How I clean house

Let me begin by offering a big, fat “Thank You!” for all of your sweet comments after my “In the Wilderness” post. You peeps inspire, motivate and encourage me a meellion times more than I could ever hope to do for you.

Now on to today’s topic …

I am convinced we all have at least one little thing (or maybe a few things) that we are a bit obsessed about. For example, maybe you are really into fashion and you never leave the house without being “dressed to the nines” with a full face of perfectly applied makeup (not me, unfortunately). Or maybe you’re a marathon runner who works out every day and is committed to keeping your body fit (uh, wish that was me). Maybe you freak out if your sock drawer isn’t organized or maybe your lawn looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

My point? There are some things we like to spend time obsessing over. And for me, it’s cleaning products. I actually enjoy cleaning – most of the time. And I absolutely love cleaning products. I could spend a good half hour in the cleaning product aisle at the supermarket just checking out the new stuff. (Yes, I’m a weirdo.)

Well, a few years ago, I discovered that most of the products I was using to clean my home were actually doing more harm than good. Here are some scary statistics for you:

There are more than 3 million poisonings every year. Household cleaners are the number one cause of poisoning of children. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that nearly 30 cancer-causing chemicals are detectable in the fat tissues of literally every American today.

Just reducing – not eliminating – environmental carcinogens alone would save at least 50,000 lives from cancer annually. (Source: Dr. Lee Davis, former adviser to the Secretary of Health)

Over 150 chemicals commonly found in homes have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological abnormalities. (Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission)

The average American home contains more than 1,000 different chemicals. (Source: EPA)

Women who work at home have a 54 percent higher death rate from cancer than women who work outside the home. The higher death rate is believed to be due to daily exposure to chemicals found in ordinary household products. (Source: Toronto Indoor Air Commission)

In the past 14 years, there has been a 75 percent increase in asthma; 29 percent for men, 71 percent for women. The higher rate for women is believed to be due to women’s longer exposure times to household chemicals. (Source: Center for Disease Control)

Toxic chemicals in homes are three times more likely to cause cancer than any outdoor airborne pollutants. (EPA)

After reading all this, I decided to switch our family to all-natural cleaning products (whenever possible). I stumbled upon Shaklee’s Get Clean line and, for the most part, that’s what I use.

I told you a little about Shaklee when I posted about how I organize under the sink.

Here’s a link to my guide for using Shaklee products to clean everything in your home: Shaklee cleaning guide

Of course, Shaklee isn’t the only line of cleaning products out there that’s non-toxic. There are even some easy and safe cleaners you can whip up right in your home. Check out this article for some great recipes. I’m slowly trying to rid my home of harmful chemicals. Baby steps, right?

After switching to healthy cleaners, our family is now working on eating cleaner food! We are on a mission to get healthy and toxin-free.

What are you doing to promote a healthier environment for your family? I’d love for you to share your tips.

I’m linking this up to … Home Stories A to Z and Love of Family and Home.

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7 Responses

  1. Jo Shawver says:

    I use baking soda and vinegar. For disinfecting, a tablespoon of Clorox in a spray bottle mixed with water. I’m sure the bleach is not good, but in such a small quantity, it does not seem to bother me. I also use Smartfiber cleaning cloths. They are distributed out of Canada and you use no cleaning products with them. I have one for windows, so no Windex and one for dusting. I also have the mop and you only use water on the floor with the microfiber wet/dry head. You boil them to disinfect and they last forever! I have asthma and very sensitive skin, so I’m very cautious as to what I use. Vinegar makes a wonderful and cheap fabric softner by the way…no heavy residue on your clothes or washer. I was told to not use vinegar in my new front loader I got for Christmas, so I tried to go back to fabric softner. Once I saw the buildup on the seal of the washer, I went back to vinegar. Am I sounding like Heloise?? LOL

    • Susan says:

      Thanks for the tips, Jo. I now want to try vinegar as a fabric softener. I use it as a rinse agent in my dishwasher.

      • Carol Allenbaugh (a.k.a. Biggie Much) says:

        Hmmm, vinegar for fabric softner and a rinse agent in your dishwasher. Sounds like a good inexpensive idea. Please post the amounts you use and the mixing amounts (water to vinegar ratio etc.) Also is it a special type of vinegar or just white distilled? I am on a vinegar kick right now. I had terrible heartburn and read about the healing affects of vinegar. I also just found out that my cholesterol is of epic proportions. Guess what the natural cure is….vinegar everyday!

        • Susan says:

          Ooh. On a side note, I love to take a swig of apple cider vinegar to help with reflux. And I started using apple cider vinegar in veggie salads, too. (I buy the all-natural kind from Belleville. I think they might also have it at Healthy Predictions in Huntingdon.) I use distilled white vinegar in the dishwasher. I basically just fill the cup where the rinse agent should go with vinegar. Also, if your dishwasher is smelling a little funky and not getting dishes as clean, you can try pouring a hefty amount right into the bottom of the dishwasher and giving it one cycle without dishes (or detergent). I’m not sure about the amount for fabric softener, but I assume you would use the same amount as a regular softener like Downy (about a cupful). Hope this helps.

  2. Carol Allenbaugh (a.k.a. Biggie Much) says:

    Suz, thanks for the post it has inspired me to look into making a change. I have been thinking about this topic since I watched a show on household toxins. I also read an article written by John Travolta’s wife on how she believed that the cleaning products she used were the cause of her son’s disability. I believe it was a common household carpet cleaner. Anyhow, great post thanks! 🙂

    • Susan says:

      Yea. Switching cleaning products is a really easy first step in reducing the amount of chemicals we expose ourselves to. And you probably need to think about that, considering you put, what, 100 Splenda packets in your coffee? 😉 Luv ya, Biggie Much!

  1. May 8, 2012

    […] few weeks ago, I confessed to you my weird obsession with cleaning products. I also explained why I switched to Shaklee’s non-toxic cleaners. And I mentioned how you can […]

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