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10 Simple Ways to Detox Your Home

When discussing wellness goals with clients, I tend to put the main focus on diet and lifestyle support. This is crucial, but as part of my holistic approach, I also discuss their living, working, and playing environments. It is important to take a look at the home environment as an opportunity to make a few changes that will ultimately decrease our toxic burden and increase our capacity to reach and maintain optimal wellness. 

 

There are many simple changes that can be made in the home to decrease our exposure to potential toxins.

 

Here are 10 of the easiest changes that can be made in a weekend:

 

{I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post, at no additional cost to you.}

 

10 Simple Ways to Detox Your Home

 

1. Dishwasher detergent, dish soap

Besides being toxic to the environment¹, most regular dishwasher and dish soaps leave residual chemicals behind on our dishware. These chemicals have been shown to cause endocrine system disruption, reproductive effects, skin irritation, respiratory effects, nervous system effects, cancer promotion, and digestive system effects.² Instead, there many natural dish soaps commercially available that work just as well without increasing our toxin load. Environmental Working Group has a great database for searching out products and comparing their toxicity level. Or try making you own with one of these awesome recipes:

 

Non-toxic Dishwasher Detergent from Detox and Prosper

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tablets from Happy Mothering

DIY Dish Soap from The Hippy Homemaker

 

 

2. Air freshener sprays

Air freshener sprays are very popular in our hyperosmiatic society. Unfortunately the chemicals in most sprays are not great for wellness. Air sprays include ingredients that are known hormone disruptors, cancer promoters, respiratory effects, skin irritants, nervous system issues, and digestive system damage. While a single exposure isn't enough to necessarily cause damage, continued exposure over a longer time period can add up and cause serious health effects.³ Avoiding these products doesn't have to mean you have to go without a fresh smelling home. The best way to clean the are is simply opening your windows. When this isn't an option, there are a few commercial products that are acceptable⁴, but even better is to make your own spray! There are a ton of great recipes out there, but I recommend these ones:

 

Homemade Natural Febreze from Brown Thumb Mama

Fresh Clean Air Freshener from Retro Housewife Goes Green

DIY Poo-pourri Spray from The Hippy Homemaker

 

 

3. Plug-ins/candles

For similar reasons to the last list, plug-ins and candles have similar issues when it comes to containing potentially toxic ingredients. It is an easy fix to swap out the plug-in-type fragrances for essential oil diffusers, salt lamps, homemade non-toxic candles, or even simmer a pot of water on the stove that has various blends of herbs, fruits, and spices. My favorite blend is a cinnamon stick, nutmeg, a few whole cloves, and a slice of orange. Check out these other awesome recipes:

 

Homemade Soy Candles from Happy Mothering

Natural Wax Melts for Wax Warmers by Happy Mothering

DIY Wax Tarts by The Hippy Homemakers

 

 

4. Laundry soap

Laundry soap is one area we often forget about when it comes to reducing out toxin burden, but considering we wear clothing every day, all day, on the majority of our skin surfaces, this should be at the top of our list. Most conventional laundry soaps contain ingredients known to be skin irritants, cause respiratory issues, digestive system issues, and cancer promoters. And don't be fooled by the "free and clear" versions either, many of those are just as bad.⁵ Instead, use EWG's database to search for less toxic brands, or try using soap nuts, or making your own laundry soap for additional economic benefit.

 

Homemade Laundry Detergent from Imperfectly Happy

Homemade Laundry Detergent from Piwakawaka Valley

DIY Laundry Detergent from Farming My Backyard

 

 

5. Lysol-type cleaning spray/wipes

The conventional surface cleaning sprays that many of us are fond of for their ease of use are also a potential source of toxins. Many of these sprays contain reproductive and endocrine disruptors, skin irritants, respiratory irritants, and can cause severe skin burns.⁶ Instead use a product containing either colloidal silver or thyme oil, both of which have been shown to be effective in eliminating harmful bacteria and viruses.⁷ ⁸ Microfiber towels are also a great option and many come infused with silver, or try making your own cleaner with one of these awesome recipes:

 

Heavy Duty Cleaner from Natural Living Family

Homemade Kitchen Cleaners from The Cape Coop

Natural Disinfectant Spray from Retro Housewife Goes Green

All Purpose Cleaner from Simple Pure Beauty
DIY Lemon Cleaner from Healthy Christian Home

 

 

6. Electronics

An unseen potential source of a different type of toxin comes from our electronic devices. All electronics emit electromagnetic frequencies which have the potential to disrupt sleep cycles, promote cancer formation and growth, and endocrine system dysfunction.⁹ While it's not possible to entirely avoid EMF waves, you can minimize their effects on your body by placing things like alarm clocks and cell phones as far away from your bed as possible. 

 

 

7. Car air fresheners

Car air fresheners have the same dangers as other air fresheners in that they have been linked to respiratory issues. Instead, check out these great little plug-in essential oil diffusers that work just as well, and may even help you relax during your daily commute!

 

 

8. Dusting sprays

While Pledge furniture polish doesn't rate a complete fail on the EWG database, there are still better alternatives, such as microfiber dusting cloths, dusting with a hepa-filter vacuum, or making your own spray.

 

Simple Homemade Wood Polish from Happy Mothering

 

 

9. Mold

Mold is a topic that could be expanded upon in many posts, but for the purposes of this article, I will limit it to say that mold has been shown to cause a whole host of serious health issues. Often times mold in our homes is not obviously visible. It can grow anywhere that is kept somewhat humid and can live for a long time on surfaces, even after the humidity is removed. It is best to hire a professional abatement specialist if you suspect mold growth in your home. 

 

Easy Homemade Mold/Mildew Cleaner from Happy Mothering

 

 

10. House plants

And last but not least, an easy way to lower your home toxin load is to add house plants. Plants clean the air, while adding oxygen. There are many house plants that are low maintenance or great for those new to plant care. I suggest chatting with a local nursery to figure out what plants would work best in your location.

 

  

Further Reading:

DIY Seasonal Linen Spray from Natural Minded Mom

Lavender Orange Linen Spray from Stone Family Farmstead

DIY Toilet Fizzie Bombs from Simple Pure Beauty

DIY Natural Softscrub Recipe from The Hippy Homemaker

DIY Window Cleaner from The Hippy Homemaker

DIY Essential Oil Reed Diffuser from Happy Mothering

Homemade Cleaning Products from The Cape Coop

Dishwasher Detergent and Hand Soap from Hybrid Rasta Mama

DIY Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Tabs from Creative Green Living

Dishwasher Detergent for Hard or Soft Water from The Hippy Homemaker
DIY Non-toxic Room Spray from The Hippy Homemaker

DIY Aromatherapy Spray from Everblossom

DIY Heavenly Scent Spray from Natural Living Family

DIY Poo-pourri Spray from Simple Pure Beauty

Non-Toxic Homemade Febreze from Natasha LH

DIY Room Freshener Spray from The Herbal Spoon

 

 

 

Resources:

1. https://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/dishwashing-detergent-environmental-impact.html

2. https://livelovefruit.com/dish-soap-brands-contain-cancer-causing-chemicals/

Environmental Working Group

3. https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/797-AIRWICKAerosolsAirFreshenerCoolLinenWhiteLilac

4. https://www.ewg.org/guides/subcategories/1-AirFreshener?page=1

5. https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/399-UltraPurexHypoallergenicDetergentFreeClear

6. https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/2639-LYSOLDisinfectantSprayCrispLinen
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=colloidal+silver+antibacterial

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=thyme+oil+antibacterial

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=emfs+and+sleep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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