Recently I spoke in front of a hall full of pregnant women. What a joy to see all those round bellies, and even more of a pleasure — given that this was a meeting of the Holistic Moms Network — to know how well-intentioned this group is towards their families’ health and the environment.
I gave them all sorts of tips to detox their homes, hoping to ease their minds about how easy it is to accomplish the task. I also gave them my mainstay list for non-toxic cleaning, the five kitchen cupboard ingredients I believe will clean everything in the home, and I’d like to share it with you as well:
A few days after friend’s daughter started doing some office work for me, I became bothered by the smell of dryer sheets from her clothes. I had to ask her to stop using them — at least on the clothes she wore when she came to my house. She said she was glad to comply, but didn’t know you could dry clothes without using dryer sheets. My jaw hung open, and I marveled at the power of advertising.
Using toxic chemicals is so last century. If you’re still doing your spring cleaning the same way you always have, this is the year to change it up — and save money in the process. Make these five updates and clean the house top to bottom without taking a toll on your health or your wallet.
If your life is anything like mine, spring cleaning does not get completed in one fell swoop. Mine’s dragged out for weeks. But this weekend, my hissing air purifier reminded me of a few places germs love to hide out while we’re all distracted with cleaning out our closets, scrubbing our grout and weeding our gardens.
Especially when there are flu and virus outbreaks in your community, added protection against germs is often warranted. Try these homemade essential oil mists — an easy way to add antiviral and antibacterial yet natural scent to your home. They are proven allies in the fight against germs, and they don’t pose the health dangers of many store-bought disinfectants.
If you could wave a magic wand over the world and turn a toxic product into a pure, eco-friendly version, what would you transform first? For me, my number one choice would be pesticides. Hands down. My reason does have a lot to do with the fact that I was severely poisoned by organophosphate pesticides in 1980 and was in the hospital for three months.
Bleach is one of those household items that has been around for so long no one can remember when we didn’t use it. So it’s often assumed to be non-toxic and even natural. While bleach isn’t the worst toxin you could have in your home, it is an EPA-registered pesticide that is bad news for the environment and human health — and there’s really no reason you need it around.
I keep seeing articles on this apparently national seasonal phenomenon, and they always have bright, fresh photos and great encouragement to dive in and clean your whole house at once. What fun! Pardon my whining, But it’s SPRING! And the sun’s out! And if I’m not working, I definitely want to be out there in the spring sunshine!
Do you hang dry-cleaned clothes in your bedroom closet? If so, guess what you are breathing all night long: a probable carcinogen. Dry cleaning chemical fumes depress your central nervous system as they waft around the room. If this isn’t exactly your idea of a healthy sanctuary, try wet-washing as one alternative to conventional dry cleaning. Here’s how.
Given how many requests I receive for eco-friendly stain removal advice, I thought I would share with you my top three stain-removing formulas. They replace solvents, bleach and store-bought stain removers.
1. Washing Soda
Great for stains that you’d normally think need something as strong as a solvent to remove. A chemical relative of baking soda, washing soda (sodium carbonate) is also known as soda ash. Find it in the laundry section of the supermarket.