Home Environment & Cleaning Products
Now we get into the part of this series that most of us would consider "spring cleaning." We turn the house upside down to get to every nook and cranny of dust, dirt, and grime! But we don't accomplish this task with just a broom and a bucket of water. You probably have your favorite cleaning products that you enlist for the heavy-duty lifting of set-in stains, mold, and mildew. But could these very products be making you fat? Let's take a deeper look...
What do they have to do with your health and weight loss?
Cleaning agents contain many harmful chemicals, and most of the ingredients are not on the label so you wouldn’t even know specifically what’s harming you.
Chlorine, bleach, and ammonia are among the most harmful substances you can expose yourself to. When I smell them, I start coughing, my nose and eyes burn, and my chest tightens, so I know my body is reacting to their negative effects to try to protect me. These chemicals are in most of the cleaners we use, including bathroom cleaners, clothing detergent, and dish-washing detergent.
These household cleaners and clothing detergents usually have a fragrance in them, to give them a nice scent for you to enjoy. Remember me introducing you to a xenoestrogen (estrogen hormone imitator) called phthalates in part 1 of this series? It's a hormone-imbalancing chemical that makes the scent of a product linger for longer. Unless the fragrances come from essential oils, they’re likely harming your health, especially interfering with thyroid hormone signaling and reproductive organ health. Most people like their homes to smell good and use either electric diffusers, aerosol sprays, or candles, all of which can be very harmful if containing phthalates.
Almost all of these cleaning products come in plastic containers, which also have hormone-disrupting chemicals:
Another type of xenoestrogren, BPA (Bisphenol-A) is a synthetic molecule used to make hard, polycarbonate plastics and some resins. It’s labeled as Recycling Code #7 if not as BPA.
Phthalates are also used in making soft, flexible plastics and PVC (shower curtains, baby toys, vinyl flooring, car interiors, carpeting, vinyl flooring, and medical devices like IV bags). It’s labeled as Recycling Code #3.
Try to remove as much plastic from your home as possible. Instead of using plastic bottles to keep your household cleaners in, use glass bottles. Drink from and eat from glass instead of plastic and never heat plastic. (Refer to my Healthy Lifestyle Products page for some nice glass products, including BPA-free yoga mats.) Not only is the plastic harmful to your health, it’s harmful to the environment. While we think we can recycle all plastic, it’s not always possible and it gets spread all over this Earth. Once plastic is created, it can never be destroyed, only re-purposed sometimes. There are literally piles of plastic and trash in the Pacific Ocean called islands. There are also studies showing that plastic is now in seafood and fish! The aquatic animals are the most impacted by our overuse of plastic, as everything always gets to the water and impacts them negatively. Then we're the ones impacted next when we eat these fish and seafood. It comes around full circle.
We've talked a lot about xenoestrogens, which contribute to estrogen dominance in the body. While we relate this hormone to only women, because it's produced in the ovaries, it is also produced in the fat cells of both men and women. Furthermore, your fat cells can hold on to these synthetic, estrogen-mimicking chemicals for years, causing a buildup, which can lead to cancer, among other health concerns like diabetes and infertility.
-Women with estrogen dominance can experience these problems: hair loss, headaches, breast tenderness, bloating, difficulty losing weight, depression, fatigue, insomnia, decreased libido, foggy brain, and/or memory loss, infertility. Even paying attention can be a struggle!
-Men with too much estrogen could experience these problems: more fat deposits, including a shift in weight to the breasts and hips, less muscularity, lower sperm count, and prostate cancer.
Problems can start with either gender as soon as puberty, which comes early in children with increased levels of estrogen.
Clean Up the Toxins with PLANTS!
House plants are a great way to purify the air you’re breathing from some of these listed toxins and others. Ten of the best house plants for removing toxins and filtering your air include the following:
1. Garden mum
2. Spider plant
3. Dracaena (Marginata)
4. Dracaena(Janet Craig)
5. Dracaena (Warneckei)
6. Weeping fig
7. Peace lily
8. Boston fern
9. Snake plant
10. Bamboo palm
Not only are they good for cleaning the air, but they're also beautiful, so they can serve a dual purpose in your home.
My favorite cleaning products
Baking soda and vinegar, pure and simple. This method doesn't particularly smell good when you use it, but it cleans mold and mildew so well. Take a look at these outdoor chairs that I cleaned with only baking soda, vinegar, a brush, and water to rinse! They were so dirty I had to go through the process twice, but these 2 natural and low-cost ingredients worked miraculously in removing the mildew from the outdoor patio chairs!
Water (32 oz.) plus 15 drops each of lemon and tea tree oil make a great smelling and great performing general purpose cleaner, for both kitchen and bathroom. Use baking soda or a brush when you need a little abrasion to scrub something. These oils have anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties, so they're great for cleaning!
The Evironmental Working Group has a list of DIY Cleaners available for a small donation. This is one way you can help support this not-for-profit organization that works to keep us informed about our health as it relates to our environment.
The Young Living Essential Oils Thieves line of cleaning products is phenomenal! They have a general household cleaner in concentrated form and dilute according to your use. I love using it for a mirror and window cleaner besides my general household cleaning. They also have laundry detergent, dish washing detergent, and dish soap. The entire line contains safe ingredients and essential oils made from the Thieves blend, including cinnamon, so your house will smell delicious! The Thieves Home Cleaning Kit is a good way to get started trying out this line. Go here to get started or contact me.
You can also find cleaners and detergents at Thrive Market (get 25% off with that link), like this one pictured here. I posted this highly concentrated, pure castile soap on the last blog for skincare, but it can be diluted and used in so many ways, including as a general purpose and floor cleaner. I prefer the rose scent for skincare, including hand soap and scents like peppermint and mint for my household cleaning.
The EWG has a great Healthy Home Guide with a section dedicated to Cleaners and Air Fresheners. Be sure to visit their site to see the list of ingredients they suggest you avoid and use their Healthy Living app to see if the products you're using or considering using are potential hazardous to your health.
Id' love to know if you have any favorite non-toxic products or DIY recipes you'd like to share. Post those in the comments below and stay tuned for part 3 of this series next week.
It's YOUR health and YOUR body. Be grateful you get to choose how to care for it!
Download my 25-page FREE Cleanse Protocol to start detoxing now! -Includes which foods to eat and avoid.
To your health,