This post is sponsored by Green Works. You don’t have to compromise to be clean when you use hard working, plant-based cleaners powered by The Clorox Company.
Dear Readers, I’ve been trying to clean up all the toxic products in my household. It’s a huge job, actually, to make the transition. For so long I kind of resisted it. I didn’t want to spend the extra money to buy something new and more expensive when I had products to still use up. And, I also was skeptical that a small amount of toxins could really do that much damage to my body. BUT…I’ve had enough experiences in the last couple of years that motivated me to make the switch. Actually, cutting out dairy sent me over the edge. I realized what a huge effect even the smallest amount of dairy was having on my skin and my health. I started to think twice about all the chemicals I was in touch with on a constant basis each day. (Not to mention the chemicals I personally was sending into the earth’s water supply.) I’ve also had 3 loved ones nearly my age who have been diagnosed with cancer this year. I’m now to the point where if studies say a toxin is causing cancer, I really don’t want anything to do with it.
SO – for anyone else who is interested in making the switch and doing a product purge with your cleaning supplies, here are a few tips I put together for you…
1. GET UNDER THE SINK and in your cupboards and pull out ALL the products! You can’t imagine how good this feels to really get back there and do a clean out!! Also, it commits you to step #2 which is the hardest…
2. READ LABELS. This part is awful to me as these terms are so foreign and hard to remember. (I actually keep a list of these toxins in my phone contacts so I can easily find them.) But, despite these awful names, you can do this! Carry forward! Dig around on those labels and find these things. As soon as you find one, you’re done with it…(and to tell you the truth, these will likely show up in just about every one of your cleaners. Somehow it’s quite satisfying to hunt these down.)
- Chlorinated phenols found in toilet bowl cleaners are toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems.
- Chlorine, a lung and skin irritant, lethal if ingested, releases mercury.
- Diethylene glycol found in window cleaners, depresses the nervous system.
- Phenols found in disinfectants are toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems.
- Nonylphenol ethoxylate, a common surfactant (detergent) found in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners, is banned in Europe and biodegrades into even more toxic compounds.
- Alkylphenol Ethoxylates, helps cleaners penetrate grime, hormone disruptor, damages fish in US streams.
- Formaldehyde found in spray and wick deodorizers, is a respiratory irritant and suspected carcinogen.
- Petroleum solvents in floor cleaners damages mucous membranes.
- Perchloroethylene, a spot remover, causes liver and kidney damage.
- Butyl cellosolve, common in all-purpose, window and other types of cleaners, damages bone marrow, the nervous system, kidneys and the liver.
- Ammonia, cuts grease. Derived from petroleum and known to cause asthma.
- Monoethanolamine, helps cleaners penetrate grime, derived from petroleum, irritates respiratory system.
- Glycol Ethers, dissolves soil, causes nerve damage and infertility, air contaminant.
- Phthalates, synthetic fragrances, hormone disruptors, damages fish in US streams.
- Triclosan, disinfectant in antibacterial cleaners, forms possible carcinogen, builds up in soil and fish.
3. GIVE AWAY OR DONATE OLD PRODUCTS. Instead of throwing out these toxic household products, bag them up and give the products away or donate them to a facility that still uses these products. I know that sounds awful to do, but I figure if people are still going to be buying toxic products anyway, you might as well save some plastic and allow them to save some money. Though I would let them know why you are getting rid of the toxic products and see if they’re still interested. Maybe you could convince them to make the switch, too. 🙂 You could also check with your local Department of Public Works to find out how to safely dispose of these hazardous products in your area.
4. DUST & WIPE out your cupboards for a nice, fresh start.
5. REPLACE your new products with either very inexpensive homemade products (I’m venturing into this, you guys!) or with store-bought products that get rated well with the EWG website (I don’t buy anything without checking the rating on this website first!)
This process really does feel GOOD. And…it sends a clear message to big companies to start making safe products. We, as consumers, really do have a lot of power to inspire change!
Since writing this post, I’ve been able to try out some of the Green Works products. Due to all our travel lately, our little home was getting taken over by laundry and I’ve been doing load after load! I was happy to use the Green Works Chlorine Free Bleach and the Oxi Stain Remover, which are less toxic than the standard products I had been using. Also, you can learn more about Green Works on this little video.
Have a great day!
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