Sunday, December 18, 2016

Non-Toxic Home Cleaner; Because Kids Will Lick (and touch and breathe in) That Recently Cleaned Surface

Little kids not only are capable of licking all surfaces in the house, but they are  always going to lay one, touch and breathe in the ingredients in your home cleaners - so, what is in yours?

The boys and I are taking a moment this Sunday to organize and breathes clean out their playroom to make room  for some new additions which are sure to arrive in a week ( hopefully they are on Santa's nice list 😜) and choose toys that we can pass on to other children in need before the holiday.  

How important are the products we use to clean the playroom and the rest of the house?  Well, consider that your family will touch, breathe & absorb the ingredients in your cleaning products for days after you cleaned. Continual exposure to hundreds of cleaners, even some of those labelled as "green" or "natural," can and do have serious health effects, especially on children.  Not to mention my kids who actually like to "help" clean the house and regularly spray the windows and tables with out cleaning spray.

This is why, at home, our multi-surface cleaner is a 50/50 mix of 

  Heinz White Vinegar Distilled -- 1 Gallon Total (128 Ounces (Two 64 Ounce Jugs))  and water ( and today I added a couple of drops of Eucalyptus oil for the smell).  It cleans, disinfects and the boys can touch, smell, even lick the cleaned surfaces ( which one has been known to do) and I don't have to worry about them being exposed to any bad chemicals.

Many of my clients have a hard time switching the products they have used to clean their homes for years.  Through the years they have come to believe that if something is clean it must smell must smell like pine or lemon or lavender.  However, clean should not smell like anything (although, you can use organic essential oils like I did today if you would like specific smell without the added toxic fragrance chemicals) because these artificial fragrances that many have come to associate with "clean' are really toxic chemicals that can do a whole lot of damage to you and your family's health. 

Just to give you an idea of how bad some ingredients in cleaning products can be, I looked up Amazon's best selling multi surface cleaners in the US on the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning database:

  • Clorox green works wipes ( contains endocrine disrupting fragrance chemicals  ) 

  • Method All-Purpose Surface Cleaner, French Lavender  (which, although it labels itself as a safe and non-toxic cleaner has ingredients that are Corrosive; May contain ingredients with potential for Government enforceable restrictions; respiratory effects; nervous system effects)

  • Fabuloso multi purpose Cleaner Spray ( contains  various ingredients known to cause cancer) 

  • Lysol disinfectant spray (has chemicals which cause endocrine, respiratory and developmental problems) .

  • Trader Joe's Next to Godliness Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Cedarwood & Sage (not on Amazon but I was surprised at how bad it rated - it contains chemicals with high developmental, endocrine and reproductive effects and some links to cancer)

  • Formula 409 Antibacterial All Purpose Cleaner, Spray

Need another reason to switch to something safe at home? Consider: 

- Children born to women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant have an elevated risk of birth defects, 

- Only 7% of cleaning products fully list their ingredients - what are they hiding?

After reading how dangerous the chemicals used in conventional cleaners could be - one of our readers asked if I could provide her with a detailed list of what products we buy at home or make for cleaning each room in the house....  So here it is - a non-toxic guide to cleaning  

only products and DIY recipes that I have personally tried and liked at home made it to the list! 

*please note:   If you are buying a store bought cleaning product from our list make sure you buy the specific one (name and fragrance) I list since sometimes the ingredients used to make one fragrance are different than others and thus can raise the toxicity concerns.

* When DIY you can use any spray bottle.  If you want to get fancy choose a pretty glass one like this: 
Vivaplex, 2, Large, 8 oz, Empty, Cobalt Blue Glass Spray Bottles with Black Trigger Sprayers

Bathroom Cleaners 

Make Your Own

  • - 1/2 c baking soda with 1/4 c white vinegar: mix into a paste and scrub  in bathtub, showers and counter tops
  • - organic apple cider vinegar: pour in toilet and leave in for 30-60 minutes, then scrub a bit and flush 
  • - Castille Soap or 365 Whole Foods Liquid Dish soap (or other safe liquid dish soap) - for soap scum on tubs

Drain Opener/ Clog Removal

Make your own
Baking soda, vinegar , boiling water: Pour a pot of boiling hot water down your drain. Follow with 1/2 c. baking soda. Let that sit for a few minutes.Then, pour a mixture of 1 c. vinegar and 1. c very hot water on top of the baking soda. let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Flush one more time with a pot of boiling water. 


  • - White, distilled vinegar and water (counter top, disinfectant etc) 
  • Bon Ami Powder Cleanser 14oz (sink) 
  • Make Your Own: 
  • - granite stone cleaners:  sprays made specifically for granite countertops are some of the worse offenders in terms of toxic ingredients.  Vinegar and lemon DIY cleaners can wear down the stone and are thus not a good alternative.  You can use an alcohol based cleaner for tough grease or messes and plain soap and water for everyday use.   The Wellness Mama recommends this one ( I have not used this before) 
  • 6 cups of Water
    1/3 cup + 1 tsp of Alcohol denatured or regular
    1 Tbs of Castille Soap – I use almond
    20 Drops of Essential Oil – I use citrus or almond 

Floor Cleaners 
Make Your Own
(all floors- including marble) ¼ cup liquid Castile soap and 2 gallons warm water. 

Windows & Glass 
mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray! 

Do you have a product you love at home?  Are you wondering if it is exposing your family to chemicals?   Go to the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning and input the products name and find out exactly what chemicals are inside and how bad they are for your health. Such a great tool.


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