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Cleaning is Making Us Sick
Washing dishes, clothes, windows, and floors. The weekly household chores seem to be never ending. Especially if you are the primary homemaker and take on most of the cleaning responsibilities.
Most homemakers don’t LOVE cleaning, but do so because they love their families. They want to provide a safe, comfortable home where their families can thrive and be healthy. This has always been a goal of homemakers, but the level of cleanliness that is required has dramatically changed over the past 50 years. Instead of being content with removing visible dirt and dust, homemakers started using stronger and more potent cleaners to kill every germ that may be lurking in their homes.
While the job of keeping our homes clean is vital for the health of our families, obliterating every single germ in our home is not. Somehow, over the decades, companies have convinced homemakers that for a home to be clean, it must be void of all germs. And it must smell like cleaners to be clean. We have been trained to believe that if it burns our eyes and makes our lungs hurt, then it must be killing everything. And it’s completely true:
It is KILLING everything, including YOU.
Many new studies are being published on the dangers of using household cleaners. The negative effects are startling. From increased colds and allergies, to weakened immune systems, chronic inflammation, and even severe lung damage. It is ironic and sad that the very act of cleaning to keep our families healthy is causing harm and making us sick.
Better Cleaning Solutions
With all the negative side effects of commercial cleaners threatening our health, it can be easy for homemakers to just throw in the cleaning rag and give up. Cleaning is supposed to keep us healthy, not make us sick! What is a homemaker to do?
Find the Happy Medium
First, it is important to find a healthy balance between a dirty home and a sterile home. I am a huge advocate for a clean home and encourage every homemaker to make a clean home a top priority. But a clean home can and should have a few germs.
Learning how to properly clean and maintain a home is important for the health of your family. Homes should be visibly clean, and surfaces regularly need to be wiped down and kept free from dust and dirt. That level of daily cleaning really is enough to keep your family healthy. Unless you have a serious contagious illness tear through your home (like the stomach flu), or have someone with a weakened immune system, there doesn’t need to be a focus on killing every germ, everyday.
(Note: in times of sickness, focus cleaning efforts on high-touch and traffic surfaces. Doorknobs, light switches, counters, faucets, soap dispensers, phones, tv remotes, etc. Also, replace hand towels in bathrooms every day, and use a new kitchen washcloth, hand towel and dish drying towel every day to prevent the spread of infection.)
Retrain Your Brain
Second, homemakers need to retrain their brains that a home doesn’t need to smell like chemicals to be clean. This is harder than it may sound. I remember when we first started switching to natural, gentle cleaners. Many were homemade and barely had a smell (or smelled slightly of vinegar until they dried). We wondered if our home was truly being cleaned, because it lacked that “clean home” scent of bleach and synthetic fragrances.
It wasn’t until we noticed that the headaches, runny noses and other side effects of using commercial cleaners were gone that we embraced homemade cleaners. Since then, our children have remained just as healthy (or healthier) than before, and I feel good knowing that our home is safe for them to relax in.
Take One Small Step
Third, do your research and start small. The idea of throwing out every cleaner in your house and starting from scratch is overwhelming and expensive! Pick one product at a time to replace. Consider natural, simple alternatives that are cost effective and safe to use.
One of the many benefits to homemade cleaners are that they can be used for multiple purposes. A simple cleaning spray can be used for both kitchen and bathrooms, to spot clean floors, counters and sinks. A homemade soap may be used to wash hands, dishes, for the bath and even the dog. Research which products will work for your family and then gradually make the switch.
My Top 10 Favorite Natural Cleaners
These are simple ingredients that can be used for many different purposes in the home. Most are very safe for even children to be around and can be easily purchased online or in local stores. I like to keep it simple with cleaners, and only make a few that I use throughout my entire home. Here’s the list of my favorite natural cleaners:
- Baking Soda/Washing Soda
- White Vinegar
- Castile Soap
- Essential Oils
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Cream of Tartar
- Melamine Sponges
- Microfiber Cloths
- Flour Sack Towels
My Favorite Cleaning Tools:
I also am a bit obsessed with Grove Collaborative!
(Click on the link for $10 off your first order! https://www.grove.co/referrer/492066/)
They are a Certified B company that provides beautiful, durable and sustainable cleaning tools and products. These are the products I use in my own home:
- Dish Brush with Replaceable Head: my absolute favorite cleaning tool for dishes!
- Linen Apron: beauty and function are perfectly matched in this apron.
- 100% Cotton Kitchen Towels: the most absorbent towel I have ever used!
- E-cloth Kitchen Pack: I use these towels to effortlessly clean my windows, mirrors, stainless steel appliances, and sinks with just water!
- Grove Glass Spray Bottle with Silicone Sleeve: somehow these beautiful spray bottles make cleaning more fun!
- Grove Wool Dryer Balls: Commercial dryer sheets are a big no-no! You can use wool dryer balls help dry clothes faster and reduce static, so laundry can be done quicker. Hooray for less time spent waiting for laundry!
- Myers Laundry Detergent: Ok, so this isn’t a cleaning tool, but it is one cleaner I purchase because it works wonderfully to keep our clothes clean and smelling great, naturally!
- Method Toilet Cleaner: A toilet cleaner that doesn’t give me a headache from the smell, and makes the chore of cleaning toilets a bit more enjoyable!
If you want to try any of these products, use my special link and get $10 off your first order! https://www.grove.co/referrer/492066/
Call To Action
Switching from commercial cleaners to simple, homemade options is a change that will have a positive impact on your health and your wallet. It is possible to have a home that is both clean and safe for your family. I encourage you to take just one small step and switch out one cleaning product this week for your family.
What is one natural cleaner that you can’t live without?