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How to Reduce the Use of Harmful Chemicals In Your Home

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One day, I attended one of those direct sales parties, mainly to support my friend. At the time, I really wasn’t interested in the product line-up; however, the presenter did share a statistic that stayed with me for days. I later found it in this report from The Huffington Post. Research from the Toronto Indoor Air Conference reports that women who stay home full-time have a 54 percent higher likelihood of death from cancer than women employed outside the home.

Why such a drastic difference? One theory suspects the harmful chemicals in household cleaning products, the report says. Whether the science behind that is conclusive or simply a false theory, I like how the reporter from The Huffington Post summarized the danger in ignoring this data:

“Do common cleaners have toxic ingredients?" They might. They might not. But until we know for certain — who here cares to continue to experiment with his or her own health or the health of their children?”

Therefore, let’s take a look at some ways you can reduce the use of harmful chemicals in your home.

Disclaimer: The following opinions are my own. I was not influenced by any company to recommend its products nor will I receive any compensation on their behalf.

The best method I found for using less chemicals was to slowly exchange one cleaning method with another over time. If you go room by room, then you could make a list of the variety of tasks that involve cleaning products.

For example:

Kitchen

Washing the dishes - Many common dishwasher detergents flunk green living tests like this one due to their potential to cause issues with skin irritation, potential cancer risks, etc. Swapping out a standard detergent for something that’s dye-free or more natural may reduce those risks in the long run.

Preparing meals - So many prepackaged meals are loaded with preservatives. They’re often higher in sodium as well. The chemicals used in preservatives do nothing good and can turn lethal down the road should they develop into cancer, according to this report from LiveStrong.com.

How do you reduce the harmful chemicals in your meals? Pay attention to food labels. Try making your own taco seasoning, salad dressing, or marinades. The real thing always tastes so great when I finally take the time to make it!

Bathroom 

I can’t think of a room in the house that uses more chemicals than a bathroom. And you want it clean, right? Well, let’s review some ways you can do that in a safer way.

Disinfecting surfaces - When it comes to wiping down the sink, tub, and toilet, I’ve started using a microfiber cloth from Norwex. The power of the microfibers removes grime from countertops and other surfaces with just water. I thought it sounded nuts at first, but it really has done a great job on every surface.

Side Note - I still use a disinfectant for scrubbing the toilet bowl. Also, I wash the cloth immediately after using it in the bathroom. Some Norwex fans may just shake it out and hang it up for next time, but I just can’t.

Another option I’ll be trying soon is to use thieve’s oil cleaning products. The essential oils within the cleaning solution can keep my house clean and I know it’s not something dangerous entering my system (or that of my family’s).

Living Room

Preparing for guests - Having company over? Rather than lighting some candles which fill your house (and lungs) with chemicals, you can diffuse something like lemon oil in a diffuser to create that fresh smell.

Need to polish up the smudges on your windows, mirrors, and walls? I love using a soft cloth from Norwex that never leaves a smudge. I’d tell you the name, but I don’t honestly know. Like I said, I’m not here to sell you on this stuff; I’m just sharing what works for me. If you do ask an actual rep, she could tell you in a heartbeat.

Final Thoughts

My journey to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in my home has only just begun. I believe the most important step anyone can take is to educate himself or herself. Start observing what chemicals are used in your daily life. Water is a chemical, so don’t get rid of them all! That’s why research will help you find the drawbacks and benefits of the products you may have used just this week. To protect yourself and your family, the research is worth it.

How do you use less harmful chemicals in your home? We’d love to hear your methods. Share one with us in the comments below!

--Laura Harris


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Cindy Noyes|10/29/18

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