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Published on Sunday, April 23, 2017 by

Do you know what is in your cleaning your products and how safe those ingredients for you and your children? Home cleaners are a major source of toxins in homes and many of us have been fooled to be believe otherwise!

There is no requirement in Canada for manufacturers to warn consumers about the health and environmental hazards associated with chronic, or long-term, exposure to chemical ingredients in household cleaning products.

This should be concerning for all of us as parents and individuals. Not knowing the safety of the ingredients in products we are using on almost a daily basis is troublesome.

Research shows that air quality in our homes is poor compared to the outdoors. As a result, many of the toxins emitted from various sources lands in our home – flame retardants in furniture, dust from outdoors, toxins in cleaning products. Most homes don’t have good air filtration systems and don’t open windows very often and as a result these toxins are not given the opportunity to escape.  Even at low levels, these chemicals can be harmful and can add up, especially when we are exposed on a daily basis to cleaners (dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, kitchen cleaners, bathroom cleaners, wood and floor polishes, etc.). This doesn’t even take into account the countless body care products many of us are exposed to along with the toxins in other products in our homes.

Babies and children are especially vulnerable to these toxins. They spend a significant amount of time on the floor once they get moving around. Babies and children put their hands-on  everything; they play with everything and then eventually put their hands in their mouths. Imagine putting your hands at a table lined with bleach and then putting your hands in your mouth – yuck!

Think you can just look at bottle and make a decision for yourself about safety? Think again! There are no labelling requirements for cleaners in any consistent format. What does that mean? Companies have no legal obligation to include their ingredient list on their product. How are we to make decisions when even these companies hold no accountability? How can we make an informed decision?

Consider making your own home cleaning products as an alternative. You will know the ingredients, and you can ensure that all ingredients are safe!

Making your own home cleaners is easy, affordable and safe! You can clean most of your home with these three ingredients:1) Water, 2) Vinegar, 3) Baking Soda

For extra fun, you can add in an essential of your choice. Ensure that your essential oil company is trusted as there are many synthetic oils in the market. Personally, for cleaning I love lemon, orange or cedarwood oil. Lavender is a lovely oil for a soothing effect.

Here are a few easy recipes to help you get started:

All Purpose Disinfectant for kitchens, bathroom, and everywhere else – We wash our sinks, countertops, tables, high chairs, strollers, cribs, and floors with this recipe. Mix 1 part vinegar to one part water.  Yep, that’s it! If you want it to smell nice, add lemon juice or lemon essential oil.

Easy Scrubber for sinks, toilets, bathtubs and showers – Pour baking soda on surface, scrub using your scrubber of choice. Rinse with water. Then you can add your easy all purpose disinfectant to give it a fresh scent and get rid of any residual baking soda (it can make your surfaces pasty if you don’t rinse it out well).

Natural Dishwasher Detergent – This one is more difficult to tackle. I have tried several recipes and have found they all make my dishes foggy, and they don’t clean particularly well. I have two solutions:

1) Handwash your dishes and pots. While this can be labour intensive, it is truly satisfying and rewarding, and it ensures that your dishes clean without toxic chemicals.

2) Use a brand like Nature Clean or Seventh Generation. Both offer safer dishwasher detergents that are excellent at cleaning. Be sure to throw in some vinegar as a natural rinsing agent.

Natalie George is the founder and owner of Go Green Baby, a local eco baby shop focusing on natural, organic and earth friendly products for moms, babies and kids. Go Green Baby believes in supporting families, creating community, building relatioships, sharing experiences and changing lives. Natalie and her husband Jamin live in the country on a 40 acre hobby farm with their 4 nature loving children. Together, they enjoy spending time outdoors, make homemade and local foods and create a sustainable future together. For more information, including resources, products and our blog, visit us at www.go-greenbaby.ca.


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