Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Youponing: Cleaning products

That better not be chemicals in that bottle, missy! 
If people knew how easy it was to make your own cleaners and how dangerous the chemicals are in the grody chemical ones, then not one cleaner would be for sale at your local chain store. Not one. That stuff goes down the drain. Then we drink it. Um, gross. 

Did you know that since WWII, at least 75,000 new synthetic chemical compounds have been developed and released into the environment? Did you know that there is a wealth of evidential proof linking cancer to environmental contamination? Breast cancer rates are 30 times higher in the US than in Africa. 80% of all cancers are attributed to environmental influences. In short … drumroll … we are giving ourselves cancer. 

No bueno, folks!

You may not know it, but many of these cancer causing chemicals are used just to clean your house. Did you ever wonder why you have a bit of a sore throat if you use bleach to clean your bathroom? Or your eyes and skin burn when using such cleaners? Cleaning chemicals suspend in the air for hours and even days, and are easily inhaled. Just like a laboratory, when different chemicals come together when cleaning they can create entirely new toxic substances. This is why the air in our homes is 5 times more toxic than the air outside. Bet you never thought that was possible! It doesn't disappear when it goes down the drain either. It's forever in our water supply. There is no such thing as throwing anything "away".

The companies that make your cleaning products aren't required to list their ingredients because they are considered trade secrets. So, I'll list them for you, but I'll only list a small fraction of them. Alkyl phenoxy polyethoxy ethanols-laundry detergent (stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells), ammonia (causes bronchial damage, chemical burns & corneal damage), Benzene-class cleaners/all purpose cleaners & disinfectants (carcinogen made from petroleum and coal), Butyl Cellosolve-all purpose cleaners & cleansers (irritates mucous membranes and causes liver and kidney damage), Chlorine-bleach/diswasher detergent/scouring powders (causes reproductive, endocrine and immune system disorders. In all bleach action cleaners.), Dioxane-window cleaners (hazardous air pollutant and supresses the immune system)...the list goes on and on.

There are plenty of eco-friendly cleaners out there. If you're local to NEO, Green Clean makes a killer product and is now available at Heinen's. If not, Seventh Generation makes some great all-purpose cleaners. Use a micro-fiber for dusting, and you will not need any dusting spray. Use newspaper and water as a glass cleaner. It's a great way to recycle your newspaper, and it's an excellent no-streak cleaner! Steer clear of products that claim to be green (ahem … I'm talking to you, you big toxic bleach company!) but still contain some unnatural ingredients and are owned by one of the largest producers of chemical laden cleaning products, only to jump on the "green bandwagon" for the sake of the mighty dollar.

If you're looking to save some green yourself, make your own products! We make our own, and they work just as good (if not better) than any of the $4/bottle chemical products out there. We make them for pennies! Buy a couple of spray bottles, and here are some recipes:

We use these three recipes for EVERYTHING!

CLEANSER (replaces comet or bon-ami): Baking soda.....that's it....just baking soda. We use it on our tub and it works great! Add a smidge of vinegar for foaming action. To make a cream cleanser, add a dab of liquid dish soap. I use baking soda with my vinegar spray (to disinfect) and a few drops of Dr. Bronner's to make it a creamy, grime fighting germ killer!

SPRAY CLEANER-ALL PURPOSE: Equal parts white vinegar & water and a few drops your choice of essential oil. We like lavender and/or peppermint oils and sometimes even mix them.

1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.

Mix together in a 4 Cup (or larger) Wide Mouth Jar with Lid then pour into spray bottle.
* 2 Cups of Baking Soda
* 1/8 Cup Liquid Castile Soap
* 25 drops lavender essential oil
* 15 drops tea tree essential oil
* 1 1/4 Cups Water

Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.
Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as  much as you need at a time.

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid dish soap
2 cups hot tap water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

We have the earth in our hands. We have our children and grandchildren's future in our hands. 

The best thing we can do for ourselves is to be informed. Ignorance is not bliss. It leads to disease, toxic living environments and the rapid death of our rainforests and precious planet.

• Environmental facts are taken from & available to read in "The Complete Organic Pregnancy" by Deirdre Dolan & Alexandra Zissu, HarperCollinsPublishers, C 2006
• Cleaners are either my own recipes or recipes found on the internet or a combination of both 

Live free of chemical burdens, y'all!