Switching to natural/eco-friendly/organic home cleansing products not only helps the planet, it also helps our own health. You probably wonder how chemicals applied to the floor or to the bathroom impact us. The fact is that most of the chemicals they contain act as endocrine disruptors, which means that the molecules of these synthetic chemicals look like hormones produced by our own body, involved in several chemical processes. It creates a mismatch, a mis-interpretation of signals in the body and problems especially around the thyroid gland. But this is not the only way conventional cleaning products affect us : new research has found that they change our gut microbiome. And we know that a rich/healthy microbiome is linked to a well functioning immune system, to a healthy brain and to normal weight regulation.
Canadian researchers of the University of Alberta have analysed the gut flora of 757 infants, aged between three and four months, and shown that those who lived in homes that used eco-friendly cleaning products had different gut bacteria that didn’t seem to influence weight gain. People who use eco-friendly products also tend to lead healthier lifestyles and eat a better diet, and this too may have had an influence on their children’s weight.
You can look at it like that : it has now become more polluted inside your home than outside, even if you live in a big city. The toxicity comes from your carpets, curtains, sofa (all with flame retardants, which are carcinogenic), from the VOC (volatile organic compounds) of the wall paint or IKEA furniture (their products are made of particleboard made from an aggregation of wood pulp and chemical compounds, glues but they are introducing a solid wood range!). So, as you can’t change all in one day, start with what can be changed : food, cosmetics, cleaning products…
I personally use mainly white vinegar and baking soda to clean the house. But you can also buy eco-friendly products, preferably from an organic store as the organic in supermarket is just below the certification standards so you end up paying more for something that is not ideal.
Why not making your own detergent liquid? I do mine and the kids love participating.
Home made liquid detergent and fabric softener recipe
- 100 g of Marseille soap flakes (buy them already done or use a grater). Make sure it is organic certified Marseille soap which should contain only 4 ingredients and only vegetable oils)
- 2 litres of water + 1,5 litre
- 3 flat tablespoons of baking soda
Put the Marseille soap flakes in a large pan under low heat with 2 litres of water and stir well until they have melted. Add the baking soda, stir well and let sit until it become like a solid jelly (I usually let it sit overnight). Add 1,5 l of water and use an electric hand blender to liquify. Place in 1 liter glass bottles or jars, add 20 drops of essential oils : lavender, lemon, or petit Grain Brigadier which comes from orange leafs (my favourite).
This is a very good detergent for clothes. When washing sheets or white items, add a teaspoon of sodium percarbonate/soda ash to the detergent.
Put half white vinegar and half water in a glass jar. Add 20 drops of your favourite essential oil.
I recommend glass jars as essential oils interests with plastic and the last thing you want are BPAs in your natural products!