A clean house sounds great, but volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found in most conventional, store bought cleaners and this can increase the toxin load of indoor air quality.
If you are anything like me once there is a hint of Spring in the air I want to thoroughly clean my house, but did you know that many of the cleaners you have in your cupboard are loaded with toxins that are harmful to your health?
What are VOCs?
VOCs are a large group of carbon based chemicals. These chemicals are found in cleaning products, air fresheners, carpets, cosmetics, kitchen cupboards, paints, glues and other household items.
We often think that outdoor air quality is worse than the air we breath indoors, but in fact the VOC levels in your home may be two to five times higher than those out of doors.
Effects of VOCs
Inhaling VOC’s can cause a host of health ailments:
- eye, nose and throat irritation
- risk of cancer
- damage to kidney, liver and central nervous system
Unfortunately many companies use vague or non specific claims about being ‘green’ or environmentally friendly. When shopping for healthier options look for verifiable eco-labels, read labels, and remember to avoid these ingredients.
- chlorine bleach
- sodium laureth sulphate
- ethoxylated alchols
Make Your Own Cleaners
Baking Soda-cleans, deodorizes, scours
Lemon– fights against household bacteria
Borax– cleans deodorizes, disinfects, cleans
Vinegar– cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, stains and wax build-up
Tea Tree Oil– antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic
All purpose cleaner- mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda into 2 gallons of water
Bathroom mold- mix on part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water in a spray bottle. Spray on mold, let sit for an hour then wipe
Glass Cleaner- mix 2 cups water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle
Kitchen sink, counters and cutting boards- rub half a lemon over surfaces and rinse with hot water
By going back to a few natural cleaning ingredients, we can keep our houses clean and our bodies healthy!