It’s spring, and for many of us that means. . . CLEANING! I know we are (hopefully!) cleaning throughout the year, but with the sunnier, longer days spring typically brings a level of deeper clean to our routine. In our house we just had our carpet and furniture steam cleaned, I’m busy ridding our closets and dressers of unworn (and outgrown!) clothes, and the garden is finally getting some deserved attention.
We all know the saying “you are what you eat’, but you are also what you breathe and touch! What if you are breathing, and touching cleaning chemicals that can have a negative impact on your body and health? Now is a great time to take a look at what you are using in your home and green-up!
Start by looking at what products you clean with. Read the packaging on products and look for key words like “biodegradable”, “phosphate-free” and “Chlorine-free”. Avoid bleach, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, and products that are scented by “fragrance”. All of these ingredients are toxic and/or disruptors of the endocrine system, meaning that they affect hormones. Unsure if what you currently are using is safe? Check out the Environmental Working Group at www.ewg.org, where you can find a number of guides to help you evaluate your products. Their guide to healthy cleaning all has a search function, where you can plug in your favorite product or individual ingredient to determine it’s safety.
What should you clean with instead? You can certainly buy some non-toxic cleaning products at your local health foods store. There are several companies that have full lines of products, many of which are non-toxic. (Pro tip: Please look at each product individually, as not ALL products by the same company are the lowest toxicity!!) But you don’t need to invest in a bunch of fancy new products. Start by looking in your pantry for ingredients you can use to make your own eco-friendly cleaning products. Baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, and lemon juice can all be used to create a variety of home-cleaning products. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and voila! It will even smell great too! Now not only have you cleaned your home, you’ve helped keep your body clean too — win-win!
Dr. Levy’s glass and window cleaner recipe , or
“Who needs Windex?”:
2 Tbsp alcohol
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 cups water
5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
mix together in spray bottle. use with microfiber cloth for easiest cleaning!