseases, and prolong the lifespan of your floors, furniture, and home goods.
In the words of the Barefoot Contessa: “How great is that?”