Whenever I try a new all natural recipe, I get a little giggle out of thinking that my mom and grandma and great grandma are probably up in heaven laughing at me because my generation (me) thought we were so much better because we had "real" products. You want me to brush my teeth with baking soda? HA! Peasants. But, we live and learn and sometimes we learn that those we laughed at were a heck of a lot wiser than we are.
So, as I work with clients (and in my own home, to be honest) on eliminating toxins, I often ask myself, "What would great grandma Callie do?" While many practices from "back in the day" could be called into questions, the reality is that many of the products used by past generations are healthier and way less toxic than what we use today.
Are toxins really that big of a deal?
YES! Yes they are. Stop what you are doing right now. I want you to look around your house and think about the products you've used to clean your floors, windows, electronics, furniture, dishes, toilets, walls and greasy surfaces. Now I want you to think about the products you've used on your own body such as body wash, lotion, makeup, shaving gel, cologne/perfume, deodorant and toothpaste/mouthwash. If I asked you how many of the ingredients you recognized on those product labels, I bet you could count them on one hand.
Who cares? Right? People have been using these products for decades.
Many of the chemicals used in cleaners today have dangerous side effects and include:
Carcinogens — chemicals proven to cause cancer
Endocrine disruptors — chemicals that mimic human hormones
Neurotoxins — chemicals that affect brain function
Allergens — ingredients that trigger allergic reactions
First off, I recognize that sometimes, using cleaners with toxins is unavoidable so if you must, wear gloves, wear a mask and wear protective eyewear.
But for most of us, avoiding toxic cleaners is possible for the majority of the time. I'm gonna share a few ways to get your home sparkling without all the yuck.
General Household Cleaner-Straight up cleaning vinegar. You can buy it at any big box, hardware or grocery store. It's stronger than regular distilled vinegar and does a great job de-greasing and cleaning surfaces.
Disinfectant-Keep it super simple. Buy a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide, switch out the cap for a pump, spray surfaces, leave for 10 minutes and wipe down.
Window cleaner-two cups distilled water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 10 drops essential oil (I like lemon, but use your fave). Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and gently shake together. Use as you would any other window cleaner. Here's another: combine in a spray bottle 1 cup of vodka, 1 cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
Degreaser-equal parts vodka (use the cheap stuff) and distilled water.
Disinfectant for mattresses-Pour a few shots of vodka in a spray bottle and spray the tops and sides of your mattress. Let dry.
Multi-purpose cleaner: Mix 1 1/4 cups of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of vodka. Then add 15-20 drops of lemon essential oil. Great cleaner and disinfectant.
Floor cleaner: Combine one cup of ACV to a gallon of warm water. Mop floor as normal
Mild abrasive: Baking soda or coffee grounds
Toilet bowl cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl and scrub with the brush. Hard water or stains? Let it sit for 1/2 hour-1 hour. Need more power? Try using about 1/2 cup of borax, scrub and flush.
Laundry detergent: 5-ounce bar of pure Castile soap, 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup coarse salt. Grate the bar soap, use a food processor if you have it. The finer you can get these ingredients, the better. Add the rest of the ingredients. Store in an air tight container. Use 2 T for a standard washing machine and 1 T for a HE machine.
Dryer sheet alternatives: Wool dryer balls or dampen a washcloth with apple cider vinegar and pop it in the dryer.
Copper and silver polish: Ketchup!
If you find yourself using something with ingredients you can't pronounce, take a second and do a web search. You are bound to find some good alternatives.
In health and healing,
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Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist or physician and don't pretend to be. I will never diagnose you or ask to you stop taking a medication, that's between you and your physician. The best part about working together is that YOU are in charge of your health and YOU make your own health decisions. These results are not indicative of every client's experience, of course. Results will vary as every human has their own biological make-up. So I will never make false promises. My promise to you is to be honest, ethical, supportive, informative and I will be there, present as you travel your own health journey. The information provided in this post is based on my own personal experience and research. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, heal, treat or cure disease and should not be a replacement for medical advice. Always consult your doctor before trying a new diet, lifestyle or supplement protocol.