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I never realised how important household cleaning ingredients were until I had kids. They explore every surface of the home with their hands and mouths and inevitably whatever we’re using to clean will end up in their little bodies. For years we used neon yellow, bright blue, and fluorescent green cleaners. And then, when I started to learn more, we switched to the ‘better options’ that could be found on the shelf. These were usually labelled as all natural cleaners, green, eco friendly, plant based. And as a consumer who doesn’t know any better, I trusted the labelling.
And then one day I heard of the term GREENWASHING. According to the Cambridge Dictionary: greenwashing is designed “to make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is.”
AKA marketing tactics to lure in the consumer to believe that your product is a better / safer option for their home.
So if you’re just getting started on this journey, let me help you take those first steps. I know it can seem overwhelming at first, but I’m here right beside you! Here are some of the ingredients in conventional cleaning products and what to look out for if you’re looking to choose better products for the home:
Just a few RED FLAGS (this list is not all-encompassing):
Sodium Laureth Sulfate / Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS/SLES)
petroleum based ingredients
Fragranced consumer products, such as cleaning supplies, have been known to emit hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds. They have been linked to a range of adverse health effects including headaches, respiratory issues, skin irritations, and neurological problems. Children are often more vulnerable to chemicals because their organs and immune systems are not yet fully developed, and certain chemicals may interfere with the development of their neurological, endocrine and immune systems.
There are no legal requirements for ingredient labelling on household cleaning products. Consumers have very limited access to product information and it can be extremely difficult to know which products contain chemicals ingredients they may wish to avoid. THIS IS UNFAIR. They can literally hide some of the most toxic compounds in cleaners using words like ‘fragrance’ and we have NO idea what that entails.
So my rule of thumb, is this:
There are a few truly natural, safe for you and the environment, all natural cleaners that I can 100% recommend.
Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner – this is a cleaning concentrate. Meaning you need to dilute 1-2 caps of this cleaner into a few cups of water (depending on the intended purpose) to make an all purpose cleaning solution. This is what we’ve been using exclusively in the home for 2.5 years now and I don’t think I could ever go back! It is truly one of the most effective, economical cleaners we have ever used in our home.
Branch Basics cleaning concentrate. Again, another super clean option for the home! This is also a multi-purpose solution and can be diluted to your preference!
A simple DIY with white vinegar and lemon essential oil. Don’t underestimate the cleaning power of good ol’ fashioned white vinegar! You can also use some baking soda as a tile and grout scrub. And some plain castle soap if you’re missing the bubbles.
Making small swaps in the home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you ever have questions, or need help on this journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Have you checked out our iHerb master shopping list yet? I’ve included some great all natural cleaners in there too!
xx The Well Fam
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