Non-Toxic Households Trades
When walking down any given aisle at your local Target or Walmart, it is easy to get sucked into the pretty packaging and fresh scents of candles, cleaning supplies, detergents and personal care items. However, new data has been released over the past number of years deeming many of these products toxic to many systems in the human body, mainly the endocrine system. This system is responsible for creating and regulating the hormones in our body and, when disturbed, can result is a variety of cellular changes in the body. Many chemicals now known as ‘endocrine disruptors,’ have been banned in various European countries but not here in the United States. Things like BPA and phthalates (both found in plastics), fire retardants (found in furniture and carpet), Triclosan (found in personal care products) and PFCs (found in non-stick cookware and stain-resistant clothing) are gaining attention in the US, though, and many consumers are starting to look for healthier alternatives.
Personally, I embarked on the non-toxic switch a couple years ago and am always looking for ways to improve and lessen the toxic load in my house. For me, it has been imperative to reduce exposure to chemicals, endocrine disruptors, and fragrances for myself and my young daughter. Anything that we can do now to reduce the load will only benefit us and our future generations for years to come. Below is a comprehensive list of tried and tested products we have grown to love in our home:
- Force of Nature: disinfecting all-purpose cleaning spray. This has been one of the best trades we have made thus far. Simply combine water with their salt and vinegar packet and add to their electrolyzer to produce two new compounds: hydrochlorous acid and sodium hydroxide. These compounds clean and disinfect any surface they contact. It’s even safe to eat off!
- Branch Basics: comes as a concentrate that can be used to mix with water and make all-purpose spray, streak free cleaner, bathroom spray and laundry detergent. This concentrate is plant and mineral based and is fragrance free. It is not a disinfectant but works great for cleaning purposes. Personally, I have not been a fan of the laundry detergent but I love all the other mixtures.
- Molly Suds Sink Scrub: only contains 2 ingredients and works great for a stainless steel sink. This has replaced Barkeeper’s Friend for us and has a light scent that comes from essential oils.
- Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent: cleans dishes well and does not leave a residue like other “natural” soaps. Seventh Generation has some hidden ingredients that aren’t as clean as they might claim but this is the best I have found thus far. I’m always looking for better, though!
- Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Castille Soap: castille soap is one of the purest soaps you can use. It is all organic, contains no formaldehyde, is certified fair trade and only contains 8 ingredients. We use this as dish soap for 90% of all dishes.
- Aleavia: one of the best trades we’ve made! This has replaced shampoo, body wash and shave gel. Aleavia is a prebiotic enzyme cleanse that contains only 7 ingredients (water, coconut oil, aloe vera, dead sea salt, sea kelp, citric acid, plant glycerin). The great thing about this product is that it cleans but does not strip oil from the hair or skin. One noteworthy piece is that it does not feel great when it gets in the eyes so be mindful for kids! We also use their hand lotion which moisturizes without leaving a thick residue.
- Innersense Conditioner: I have recently switched to this and am liking it thus far. It has a light scent from essential oils and does not contain silicone like many traditional conditioners.
- Beauty Counter: I use their Counter Match line for my daily lotion and toner. Beauty Counter prides themselves in reducing toxic load by banning many of the ingredients in line with European standards.
- Real Purity: the best deodorant I have found thus far! I am a relatively sweaty person and have struggled to find something that would have long lasting effects without the harmful side effects of antiperspirant. I’ll tell you this works better than my homemade version! It contains nothing besides oils, water, essential oils, potassium and magnesium.
- RiseWell or Boka: great toothpaste for kids and adults. It does not contain fluoride which is a known neurotoxin and is safe to consume. The one piece I dislike about these brands is that they contain sorbitol, which is an artificial sweetener. This is a trade I am willing to make but am always looking for better!
- Carina Organics: we use their shampoo and bubble bath for our daughter. They contain few ingredients, do not irritate the skin or eyes, clean well, and have little to no fragrance. It is made from plant and vegetable ingredients and leaves no residue.
- Molly Suds: the best detergent we have used to date! We have tried SO MANY DETERGENTS and nothing compares to this. It cleans perfectly without leaving a residue, removes stench and buildup without being scented itself, and lasts a long time. It has no parabens or phosphates. I can’t recommend this enough!
- Puracy: we have their baby stain remover which is just a gentler version of their normal spray. It works just as well as the Amway spray my mom always used on our clothes when I was young. For tough stains, I mix with Branch Basics oxygen boost (highlighted below), scrub together and let sit for 15-60 minutes. I have yet to get outsmarted by a stain.
- Branch Basics Oxygen Boost: replacement for OxiClean. It contains only 2 ingredients (sodium percarbonate and sodium bicarbonate) and works both as a brightener and stain remover (see above). I add a single scoop to my white loads and see a noticeable difference.
- Revive Essential Oils: I have replaced dryer sheets with wool dryer balls to remove static from the dryer. Sometimes I add a couple drops of various essential oils if I want to add a light scent but many times I opt for no scent. It is fun to have options to match the season! Dryer sheets are one of the most toxic additions to a household so removing these was a must for us.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by this list, don’t worry! Start small and just aim to incorporate one new thing at a time. Some change is better than no change. Once you get comfortable with one new thing, try to incorporate another. And as always, we are here to help so please reach out with any questions at all!
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