If you're concerned by that thought and want to do something about it, but you feel overwhelmed when you think of all the products you would need to find replacements for, you are not alone.
What if you could break it down so that you eliminated six toxic products this year? Let's try it!
WARNING! When you start reading the labels of your household and personal care products, and you see what the ingredients are and the dangers associated with them, you can't "un-see" it.
Step 1 - Fabric Softener
I know, it smells "clean", but did you know that clean doesn't have a smell? We stopped using fabric softener when we started cloth diapers because fabric softeners work to waterproof your fabrics. As you might imagine, that is not a good thing for something that's meant to absorb liquids. Fabric softeners also coat the lint traps on your dryer and make the air flow less efficient.
From a chemical standpoint, would you knowingly put neurotoxins and carcinogens against your skin 24/7? That's exactly what coating your clothing and bedding in this stuff does for you. It's important to remember that any product you put on your skin is absorbed by your body and eventually goes into your bloodstream.
Alternatives to Fabric Softener
*Form a few pieces of aluminum foil into softball sized balls and toss them in the dryer. They will help reduce static, soften clothing, and help it dry faster as they tumble around and separate clothing in the dryer.
*Add some vinegar to your final rinse to soften clothes. Don't worry, the vinegar smell goes away when the clothes are dry!
*Invest in plastic or wool dryer balls. I have used both and I've found that the wool balls have lasted longer and as an added bonus, you can add a few drops of essential oil to the wool balls to give clothes a nice scent without nasty chemicals. I added Peace and Calming oil when I dried our sheets last night and it was such a soothing scent to fall asleep to!
Step 2 - Drain Cleaner
Don't you love when you're using a product that says, "Do not inhale fumes!" Right. Because it's possible to use the product without inhaling ANY of the fumes. Nobody wants to have to use drain cleaner, but when your sink is clogged, what are you supposed to do?
Alternatives to Drain Cleaner
*If you know the clog is a hair clog, use one of these zipit gadgets. And don't click the link if you're eating because they really do get some nasty stuff out of the drain. Ask me how I know (#longhairproblems).
*At the first sign of a slow drain, dump some baking soda down the drain. Then, quickly pour some vinegar down the drain and close the stopper. That grade school science fair reaction is good for more than just model volcanoes.
Step 3 - Antiperspirants
I know, I'm weirded out by the idea of not using an antiperspirant too. Maybe start this one in a cold month? :) There are tons of recipes on pinterest for making your own deodorants with essential oils and non toxic ingredients. Or you can buy them pre-made. I plan on trying out the Young Living ones and reporting back.
Step 4 - Household Cleaners
Anyone else get a migraine from walking down the
Alternatives to Harsh Household Cleansers
*Good old fashioned vinegar and water.
*Thieves cleaner. I love this because it smells great and it's a bonus if I get some on my skin because it's made with essential oils.
*Norwex products. I don't sell Norwex, but I love that all I have to do is get their cloths wet and the silver inside of them sanitizes things.
Step 5 - Triclosan
Triclosan is a pesticide that is a known hormone disruptor in animals. It's also a carcinogen when combined with water. You may find Triclosan listed as an ingredient in your antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, and even toothpaste! It has been banned in other countries and most recently in Minnesota (go Minnesota!). I suspect it will be phased out in the near future, but until then, read your labels and avoid products that contain this chemical.
If you find it in a product and want a suggestion for an alternative, let me know.
Step 6 - Pesticide
Nobody would put their food on their plate with a side of poison, but we might as well if we are eating conventionally grown foods. Organic foods can be pricy, so if going all organic is not in your budget, focus on starting to buy The Dirty Dozen from the organic section of your grocery store.
Washing your produce is NOT enough to remove pesticides from your food.
"The USDA washes and peels the produce items that it tests and they still find pesticide residues on 65 percent of the samples," Alex Formuzis, vice president of EWG, told CBS News.
If you have a backyard garden and are having a pest problem, try these natural recipes to keep insects at bay without sacrificing your health.
Are you eliminating any other toxins from your life this year? If so, I'd love to hear about it!
The Not Just Homemaking Party