Having a clean, well-organized home is a continual goal for most of us. A clean home gives us a feeling of safety and security and helps us feel less overwhelmed when life gets hectic. But what if the very items that are meant to make you feel safe are contributing to health issues including hormonal imbalance and lung disease? Let’s face it, switching to safer cleaning products isn’t always easy.
Why Switch to Safer Cleaning Products?
Many of the cleaning products we use daily have dozens of miscellaneous chemicals and compounds, like Volatile Organic Compounds that can be detrimental to our health over time. For example, compounds such as phthalates and glycol ethers can mimic estrogen in the body and contribute to hormonal imbalance. As someone dealing with uterine fibroids, which are thought to be caused by estrogen dominance, this is a huge concern.
Over the last year, I’ve gotten more and more serious about finding safer cleaning products that can help me minimize my exposure to environmental toxins. Chemical-free living may not be completely possible, but I’d like to do my best in reducing the number of toxins I come in contact with on a regular basis.
Not only is making the switch better for your health, but most of these products are also better for the environment. By purchasing products with safer ingredients, you are reducing the number of chemicals that end up in landfills and sometimes even in the local water supply. Many conscious home brands create products with the environment in mind. They may use items that come in glass bottles or refillable containers to help reduce waste.
I truly believe that how we treat our bodies is a direct reflection of how we care about the environment and vice versa. That’s why this has become a top priority for me.
My goal is to have all of my home products switched to safer cleaning products that are chemical-free by the end of the year. As I run out of an item, I research safer replacements and pin items to Pinterest as I come across them.
Here’s what I want to switch out for safer cleaning products:
Over time I’ve also stopped using certain products altogether. These items are unnecessary, and I know now that they’re some of the worst to use.
Check out my Pinterest board with some DIY cleaning product ideas in case you want to go that route. Many products are super easy to make yourself.
The process of learning about safer products and switching out your old ones can be overwhelming at first. Here are some things to remember about making the switch to safer products:
Don’t freak out. Sometimes the initial shock of learning what’s really in your household products can overwhelm you. Remember that it’s ok if you need to take your time switching out your products. You don’t have to do this all at once.
Do your research. Many products have a “green” or “natural” label but can still contain harmful chemicals. The Environmental Working Group website is a good place to check your products for their safety. Another great resource is The Clean Living Podcast’s show notes. Most of the products in the episodes are there as links.
You might have to spend more money. Unfortunately, some of the better products do cost more and these products don’t have coupons available as often as the conventional products. Keep in mind that you’re investing in your health and body. You also have the option of making some products yourself.
- Focus on the future. Forget about what you may have used in the past when you weren’t aware. Focus on making sustainable changes going forward.
As I’ve been experimenting, here are some of the items that I’m currently using or plan to switch to. All of them have a safer rating from the EWG database, except Charlie’s Soap. It’s not in the EWG database, but I think it’s safer than the other laundry detergents. I also use distilled white vinegar for several things including a produce soak. You can create your own all-purpose cleaner with it by soaking some citrus peels and vinegar in a glass jar.