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About 18 months ago, I developed lumps on my neck.
AND under my arms.
AND in my groin.
YIKES! Seriously, yikes!
My immune system was going crazy.
It was a massive wake-up call to look again at my health.
And really sort out my diet.
AND my stress levels as I’d got stuck in a situation that was proving horribly toxic for me.
BUT those lumps also pushed me to look again at the chemicals coming into our house.
I had thought we were pretty good.
Vaguely green but not willing to spend a small fortune on fancy green-wash products.
Hmmm … I was SO wrong!
The house was STILL full of some pretty dodgy chemicals.
AND most of those were in our cleaning products.
If you want to scare yourself silly have a look at the list of toxic chemicals in common cleaning products at the bottom of this post!
These are just the worst offenders. AND they’re all lurking under our kitchen sink.
They’re massive pollutants.
BUT may also cause allergies, hormone disruption, respiratory conditions AND more in our families!
How crazy is that?
The stuff we’re using to protect our families from germs, could actually be HARMING them!
The good news – I’ve discovered – is, it’s super SIMPLE to switch to chemical free cleaning.
AND to a few, more natural cleaning products that DO NOT cost a fortune!
Which means – HURRAH! – you can declutter ALL the stuff clogging up your cleaning cupboard.
Chemical Free Cleaning
Having decluttered under my kitchen sink I now only have these EIGHT cleaning products.
- Micro-fibre cloths – if you haven’t discovered these, read about them here
- Dish washing liquid
- Dish washer liquid
- Laundry liquid
- Hand soap
- Baking soda (bicarb)
- Hydrogen peroxide
BECAUSE I have MORE space I can buy more family friendly cleaning products in bulk.
Which work out much CHEAPER. Again hurrah!
Now, a year later I’m delighted to report, the lumps have gone. Whoop whoop!
And I feel like I’ve got my energy and my life back.
I am NOT certain whether the chemicals in our cleaning products were contributing.
But I AM certain that I don’t want to take unnecessary risks with my family’s health.
When there are simple chemical free and less risky cleaning products available.
If you feel the same and want to clean without the dodgy stuff, here’s my advice to get started.
How To Switch To Chemical Free Cleaning
- Declutter under your sink – Just get rid of all that nasty stuff clogging up your cleaning cupboard. For step by step declutter tips sign up for my newsletter.
- Invest in micro-fibre cloths – I use these ones from e-Cloth – they will save you money.
- Buy bicarb & vinegar – you seriously can clean half your house with nothing more than bicarb of soda (baking soda to you Americans) and vinegar. You can buy on Amazon.
- Try out alternatives – obviously, you don’t want to jump in and buy new natural cleaning products in bulk without trying them first. So try and bag samples off friends or the brands themselves. Or buy the smallest unit you can even if it’s bit more pricey.
- Then buy in bulk – you really can save money on chemical free cleaning by buying in bulk. If you’re still short on space after your declutter get some neighbours on board and split orders.
If you don’t have somewhere locally you can buy chemical free and natural cleaning products in bulk, you can Subscribe & Save to brands like Seventh Generation on Amazon.
I really hope this helps you ditch all those dodgy chemicals lurking in your cleaning products.
For more low down on these keep reading.
I would love to hear how you get on. Let me know. And any questions at all give me a shout.
Toxic Chemicals in Common Cleaning Products
1. Anti-bacterial soap
We ALL worry about germs BUT it turns out these soaps are NOT the best.
PLUS there’s no evidence they kill germs BETTER than ordinary soap!!
2. Anti-bacterial sprays
Soap’s NOT the only problem.
Those anti-bac sprays we blast the kitchen and bathroom room with are ALSO pretty nasty!
They contribute to antibiotics resistance.
- cause breathing problems
- poison aquatic life as they get into our rivers & seas!
And AGAIN are not needed.
3. Sink cleaners
Oh my! Sinks CAN get grotty quickly can’t they?
And it’s tempting to reach for some serious chemical power to blitz them.
But many of the best selling sink cleaners contain Oxalic Acid which can cause kidney problems.
4. Drain cleaners
Drain cleaners often contain Sodium Hypochlorite which burns and is very toxic for aquatic life.
5. Oven cleaners
These often contain Ethanolamine which can cause severe respiratory damage if breathed in.
I have this oven top cleaning cloth which just needs water.
AND is a life saver if like me you’re not great at cleaning up after yourself.
6. Stain removers
Ingredients vary lots making it tricky to buy safely as some big brands include Quaternium-15.
This is a formaldehyde-releasing chemical which can cause severe allergic reactions.
7. Toilet cleaners
Sadly, any chemicals going down the loo get into our water system.
AND the DCMEH found in big brands is super toxic for aquatic life.
8. Dish washing liquid
Luckily dish liquids overall have got better recently.
BUT because we use them every day it makes sense to go for the least toxic we can find.
These are four US popular brands which all get the best A rating from the EWG.
9. Dishwasher Detergents
I know we want our dishes clean without too much scrubbing.
BUT big brand dishwasher tablets can contain Hydrozincite which can be super toxic in our rivers.
10. Rinse Aid
As can common ingredients in dishwasher rinse aids.
11. Laundry liquids
Those laundry liquids and powders we lather our kids clothes with ARE a minefield of NASTIES!
Some include Sodium Borate aka borax which is banned in the EU because of reproduction risks.
Others include Formaldehyde which has cancer risks.
Other nasties include Sodium lauryl sulfate, 1,4-dioxane, nonylphenol ethoxylate & phosphates.
12. Fabric softener & dryer sheets
These both commonly include what are known as QUATS.
They leave a soft film on our clothes.
BUT increasing evidence suggests these QUATS are associated with asthma.
13. Dusting & polishing sprays
These can include paraffins such as C12-20 ISOPARAFFIN which has cancer risks.
I’ve discovered MY most effective weapon against dust is actually decluttering.
With less clutter it’s easy to whizz around with one of these micro-fibre dusters.
AND I can even usually bag a little helper. WITHOUT worrying what she’s breathing in!
14. Window cleaning spray
Window cleaning sprays can include Ammonium Hydroxide which can cause respiratory damage.
I have got this window cleaning cloth you just use with water.
It’s BRILLIANT! And as a Londoner I know something about mucky windows I can tell you.
15. Bathroom sprays
Again, these are another minefield, with a bunch of chemicals associated with asthma risks.
If you just wipe round every day you really can keep it clean with micro-fibre cloths
Most products for descaling limescale in your kettle etc rely on citric acid to work.
To make sure you’re not getting anything else dodgy just use plain citric acid or lemon juice.
17. Insect spray
I know, I know, flies are a pest. Particularly in the summer.
But those fly sprays don’t just kill the pesky flies they kill bees and butterflies and ladybirds.
Which is a big disaster for the environment.
AND there are simple effective, natural alternatives.
18. Ant powder
And if flies are a pest, ants are even worse aren’t they?
BUT that ant powder under your sink is lethal for bees, aquatic life and cats.
AND you do NOT want it anywhere near your kids!
We now manage to keep ants out with nothing more than vinegar.
And that – for the moment – it it! A MASSIVE list of nasties that could be lurking under your sink!
They are NOT nice BUT I promise you it really is simple to switch to chemical free cleaning.Original image sources: red bottle, lavender