I have a picture of my people at the top of this post because that is my motivation for a healthier household today and every day.
Are you ready? Let’s get started! The three tools you need are: A garbage bag (because we are going to get rid of our past mistakes), a box (because there will be some keepers-maybe just until we replace) and the 15 Toxic Trespassers Sheet from Women’s Voices for The Earth (to reference along the way).
The 15 T T Sheet is a list of some of the most concerning and prevalent chemicals found in household products. We are going to use this sheet to analyze the labels on the products we use daily.
Let’s get under that kitchen sink: Plop yourself down and take a look at some labels. I keep dishwashing liquid, dishwashing detergent, extra spray cleaner and a soft scrub cleaner under there. Three of these items I already make myself.
But oh my! Anything that looks this…unnatural, can’t be good. You are probably thinking, You make many of your household cleaners and you saw fit to buy those? Remember, we are not judging. But, I would have to agree with you. That is why I need this Detox Reboot and I need you to help me!
So, no ingredients listed on package. But my internet search resulted in a Proctor & Gamble safety data sheet for these Cascade Fresh Scent Actionpacs that listed this among several other ingredient warnings.
“IF INHALED: Remove to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. Call a physician or poison control center immediately.“
You have probably also read about children mistakenly eating these because of their enticing shape and color.
These have to go!
It is important to note here that Proctor & Gamble is one of the first companies to (by 2019) pledge to list all ingredients including fragrance components on it’s cleaning products.
Here’s the thing friends: we could spend months sifting through information (a lot of it contradictory) trying to determine what is “safe” and what isn’t. I’ve decided that I want “less chemical/more natural” in my house. So moving forward my mantra will be:
If I can make it or purchase a natural alternative, I will.
Do you have those 4 same items under your sink? Do you want to replace any of them? No worries, I’ve got you covered, and it couldn’t be easier. Can I tell you a little story first? If not, just skip ahead. No hard feelings.
My daughter decided to compare the effectiveness of spray cleaners for her science fair project 5 years ago. She taped off two sections on the counter and we proceeded to touch, place raw foods (including meat) and basically contaminate them. She first tested the bacteria levels. Needless to say they were high. She then cleaned one section with a store-bought cleaner with bleach and the other with our vinegar and water solution. I had used the VW solution for a while when she did this, so I was definitely sweating the results.
Drumroll please: After cleaning, the store-bought cleaner side still contained a startling amount of bacteria. The vinegar and water side contained almost no traces of bacteria.
This was a middle school science fair project, not The CSI lab, but still! That is one product I have since used consistently throughout my house including on all kitchen and bathroom surfaces. And here is more good news. These products are cheaper to make then their store-bought counterparts.
So, if nothing else, consider replacing your all-purpose cleaner with a simple solution of 1 part water to one part white distilled vinegar.
I notice they make “cleaning vinegar”. I’ve never used it. I just use the inexpensive household kind. If you don’t like the smell, add the essential oil of your choice, but the vinegar smell dissipates quickly.
I’ve read that you shouldn’t use vinegar on granite countertops, but I’ve been doing it for years now and notice no difference in the look and feel of the granite. If you’re concerned about this, you may want to use a Castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) solution. The basic ratio is 2 cups water to 1/8 cup liquid soap.
Friends, I am pumped (pun intended!) These are the recipes I have used for years with the exception of the dishwasher tablets. That’s a new one but so far so good! I’ll keep all my how-to videos on the Laterblessed Youtube channel for reference.
Here is another alternative to store-bought dishwashing detergent.
My friend and canning buddy, Debbie Lou, shared this great article with an infographic of several homemade cleaning recipes. Thanks DL!
If you are interested in making a change but don’t want to make your products, you still have good options.
One semi-do-it-yourself product is the Branch Basics cleaning kit. I purchased it years ago and was happy with the results. They had to make some changes to their product and took it off the market for a period of time. They just relaunched with a new formulation. They offer different kits but basically it is the base soap that you use to make a cleaning solution and hand soap. The bottles and dispensers in the kit show you exactly how to measure.
Norwex products are excellent but I use their cloths, not necessarily their cleaners. The cloth is kind of the point with Norwex.
I love Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap for a myriad of uses, including body wash. We’ll talk more about that in the body care and beauty post.
We are well on our way to a whole house detox and I’m feeling better already. I hope you are too! In the next post we will consider our plastic usage in the kitchen, discuss safer alternatives and then venture into the laundry room. As we continue, consider keeping the products you are sticking with in the box. That way, when we are done, you can see exactly what you still have (all in one place) and what could still be changed out.
If you have a natural kitchen cleaning product that you like or a recipe that you’ve tried, please share! Or, just let me know how you are feeling about these first steps. I’d love to hear from you.