So, what can we do to reduce our exposure to these toxic chemicals? It's important to start by understanding from where our exposure comes. You may not like to know that your bathroom and kitchen can be the most toxic rooms in your house. Commercial cleaners like Comet and Scrubbing Bubbles are loaded with chemicals that, over time, can build up in your system and wreak havoc on the cells of your body. Chemicals from cleaners get into our bodies when we breathe them in and wear the clothes that are covered in them. They also get into our rivers and groundwater when washed down the drain. There's no telling the damage this does to the environment. These products are easily replaced by more natural and commercially available cleaners like Mrs. Meyer's products or Seventh Generation.
You can take it a step further and make your own cleaning products at home. I just made my own laundry detergent and am not only improving the health of my family and the environment, I'm also saving money. Here's the recipe I used:
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 4.5 oz grated bar of Ivory soap
Grate the soap as you would carrots. Mix in the Borax and the Washing Soda. Mix until well combined. The shreds of soap will fall apart and mix well with the powders especially if you use your hands to mix.
Use 2-3 Tbsp of this mixture in your washing machine depending on the size and dirtiness of your load of laundry.
Each load is only $.05 compared to $.21 per load if using Tide with bleach.
To soften the laundry you can skip those smelly and toxic fabric softener sheets. I use vinegar in a fabric softener ball that's designed to open during the rinse cycle. To ensure the laundry has been fully fluffed you can use dryer balls. You can get hand made wool ones at Etsy.com or commercially available ones at larger grocery stores.
You never need to buy another commercial cleaner again by keeping these simple ingredients handy:
You can find dozens of websites touting their recipes. I like the comprehensive list that Diylife has posted.
Have fun making your own cleaners and feel good knowing that you're making a healthier home for you and your family as well as leaving the planet a lot cleaner.