Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Recpies For Natural Cleaning Products

After cleaning my house this weekend, after 3 hours I quickly began to notice I wasn't feeling the greatest and I just wanted to step outside and take long deep breaths to clear my head and lungs. I was even using environmentally "safe" products, wore gloves and minded my breath so I did not fill my lungs with the fumes. After I completed my work, I took a good walk outside for an hour, did some deep breathing, and began to feel better.

Then yesterday in a conversation with my Mom, her friend Janet and my sister Vicky, we stumbled upon the topic of cleaning products and health issues. Janet had spent over 10 years cleaning for a nursing home using heavy duty commercial cleaning products. We laughed as she said if you spilled it on your finger, it may just fry it off! However, what was a wee bit alarming was how one by one she began to see her colleagues fall prey to degenerative diseases while Janet herself is now suffering from fibromiligia. Our liver and kidneys can filter and clean our blood, but dose them with heavy toxic agents over a long period of time and they too get tired. Do you think there is a link to the consistent exposure to heavy duty toxic fumes? My answer is a firm YES!

As a result of the conversation, my sister shared with me in the following link some recipes from Clean Air Counts— http://www.cleanaircounts.org/, a nonprofit program sponsored by the City of Chicago and the EPA. Thanks Vic!

Also, in a handout from the organization last year, they offered some additional tips that you might find helpful and interesting too.

Reducing Smell of Vinegar (used in many of the attached recipes)
- Use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar
- Add lemon juice or tea tree oil (which smells like mint)

Mold Inhibitor:
- Make a thick paste of Borax and water. Smear it on the moldy area.
- Let it dry overnight or longer. Sweep up the powder and rinse off the rest

Getting Rid of Poison Ivy
- Spray straight distilled vinegar on it.

Products you can buy in the store that have little or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
- Soft Scrub (WITHOUT bleach)
- Seventh Generation
- Murphy’s Oil Soap
- Earth Friendly Products
- Method (Target carries their products)
- Bon Ami
- Bio Keen

Read Labels and Avoid Products Made With:
- VOC-based solvents
- Benzene
- Toluene
- Xylene
- Trichloroethane
- Petroleum Distillates and Surfactants such as Nonylphenol Ethoxylate, Phenolic Compounds, Glycol Ethers (Ethylene Glycol & Butoxy Ethanol)
- Isopropyl Alcohol (although not as toxic)
- Chlorine Bleach or Sodium Hypochlorite: preferable substitute is sodium percarbonate
- Phosphates: no more than 0.5%
- EDTA and NTA: acids used to soften water and increase cleaning power

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