Spring is sprung, it’s time for cleaning! Before you grab that mop, treat yourself to a new kind of clean — the clean of mind, body and home. Instead of using those chemical-laden, toxic cleaning products, make some healthy, healing alternatives. Add essential oils to your cleaning regimen to not only boost your cleaning power around the house, but to protect the living things inside the home. Our home is our Sanctuary, our haven from the world, for us, our animals and our families. Recent studies show that pollution inside our homes is up to five times worse than outdoor air pollution. Ordinary household products can contain over 55,000 chemicals. Each year, over 1,000 new chemicals are introduced to the market, and only a tenth of them are tested for their effect on our health and environment. Most common household disinfectants are a toxic chemical cocktail of phenol, formaldehyde, ammonia, cresol and chlorine — not only poison to the environment, but to each of us. Many wood cleaning products contain Phenol, which not only causes cancer in laboratory animals, but ingesting one thimbleful of phenol can cause symptoms ranging from circulatory collapse to death. The residual vapors can cause skin and lung irritation, and poison our home air for an extended amount of time. Glass cleaners contain ammonia, a toxic chemical on the EPA’s Community Right-to-Know list. The symptoms of ammonia exposure are: burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat; pain in the lungs; headache; nausea; coughing; and increased breathing rate. Many common mold and mildew removers contain pesticides. Caution labels on these products should be taken very seriously. Alternately, almost every household cleaning project can be done using five non-toxic, inexpensive household products: baking soda, washing soda, borax, white vinegar and castile soap. Add to this a few well-chosen dried herbs such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender flowers, or a few essential oils such as tea tree, peppermint, lavender or clove, and you have a complete household cleaning system. Totally safe, totally non toxic. Essential oils provide the Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal cleaning properties that we have come to expect, with none of the dangerous side effects. A California hospital study showed that a less than 2% dilution of Eucalyptus kills over 70% of all airborne staph bacteria. An additional study for 1 year showed that mopping floors and surfaces with a mixture of Borax and water was effective in meeting all state and local requirements for prevention of bacteria. Remember, keep any Essential oils out of the reach of Children, and away from pets. Homemade Soft Scrub
- 1 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1/2 c castile soap
- 1/2 c water or strong peppermint tea
- 2 T vinegar
- 8-10 drops Essential oil. ( I like to add pine, basil and a touch of lavender)
Mix together baking soda and soap, and stir well, slowly add in water and E. O, add vinegar last. Pour into flip top bottle. Shake well before use.