What this blog is about!

Now that we know most of our department store cosmetics and household products are full of harmful, cancer-causing and hormone-interrupting chemicals, what can we do about it? This blog is to help us all share ideas on what products we have tried, what products are relatively safe, what is affordable to the general public and what we have found to REALLY WORK! We are in this together!

It probably makes the most sense for you to start with the first post, and work your way up to the current one! We welcome your comments!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Check Your Cleaning Products

While we're checking out our cosmetics and personal care products, read those labels on the following things in your home:

Air fresheners (spray or plug-in): These are really bad news - usually contain naphthalene and/or formaldehyde (both known carcinogens). Instead of masking a bad smell in your house, find out what is causing it and take care of it! You can try baking soda and natural essential oils for a fresher smell.

Art and craft supplies: Watch out for lead in paint, glazes, enamels. Also avoid rubber cement, solvent-based markers and paint thinners. Use water-based paints, glues and markers.

Antifreeze, brake fluid and windshield wiper fluid: These are all very toxic and so is used motor oil. Keep all of these things out of the reach of children (lock them up - not the children, the chemicals) and avoid contact with skin. Dispose of properly according to hazardous waste facility recommendations.

Dry cleaning: There's a reason for that nasty smell that sticks around for days after you pick up your dry cleaning -- numerous carcinogenic chemicals are used in the dry cleaning process including formaldehyde. When you are looking for a dry cleaning establishment, ask if they can use a wet cleaning method, use liquid CO2 or citrus juice cleaners.

Wall paints and varnishes: According to the EPA, some VOCs used in paints are known human carcinogens. They are released in the air and can continue to emit harmful gas for years after being applied. Always use low or no VOC paints and varnishes.

Mothballs: Come on now, you must have guessed why those things smell so bad. You are inhaling insecticide! Don't use mothballs - ever! Just buy a new sweater!

Cleaning products: OK - here are the very worst offenders - mold and mildew products. They very often contain formaldehyde. Try getting rid of that mold/mildew with straight vinegar or 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil mixed in 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Hope you like the smell of tea tree oil -- it may linger for a couple of days.

Most carpet and upholstery cleaners use very noxious chemicals. Try using a steam cleaner with a water-based product.

Furniture polish = bad! You can make your own using 1/8 cup olive oil mixed with one tablespoon vinegar and one tablespoon vodka (I knew that stuff had to be good for something - just not ingestion)!

I've got some recipes for simple cleaning products you can make at home with items you may already have on hand. They are safe and natural. After I make some myself, I will let you know how they clean!

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