I’m on a quest to swap out as many products as I can in my house that have harmful chemicals with ones that don’t cause impairment. I started a while back by getting into essential oils, and making some of my own products, but got distracted.  So I’m going to give it my best shot again and see what I can accomplish by the end of the year. The hardest replacements will be hair and skin products. My mission is to attack the attackers (chemicals and companies that promote them).

babyI believe we owe it to our children and grandchildren to provide them with the best we can give them so they can lead healthy vibrant lives! For them to do that we need to lead by example and take into consideration all the ways in which we can enrich their lives and help disease to stay its distance. It is not easy to transition from a house full of processed food to whole foods which require us to cook more, and prepare better, and possibly dish out more cash, but it will be worth it when we hear that obesity and diabetes are decreasing in our young generations. I’m sure getting rid of the products with dangerous chemicals will feel just as good when allergies and other medical issues decline. You don’t have to be 100% to make a big difference. If each of took even 25% of the toxic items and swapped them out for better options, that would make a significant difference! Think about switching out one item in your house next week and then another one each week after that. When sales go down and consumer awareness and action go up, the big companies will listen. Another way to make a difference is to fill out the customer forms at your local grocery store telling them you want more products available that are free from toxic chemicals. United is the only way we can make a difference.

In attempting to find online help with my transition, I watched a video by someone who gives household tips and was a taken back to hear her say that Dawn Dishwashing soap has so many purposes and it’s great to use in diy products around the house because it’s non-toxic. NOT TRUE! That site has hundreds of thousands of hits so I would imagine there are people buying up Dawn detergent by the car loads thinking they are doing their family a favor by making their own safer products. For those of you who are using Dawn in diy products – STOP.  Dawn doesn’t even list it’s ingredients on the back, but it does say “contains no phosphate” (useless information because most don’t), oh, and “keep out of reach of children” (why? because it’s so au natural?). Whenever I see a label that does not list ingredients or is printed on packaging in such a light color you can’t read it without bringing along tools from your spy kit (a powerful magnifier and light), I have to ask myself ‘what are they hiding’?

dawnWhat do you think of when you see this ad? My first impression is that if nature’s little chickadee can be washed in it, it must be a gentle, safe product. Read labels, do not let marketing numb nuts  and advertisers draw you into their arena and make your (unsafe) choices for you! If there are no ingredients listed or there’s an unreadable ingredient label, put it back on the shelf. And, if you are feeling ambitious, go home and find out what was in that product that they don’t want you to know about. Tell your friends and tell them to ‘pass it on’.

Getting back on subject, here’s the list of ingredients in Dawn (although some products have a variation) and side effects listed from EWGs website in parentheses : Methylisothiazolinone (Evidence of acute aquatic toxicity; skin irritation/allergies/damage), sd alcohol, sodium chloride, Phenoxyisopropanol, Terpineol (Evidence of skin irritation/allergies/damage; general systemic/organ effects; respiratory effects) and magnesium chloride. Also, the EPA said this about  methylisothiazolinone: “Methylisothiazolinone is a highly corrosive chemical that has been found to be toxic when ingested, inhaled, or applied to the skin or eyes in animal studies.” Other names for Methylisothiazolinone are: MI; 2-Methyl-3(2H)-isothiazolone, 3(2H)-Isothiazolone, 2-methyl-, Caswell No. 572A, 2-Methyl-4-isothiazoline-3-one

This dishwashing soap and some others are recommended in a mixture you can make to kill weeds. What does that tell you?

Labels that say ‘chemical free’, ‘natural’, ‘made from plants’ may contain a portion of the product that is chemical free, natural or has plant materials, but not all of it.  Regulations for foods and household products are very loosely goosey (even more so in the United States than Europe)!

My girlfriends father, Bill, used to repeat everything he said at least twice, thus leading us to call him ‘Repeat Bill’ (when he couldn’t hear us, of course). So in memory of Bill, I repeat; do not let deceiving labels on the front of products make your decision to purchase. Read the label on the back!

Here are the some dishwashing soaps that got ‘A Grades’ from the Environmental Working Group.  These are very specific products. Other products from the same company may not be on the ‘good product’ list.

better life eco elea      biokleen

These items can be purchased from BB&B, Walmart, Amazon, and some at Sears. Your grocery store may or may not carry them.

Here is a link to check out how EWG rates your current household dishwashing soap; http://www.ewg.org/guides/categories/5-Dishwashing.  If you are still interested in making your own, here is a recipe I am going to try.

Listed below is a borax-free dishwasher detergent recipe from My Healthy Green Family:

  • 1 cup washing soda (old recipe used  baking soda)
  • 1/4 c. citric acid
  • 1/4 c. coarse salt
  • 10-15 drops of citrus essential oil (Optional.  Orange, grapefruit, or lemon essential oils have great cleaning as well as antibacterial properties.)
  • Distilled white vinegar (in the rinse aid compartment)

Mix first 3 ingredients well in an air tight container. Add essential oil.  Mix again.  Fill your rinse aid compartment with undiluted white distilled vinegar.

Use 1 tsp. detergent for average loads.
Use 1 tbsp. detergent for extra greasy, dirty loads.

They state on the website that more is not better and suggest if you’re getting residue, try less.

I recommend you use high grade essential oils if you are going to be eating off these items. Do your research. Just because an essential oil is popular (multi level marketing), doesn’t mean it’s the best.

I’ll keep you posted as I find some ways to make some quick, easy and healthier products. Oh, and I’ll be sure to post recipes so you can make your home healthier too!