Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Clean House, Dirty Products?

One of my favorite bloggers wrote about "dirty" cleaning products on Babble today: Toxic Cleaners Hall of Shame (and included a little Ryan Gosling which is fun for everyone!). One of the surprising products from the list compiled by the Environmental Working Group is Simple Green Concentrated cleaner.
Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner claims to be “non-toxic” but contains 2-butoxyethanol, a solvent absorbed through the skin that irritates eyes and may damage red blood cells. This concentrated product is sold in a ready-to-use spray bottle despite instructions to dilute, even for heavy cleaning.
You can find the full "Hall of Shame" list here. 

Because Sweet Pea's endocrine system is already a hot mess, we have been slowly eliminating all chemicals in our household. First to go were any shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and potions containing parabens - and I was surprised to find them in just about EVERY product! While there is debate over whether parabens really disrupt the endocrine system and cause cancer I would much rather play it safe.

On April 6th I was listening to NPR's On Point discuss "Unease Over Girls and Early Puberty" with Elizabeth Weill and Dr. Louise Greenspan. One of the things mentioned was that many people (including many doctors and scientists) are opting to care for their families under the belief that it's better to avoid a product that might be harmful instead of using a product until it's found to be safe. When I heard that statement I thought, "Of course! Who wouldn't operate that way!?" 

But I know the answer: most Americans. I just don't understand why. It's so easy to buy products that are safe and it's even easier (and cheaper) to make your own. After ditching our tainted beauty products I moved on to cleaning products. I've used Shaklee products for a long time now because they are safe, but I added other products to my arsenal as things ran out (mostly because I needed something and just plain forgot to order it). Nothing in my house is on the "Hall of Shame" list and so I did decide that instead of throwing out perfectly usable cleaning products I would just use them until they ran out (after all, I am not working so I can't just waste money!).

My main cleaners these days are plain old vinegar and baking soda. As I need them I will concoct new DIY cleaning potions - I've been compiling recipes on Pinterest and feel a twinge of jealousy every time a friend mentions making her own laundry detergent (but alas! I can't be wasteful!).

One of my fave tricks: fill a zip lock bag with vinegar and tie it around your shower head (I use a rubber band). Let it sit for a while (I do it after a shower in the morning a leave it during the day but that's definitely longer than necessary). Take off the bag and... Tada! Sparkling clean shower head!

Have you made the switch to green household products? Leave a comment with your favorite DIY cleaning solution!


  1. I saw that list yesterday also. We need to make the switch here for sure.

  2. By the way, I use vinegar for cleaning the microwave. I microwave a glass bowl with a equal mix of water and vinegar for 5 minutes and then let is sit for another 3-5 minutes to steam. Then wipe the microwave clean. Works like a charm!

  3. The strong smell of cleaning products gives me migraines, so about 2 years ago I switched to vinegar. At first I didn't like the smell of the vinegar either, but after I got used to it, I realized - less migraines, and the smell just seems much more natural than all those chemicals. (But I have to admit, with 3 kids and a husband, I still use bleach cleaners in the bathrooms from time to time)

    I also want to switch to natural soaps and shampoos. I'm just about to order some supplies to make my own soap, shampoo, and lotions. I'll let you know how it goes.

  4. We're almost out of shampoo so I'll be doing the same soon! I'd love to hear how it goes for you...


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