Detox Your Life, Part 3: HOME
By Elisa Domenick on January 26, 2014
So now that you’ve been detoxing your body inside and out with Part 1 and Part 2 it’s time to detox your home. You might be surprised at how many toxic chemicals you use on a regular basis in your living space. Toxic chemicals that are linked with a variety of health problems are found in many common household cleaning supplies and materials, from glass cleaner to paint. Trade in all those products that are harsh on your senses, for greener, more natural cleaners, and follow these other tips for a safe and healthy home.
1. Ditch the Chemical Air Fresheners Commercial air fresheners contain chemicals that have been linked to developmental and sex-hormone abnormalities as well as cancer. Throw open the windows and use natural fresheners such as baking soda and essential oils instead. Or heat up lemon or orange peels, cinnamon, cloves, lavender, vanilla extract and/or herbs in a pot of water on the stove to fill the air with fragrance with this stove top potpourri.
Place fresh cut flowers around the house, along with plants that are natural air purifiers. This list of plants helps to remove the three main household toxins; benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
· Aloe Vera · Areca Palm · Baby Rubber Plant · Bamboo Palm or Reed Palm · Boston Fern
· English Ivy · Ficus Alii · Gerber Daisy
2. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
Chemicals linked to eye irritation, headaches, respiratory problems, birth defects, infertility and cancer are found in many cleaning supplies. You might be surprised by how easy it is to swap out your chemical laden cleaners for products you already have around your house, that are equally as effective, and much safer for you and the environment. Alternatively, you can buy green products such as Method brand.
· To Wipe Down Counters, Sinks, and Tubs
Mix vinegar with a little water and natural liquid soap (castile works great) in a spray bottle. For more scrubbing power, mix vinegar and baking soda together to get rid of tougher stains and build up.
· Oven Glass Cleaner
Put ¼ cup of baking soda in a dish and add just enough water to make a slightly runny paste. Spread all over glass and wait 15-20 minutes, then wipe off with a sponge or scour pad.
. Stainless Steel
. Glass Cleaner
In a spray bottle, mix together 1 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar.
. Swiffer WetJet Solution (floor cleaner)
50% water, 50% vinegar, and 2-3 drops of natural dish soap.
. Dishwasher Detergent
1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda (or baking soda will work, as well), 1/2 cup citric acid, and 1/2 cup of kosher salt as a scrubbing agent. Use vinegar as your rinsing agent.
. Wood Furniture Polish
Mix 2 parts oil (preferably linseed oil or olive oil) with one part lemon juice. Apply and polish with a soft cloth. Buff with beeswax and a microfiber cloth for added shine.
. Drain Unclogger
Mix together 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of salt and 1/4 cup of cream of tartar. Measure about a quarter cup of the mixed powder and pour into your clogged drain. Pour two cups of boiling water into the drain, and let stand for about an hour, then run fresh water from the tap.
. Stain Remover
In a spray bottle, add 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 1 part baking soda, and 2 parts water.
. Fabric Starch
In a spray bottle, mix together 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch.
. Laundry Detergent
1 bar of Fels-Naptha
1 cup of Borax 1 cup of washing soda (not the same as baking soda) 5 gallon bucket Using a cheese grater, grate the bar of Fels-Naptha soap. Dump the soap into a large pot and add the Borax and washing soda. Pour in enough water to cover everything and melt it in, about a gallon or less, and heat the mixture. Stir until everything is dissolved. Pour the mixture into the bucket, and fill the rest up with water. Put a lid on the bucket and let it sit for 24 hours. Use 1 cup per load.
. Cooking Spray
Read this article to find out why conventional cooking spray is bad for you. Then make your own:
1 part olive oil (or your choice of oil)
4-5 parts water
1 misting spray bottle
1. Place oil and water into spray bottle. 2. Shake well before use. Store in a cool, dark place
. Plant Insecticide
. Ant Killer
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons boric acid
- 3 cups warm water
- Mix the sugar and Boric Acic well.
- Add the warm water slowly, mixing all the while so it won’t be too lumpy.
- Store in a jar.
- When ready to use, put cotton into the top of a jar lid to fill it, and then saturate the cotton to the top.
- Place where you want it; make several if you need it.
- Will keep for a long while.
- NOTE: I usually drip a drop or two over the edge of the lid to rest on the counter so they will find it sooner.
- It sometimes takes a little while for them to find it, but find it they will.
- When they do, let them alone; you will want to kill them because they look so creepy; but don’t because they will hang over the edge of the lid and drink, drink, drink, and then take it back to the nest.
- Almost over night, they will be gone.
. Bug Spray
You’ll need: spray bottle, rubbing alcohol, liquid detergent, water.
Fill the spray bottle with 85% water, add a dash soft soap, fill the remaining 15% with rubbing alcohol. Mix and then spray.
3. Filter Your Water
Add a water filter to your tap water. Even a Brita will help remove some of the impurities in your water. Get a Shower Filter for the bathrooms as well.
4. Cook Safer
Toss the non-stick pans. Teflon, Silverstone and other coatings emit harmful perflourochemicals (PFCs). The EPA classifies them as carcinogens. Here is a list of 11 other items to toss in your kitchen.
5. Toss the Microwave
Stop microwaving your food. Microwaving changes the protein structure of food making it potentially harmful to your body. Microwaves also emit radiation that can be damaging to people standing near them.
6. Switch Out Your Sponges
Switch from sponges to natural cloths for cleaning. Most sponges have been treated with a chemical called triclosan, which is toxic to the skin and immune system.
7. Paint Your House Green
If you plan on doing any painting around the home, be sure to choose low-VOC paint. Low-VOC paints are water-based, and because they aren’t made with toxins, they don’t smell. VOC stands for volatile organic compound, and they release toxins into the air for as long as six years after the initial application. These toxins contribute to respiratory illnesses, headaches, nausea and cancer.
8. Turn Down the Heat
Turn the heat down on your stove. When your cooking oil starts to smoke, it has become toxic to your body. Choose only cold-pressed oils for cooking since most oils have been heated to high temperatures during processing and are already toxic to the body.
9. Manage Mold
Eliminate mold. A few drops of tea tree oil can be used on a cloth to wipe down walls, floors and other surfaces to help kill mold.
10. Carbon Monoxide
Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home if you heat your home with gas, oil, or other type of fuel. Carbon monoxide is odorless but can cause health problems like headaches, fatigue and even death.
11. Never, Ever Use…
Mothballs. Mothballs contain paradichlorobenzene which is seriously toxic. Instead choose sachets made with natural herbs and essential oils like rosemary, lavender, thyme and mint, which are natural moth repellants.
12. Dispose Properly
Toss out the toxins at home and in the garage. Of course, dispose of them properly based on your community’s guidelines.
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