I vividly remember cleaning our tub one day. I was home alone and I was cleaning it with bleach because (at that time) bleach was the highest cleaning power that could remove any and all nasty germs anywhere at anytime. But as I was cleaning, I remember it being hard to breathe. We didn’t have a window in our bathroom, so I made sure to turn the vent on and open the doors, but it was still suffocating. I also decided to use Lysol with this cleaning adventure, which made the smells even WORSE. I kept putting my shirt over my mouth and nose and after a few minutes, I had to physically leave the bathroom because I felt super nauseous and light-headed. I texted Mike, who lovingly told me, “you’re crazy, go get some fresh air” and then decided to read the back of the Lysol label which said something along the lines of “Do NOT combine with bleach – may cause poisoning. Call poison control if any symptoms appear.” SO naturally (being the dramatic person that I am), I called Poison Control and their advice was:
“Get some fresh air and don’t go back into the bathroom for a while to avoid any further damage.”
It was at this point I realized how truly messed up this situation was.
I was using toxic products that gave me PHYSICAL symptoms, made it hard to breathe, irritated my eyes, and I had to cover my mouth and nose.. just so my bathtub could be clean? And then I’m getting in that shower a few hours later and cleaning my body while breathing in and absorbing all that toxic stuff I just cleaned it with? And then we’re SOAKING our tiny little baby’s bodies in these tubs for long periods of time.
HOW IN THE WORLD IS THIS OK?
I couldn’t even list every bad toxic ingredient in cleaning products because I’d be here for weeks, but have you ever read the back of a label of any cleaning product? IT’S FRIGHTENING. “If swallowed, contact poison control. May cause irreversible eye damage. If skin contact, rinse off skin with water for 20 minutes. If person is able to drink water. If the person is unconscious, then..” WAIT WHAT?!!!!!!
I knew there HAD to be a better, safer, effective way of cleaning my house because I was NOT going to have that experience every time I wanted to clean my house.
Cleaning products contain SO many toxic ingredients that are linked to certain cancers, endocrine and reproductive issues, and skin irritation and allergies to name a few. You can read about common toxins and their effects in my first post here.
But I’ll be honest – it wasn’t an overnight decision. Looking back, I kept using those products, but wore a t-shirt over my mouth and nose (as if that was really preventing them from getting to me). It wasn’t until I finally started this toxin-free journey 10 months ago that I actually READ about the harms of cleaning products and decided to make the switch to natural cleaning products.
People, I get it. You want your house to be sparkly clean. I do too! If you have been in my house, you know it is not dirty in the least. I love cleaning. I love when my house smells fresh and clean.
But here’s the great part… you can have a CLEAN house and use NATURAL products that are just as effective as the toxic ones. I promise you. If they didn’t work, do you really think I’d be using them in my house and just say “oh well, they’re natural products but man, they don’t clean my house at all but I’ll just suck it up and have a dirty germ-filled house.”
CHECK YOUR PRODUCTS. Even if they have green leaves on them and say “natural” and “pure” and have little babies smiling on them, you need to READ the labels. I highly suggest scanning them via the Think Dirty app or EWG’s Database. I used soooooooo many products (Method, Mrs. Meyers, you name it) that I thought were “clean” and “natural” and actually still weren’t that great. There’s a reason marketing is such a huge business, guys (check out the products below on the Think Dirty app – they’re rated 0-10 with 0 being the safest and 10 being the most toxic. We aim to use things below a 3.)
Phew. I’m out of breath and all fired up now.
So…. am I going to just leave you with all that info and say “good luck and have fun finding toxin-free cleaning products, bye!” Ummm… no. I am going to show you every single thing I use to clean the rooms in my house in a series of posts starting with my kitchen next week! I make 99% of the products I use in my house so I actually know what’s going in them. I will talk about the cleaning products I use in my kitchen, bathrooms, and main living areas and show you how effective, easy, and affordable it is! I can’t wait to share all my easy tricks for cleaning your house in a natural way!
Look out for my post in Part 1 all about my kitchen coming soon!
P.S. If you haven’t watched the documentary The Human Experiment, you need to! It’s all about the damage toxic products can have on our health.