Ever wonder why so many cleaning products tell you to wear rubber gloves, or use only in well-ventilated areas, or why they make your eyes burn? Chemicals! Lots and lots of toxic chemicals!
You have to question if using these products in your home is really safe for your health and what they do to the environment. We believe that if a product is on the store shelf then it must be safe. But now we know that they aren’t.
If you had any idea what all those harsh chemicals really were about, you’d get rid of them immediately! Sadly, the list is very long with hundreds of chemicals. Here are some good resources for more information Healthy Child Healthy World website and Natural Resources Defence Council, which recommends the six key ingredients to avoid and why.
On the brighter side, even some of the big commercial companies are starting to produce a few products that are friendlier for the environment and your health. But there are some real experts who’ve been doing this for a while, like Seventh Generation and Nature Clean (since the 1960’s!). I use their laundry, dishwashing and cleaning products and think they work better than some of my old name-brand favourites.
If you happen to live in an area with stores that don’t provide eco-friendly choices, you can ask your retailer to start stocking them. Or you can order products online. My favourites are Green Cricket and Grass Roots Store online. Grass Roots has a couple of retail locations in Toronto where I’ve found the staff really knowledgeable.
Homemade cleaners are getting lots of attention now too. I had fun experimenting with this recipe for a bathroom cleaner as it reminded me a bit like a grade 2 science experiment. (Hint: This would be fun to do with the kids and have them clean the bathroom for you!) But seriously, it really cleaned well, rinsed away easily, and there were no nasty chemical smells – I was sold!
Here’s the recipe:
1-½ to 2 cups (400 ml) baking soda
½ cup (125 ml) liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner Castile liquid soap).
½ cup (125 ml) tap water
2 Tbsp (30 ml) white vinegar (add last!!)
STEP #1 – Mix the first 3 ingredients together.
STEP #2 – Then mix in the vinegar.
The vinegar activates and turns foamy! Then simply clean liberally.
Give it a try. Let me know what you think and if you have a favourite homemade cleaner.
Melody Byblow, RHN (Registered Holistic Nutritionist)
Better Health & Nutrition Coach
If you have questions about nutrition and your health, please contact me at: