Cleaning Up Your Act Around the House
Updated: Jun 6, 2019
10 swaps to replace your name brand cleaning products for more natural options
Research shows that using name brand household cleaning products once a week can have the same effects on your lungs as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! That’s quite alarming!
I came across this article written by Dr. Mercola last year and it had a profound effect on how I clean my home. If you do not know who Dr. Mercola is, he has the number one alternative health website. According to the article, the VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) or chemicals and fragrances found in household cleaners like Pledge, Windex, Pinesol, Lysol, Clorox, and Tide can lead to decreased lung function. When you use these compounds they breakdown into tiny particles that can be absorbed by the skin or breathed into your lungs. This may cause irritation to the lungs, eyes and skin. It may not be noticeable with each use, but as the study shows:
"We feared that such chemicals, by steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day, year after year, might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age.
The take-home message of this study is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs. These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfiber cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes."
If you suffer from a lung condition or know someone who does, making a simple shift in your cleaning habits could help decrease the symptoms and might even be the cause of the issue. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to clean up your act.
Most of us want our houses to smell clean and we want the confidence that the germs are being killed, so we tend to grab a product that satisfies both and won’t break the bank! Well, if we think back, most people just simply used white vinegar to clean with. I know vinegar does not smell the best so here are 10 simple swaps for your favorite household cleaners.
1. Laundry Detergent
So you want to get out the dirt, the stinky sweat and the stains out of your clothes - especially the baseball uniforms and hot yoga pants!! OnGuard laundry detergent is a super concentrated formula that contains an entire 10mL bottle of OnGuard protective blend. You only need to use 1 T per load so this small bottle (that’s not heavy) can give you 64 loads of clean clothes!
OnGuard has been scientifically proven to kill 99% of germs so it's great to use if someone has been sick. It also contains enzymes to break down dirt and get stains out. You can also make a stain stick with the OnGuard laundry detergent concentrate by adding a little water and putting in a roller bottle.
2. Fabric Softener
Simply add Vinegar to the softener dispenser in your washing machine for soft towels and linens. It will also clean your machine at the same time.
3. Dryer Balls
I have fallen in love with wool dryer balls. They are a great alternative to dryer sheets and they help dry your clothes faster which saves on electricity. Put a couple drops of lavender or Balance on the balls and have your clothes smelling amazing!
4. Linen Spray
There's nothing better than fresh sheets straight from dryer. Since the essential oils are volatile the scent will disappear over time. To keep them smelling great you can make a linen spray with Serenity calming blend and Vetiver mixed with water and keep in a glass spritzer bottle next to your bed. I spray my bed every night and I am fast asleep before my head hits the pillow.
5. Room Sprays
Using a diffuser or mixing up a few room sprays with your favorite essential oils is a healthy switch from candles and plug-ins. There are a ton of room spray or diffuser recipes. I like to look on Pinterest for inspiration. Diffusing essential oils is the quickest way to change the mood of a room and can actually improve air quality, not just mask the smell. Just be warned that not all essential oils are made equally and if you are diffusing oils then that is the same as ingesting them, as this is the whole reason for this post. Breathing in toxic chemicals and smells can have serious effect on your lungs, so make sure to purchase certified pure therapeutic grade oils not just scented oils that smell nice.
Combine 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup water, and 10 drops Lemon essential oil in spray bottle.
7. All-Purpose Cleaner
OnGuard Cleaner Concentrate is an easy option. Just add the desired amount to water and place in a glass spray bottle to clean most surfaces.
8. Furniture Polish and Duster
For wood furniture, add 15 drops of Arborvitae to 1 cup of olive oil, and 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to a glass spray bottle. The best part about this cleaner is that it both dusts and polishes—no need for expensive cleaners.
9. Toilet Bowl
To make your toilets sparkle, put ½ cup of baking soda, 10 drops of Melaleuca, and ¼ cup of white vinegar directly into the bowl. Scrub as the vinegar and baking soda react.
10. Tub and Tile
Combine 1 cup white vinegar, 4 teaspoons castile soap, and 10 drops each of Melaleuca and Eucalyptus in a glass spray bottle. Shake well, and spray generously on tub and tile. Allow to sit for 5–10 minutes and wipe clean.
Since I've made the switch to more natural household products I feel safe that my house is clean and that I am doing good for the environment and my health. These simple cost effective switches not only work but smell amazing as well. If you are interested in switching to more natural products and need help getting started, please reach out to us at Integrity Wellness.