Creating a toxic free home is possible. I’m living proof that it can be done! Yes, it takes some work, but it’s so worth it.
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Unfortunately, you may be bringing products into your home which you don’t realize contain chemicals that can harm your health. You may not notice it at first, but breathing in these chemicals on a daily basis can add up. Products which are meant to clean your home or freshen the air can begin giving you subtle symptoms such as a headache, or sore throat, but can eventually create chronic inflammation in your body, or dysregulate your hormones.
Having a home that is free of as many harmful chemicals as possible should be a goal to strive for.
Creating a toxic-free home does not have to be difficult. You can start by taking baby steps such as doing the strategies I mention below. By addressing those items, you will go a long way towards eliminating harmful chemicals that are negatively impacting you and your family around your home.
The things below are easy action steps that you can do this week. It’s as easy as removing the item. You don’t even need to replace some of the items unless you want to. If you do replace it, it’s important to choose a non toxic alternative. I provide you some recommendations below.
Are you ready to give it a try? Let’s do this!
Easy Steps Towards Having a Toxic Free Home
Remove Commercial Air Fresheners
It seems like an oxymoron, but the commercial air fresheners you use in your home to cover up odors and to keep your home smelling “fresh” are actually doing quite the opposite. They can be very toxic as they pump harmful chemicals into your home polluting your indoor air even more.
Air fresheners can contain many harmful chemicals such as fragrance, phthalates, VOCs, and formaldehyde. These chemicals can create a wide range of health symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, inflammation, and asthma-related symptoms.
It’s best to remove any commercial air freshener you use in your home, whether it is a spray, plugin, gel candle, or something else.
Open windows to let fresh air in or use fans to circulate the air better. If you would like to replace your air freshener with something less toxic, here are a couple of options:
- Buy a non-toxic air freshener (look on the Environmental Working Group for less toxic options)
- Make a DIY air freshener. This DIY air freshener article gives you many different recipes for sprays and candles that you can try
- Diffuse essential oils
- Set out bowls of potpourri
- Use bamboo charcoal bags
- Use baking soda in your refrigerator. Baking soda is a great natural odor absorber
- Create natural scents for specific times of the year such as Christmas
>>READ MORE: Looking for ways to remove odors from your car? Here are 6 Ways to Naturally Remove Car Odors
Remove Candles for a Toxic Free Home
Do you have candles displayed throughout your home? Maybe you like the atmosphere of a lit candle, or you like its scent. However, did you know that candles can be toxic? Many dangerous chemicals go into making a scented candle and can be released when lit.
According to the EPA, candles can increase indoor air pollution. Burning candles can emit acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, acrolein, and naphthalene.
It’s best to remove commercial candles that you have in your home. If you would like to replace the candle, it’s best to purchase less toxic candles such as beeswax. You can even make your own non toxic candle.
Here are some options:
Stop Using Commercial Dry Sheets and Fabric Softener
Dryer sheets and fabric softeners are similarly toxic. Even though commercial dryer sheets and fabric softener may prevent static cling and make your fabric softer, they also contain several harmful chemicals and are, undoubtedly, some of the most toxic products in your home.
Many of the chemicals used in laundry products have not been tested and have also not been tested when combined with other chemicals. This can make them even more harmful.
Additionally, fabric softeners and dryer sheets release more chemicals when they are heated. Putting your clothes in hot water, the dryer, or even ironing them creates more harm as the chemicals are heated and released.
Researchers have found that dryer vents can emit more than 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets are used. Yikes!
It is best to stop using commercial fabric softener and dryer sheets. There are natural alternatives to these products which aren’t as toxic. You can use vinegar in place of fabric softener and dryer balls in place of dryer sheets. Here are some recommendations:
Ditch Commercial Cleaning Chemicals
We expect cleaning products to do one thing – clean, not harm! You may have good intentions when it comes to cleaning, but unfortunately, you may be exposing yourself and your family to harmful toxins.
Toxins from commercial cleaning products have been linked to asthma, skin irritation, hormone disruption, and reproductive problems.
It’s unbelievable, but in terms of household cleaners, there is no safety standard for either the ingredients or final products. Furthermore, neither data testing nor notification is required before bringing a product to the market. In addition to the lack of testing, cleaning product manufacturers are not required to list the ingredients in their products. With the chemical soup masked as cleaners, there’s no telling what you’re being exposed to.
It’s best to replace your commercial cleaners by purchasing less toxic ones, or by making your own. If you want to purchase cleaners, here are some options which rank well on the Environmental Working Group’s database:
Replace Toxic Dish Soaps and Dishwasher Detergent
Dish soap and dishwasher detergents are filled with chemicals that give the soap or detergent its fragrance – and also makes the soap or detergent sudsy.
When it comes to dishwashers, the extremely high temperature generated during the wash and dry cycles heats up the detergent chemicals. Chemical vapors often get inhaled by those in proximity to the dishwasher during the wash cycle.
The Environmental Working Group ranks dishwashing products, including detergents, soaps, pods, and rinse aids. Out of the ones ranked, only 15% received an “A” ranking. The majority received a “D” ranking. As you can guess, such rankings suggest “potentially significant hazards to health or the environment or poor ingredient disclosure.”
It’s best to stop using commercial dishwasher detergent and dish soap. You should either make your own or purchase a less toxic brand. Here are some recommendations:
A Toxic Free Home Is Possible (with Some Work)
Removing and replacing the 5 things mentioned above can go a long way towards making your home healthier. However, this article just touches the surface. There is so much more you can do to create a toxic free home. In fact, I can guarantee that each room of your home has areas of improvement when it comes to eliminating toxic chemicals.
If you would like to continue making your home toxic free, please check out the Healthy Home Planner. This isn’t just any annual planner. Sure, it has weekly and monthly calendars, but it has so much more. I developed the planner to give you a guide for removing toxins in each room of your home. Each week, we focus on a different area of the home. I also include many additional resources and checklists to help you create a healthy home. By the end of the year, you will have accomplished so much in regards to making your home a healthy environment. Be sure to check out the planner here!
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