Green Cleaning with Essential Oils
Did you know our homes can be a breeding ground for chronic and everyday illnesses, including Alzheimer's, autism, asthma, cancer, diabetes, obesity, auto-immune conditions and more?
From the air we breathe indoors to our laundry detergent to that harmless-looking bar of soap, we're absorbing toxic, disease-causing chemicals minute-by-minute.
Now, I don't mean to be an alarmist but the truth is our homes can actually be hazardous to our health... Even the World Health Organization (WHO) agrees, "Household air pollution causes noncommunicable diseases including stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer."
In fact, I only realized the extent of the damage these chemicals can cause when I got into essential oils and started learning from my friends that form part of the doTERRA community,
As lives become busier, over-scheduled and more stressful, it's easy to gravitate towards the latest products that promise to make annoying chores even easier. But have you ever wondered what that quick fix is costing you?
Unlike food, cleaning products because of proprietary law aren’t required to list ingredients, making it harder for us to make the right choice.
Most conventional cleaning products are virtual chemical cocktails. But they work, so we keep using them to fight bacteria and add a clean scent to our home and laundry.
But if you want to green your routine, you don't have to sacrifice cleanliness—or even a pleasing scent. Natural solutions can actually clean more effectively, cost less, and keep your family healthier.
Through the information provided below we will look at some of the worst toxic offenders commonly found in household cleaning products, and offer ways to swap them for healthier, safer options.
Phthalates are found in products containing synthetic fragrances, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper. Companies often don’t disclose what is in their scent so you won’t find this ingredient on the label. However, if you see the word “fragrance”, there is a good chance phthalates are present.
Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. Men with higher phthalate compounds in their blood had correspondingly reduced sperm counts, according to a 2003 study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Harvard School of Public Health. Although exposure to phthalates mainly occurs through inhalation, it can also happen through skin contact, which is a significant problem. Skin, unlike the digestive system, has no real safeguards.
When possible choose fragrance-free or all-natural products. Bypass aerosol or plug-in air fresheners and instead use essential oils, open a window, or add plants to your home.
While essential oils have a pleasant smell, there are additional health benefits that should be considered.
•Essential oils can be used to purify the air in your home. Many essential oils such as Juniper Berry, Lemon, Lime, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), and specific blends like Purify and doTERRA On Guard contain aromatic compounds with cleansing properties.
•Essential oils can help open airways. doTERRA Breathe, Douglas Fir, Lavender, and Eucalyptus, just to name a few.
•Essential oils like Arborvitae, doTERRA Breathe, and doTERRA On Guard, can also minimize the effects of seasonal threats:
Only a few drops of essential oil are needed when using an ultrasonic diffuser. This is a cost effective solution to harmful aerosol products.
PERC is found in products such as dry-cleaning solutions, spot removers, and carpet and upholstery cleaners.
According to the chief scientist of environmental protection for the New York Attorney General’s office PERC is a neurotoxin. In addition, the EPA classifies PERC as a “possible carcinogen”. People who live in residential buildings where dry cleaners are located have reported dizziness, loss of coordination, and other symptoms. While the EPA has ordered a phase-out of PERC machines in residential buildings by 2020, California is going even further and plans to eliminate all use of PERC by 2023 because of its suspected health risks.
While it is true that commercial carpet cleaning solutions contain harmful chemicals, it is also true that they are very effective at getting out ground-in dirt and grime. When you choose not to use toxic chemicals to clean your carpets, maintenance becomes important. Homemade carpet cleaners are more gentle, so you need to keep on top of spills, stains, and general carpet cleaning. Below is one recipe for a non-toxic carpet cleaner that includes essential oils. There are several oils that have cleansing properties that could be used. We recommend Melaleuca (TeaTree), however, lemon or lavender could also be used.
Triclosan is found in most liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial”.
Triclosan is an aggressive antibacterial agent that can promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. The American Medical Association has found no evidence that these antimicrobials make us healthier or safer, and they’re particularly concerned about over use of antibacterial chemicals — that’s how microbes develop resistance. In addition, the EPA is currently investigating whether Triclosan has negative effects on thyroid hormones.
liquid dish soap
Avoid antibacterial products with Triclosan. If you’re hooked on hand sanitizer, try dōTERRA On Guard Sanitizing Mist. There are also simple alternatives to liquid dish washing detergents. The recipe below contains only four ingredients and is a natural solution that smells delicious.
quarternary ammonium compounds “QUATS”
Quarternary Ammonium Compounds are found in fabric softener liquids and sheets
QUATS are a skin irritant; one 10-year study of contact dermatitis found QUATS to be one of the leading causes. They’re also thought to be a culprit for respiratory disorder
You don’t really need fabric softener or dryer sheets to soften clothes or get rid of static: Simple vinegar works just as well. Vinegar is the natural fabric softener of choice for many reasons not only is it nontoxic, it also removes soap residue in the rinse cycle and helps to prevent static cling in the dryer. This recipe contains Peppermint essential oil, but we also enjoy using Purify, doTERRA On Guard, and Wild Orange.
2-Butoxyethanol is found in window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners.
2-butoxyethanol is the key ingredient in many window cleaners and gives them their characteristic sweet smell. It belongs in the category of “glycol ethers,” a set of powerful solvents. Law does not require 2-butoxyethanol to be listed on a product’s label. According to the EPA’s web site, in addition to causing sore throats when inhaled, at high levels glycol ethers can also contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage.
Although the EPA sets a standard on 2-butoxyethanol for workplace safety, if you’re cleaning at home in a confined area, like an unventilated bathroom, you can actually end up getting 2-butoxyethanol in the air at levels that are higher than workplace safety standards.
Aside from its many benefits to the body. Lemon is a powerful cleansing agent. With this mixture, you can shine stainless steel, remove grime from microwaves, clean mirrors and windows, and freshen your garbage disposal.
Sodium Hydroxide is found in oven cleaners and drain openers.
Otherwise known as lye, sodium hydroxide is extremely corrosive and can cause severe burns when used inappropriately. Research confirms that Easy-Off oven cleaner and Mr. Muscle oven and grill cleaner, for example, contain poisons that can cause difficulty breathing due to fumes as well as swelling in the throat.
You can clean the grimiest oven with a baking-soda paste—it just takes a little more time and elbow grease. However, the benefits outweigh the extra work.
Green cleaning products improve air quality indoors, lowering the health risks brought about by traditional cleaning products. It has been proven that using green products for cleaning can reduce health issues such as eye, respiratory and skin burns or irritations, allergies, headaches, chemical poisoning, nausea, and even reproductive hazards.
If you are concerned with money saving, then, green products are the best answer. Compared to other cleaning products, green cleaning products often cost less.
Many of you may still be asking “why should people start buying green products?” Well, the answer to this is quite simple, natural products should be used in your home in place of chemicals that can potentially endanger the health of you and your family.