Reading Time: 8 minutes
Cleaning and disinfecting has been a hot topic lately. One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from hidden viruses and bacteria is to keep your home clean. However, effective and safe cleaning may look different than we think when it comes to achieving optimal health! Non-toxic cleaning is the way to go!
Did you know that how you clean your home can be the difference between health and sickness this year? Common household cleaning products are loaded with chemicals, fragrances, allergens, and more- all of which could be hindering your immune system, promoting allergies, and worse, harming your gut microbiome.
Can you believe it?!
You’re probably thinking: if household cleaning products are so bad for our health, why are they readily available in every Target, CVS, and Walgreens? Unfortunately, most cleaning products are poorly regulated. This means many manufacturers can use any and every ingredient they want to, without regulation. Even seemingly harmless ingredients like “natural” fragrances are guilty of causing distress in our bodies. More often than not, “natural” ingredients actually include a host of unnatural, harmful chemicals.
Before talking about the safe, effective, and powerful non-toxic cleaning products you should use, it’s important to understand the dangers of common chemicals and which ones to avoid. Note: this is the short list of common household chemicals. You can refer to the Environmental Working Group’s website for more information.
Ammonia is a powerful disinfectant, but it’s also a double-edged sword. This potent chemical is an irritant to skin, eyes, nose, and throat. Skin-to-skin contact or inhaling this chemical can quickly cause irritation.
Chlorine bleach is also irritant to skin, eyes, nose, and throat. It can be particularly harmful to those who deal with symptoms of asthma or allergies. More importantly, mixing ammonia with bleach can be a deadly combo by producing chloramine gas. This combination should always be avoided.
If you suffer from chronic sneezing, sniffing, and headaches, it might be time to part ways with any home fragrances or scents. This includes: detergents, soaps, candles, perfumes, dryer sheets, air/car fresheners, etc. Ingredients used to create these potent aromas are often not “natural” and can cause allergic responses in the body- even as severe as asthma attacks.
Also called “surface active agents,” these hidden chemicals are often found in detergents and disinfectants. However, they can also mimic estrogen and other hormones, blocking natural hormone function and negatively affecting our reproductive systems.
Triclosan is added to any skincare products like body washes and soaps. It’s best to avoid these products as they can cause imbalances in thyroid function and other hormones.
Similar to other environmental toxins, chemicals found in common household cleaning products can create imbalances in the gut. Given 80% of our immune system is in our gut, these imbalances can negatively affect our health in countless ways.
According to a 2018 study, frequent use of cleaning products in homes correlated with higher amounts of Lachnospiraceae, a bacteria associated with increased risk of diabetes and obesity. But, that’s not all: a home that is “too clean” is void of all bacteria- even the good bacteria. A bacteria-less home can result in changes in gut bacteria by inhibiting a diverse microbiome, which is ideal for optimal health. The more diverse the gut, the better.
These are some of my favorite effective and green and non-toxic cleaning products. I’ve been personally switching to green and non-toxic cleaning products over the last 10 years. I always come back to the same ones I love and trust!
For really good smelling laundry, the Laundress provides effective, plant-based cleaning products for your home and laundry. Their products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and free of dyes and additives. They even offer a dry cleaning product to care for your “dry clean only” apparel! Not only do they have great smelling laundry concentrate, but they also have the cutest laundry tools and equipment like their laundry bags and bins, clothes storage canvases, and non-toxic drawer liners to keep your clothes smelling heavenly. I use this on special occasions and especially if I have guests staying over. The linens and towels smell so good I always get so many compliments!
I use Molly Suds for laundry since we go through a lot in my house and my husband likes to play every sport out there. I find Molly Suds works the best for safe, yet effective cleaning. Not only is it non-toxic, but it is also made for sensitive skin with the highest quality ingredients. Molly Suds has an oxygen whitener bleach alternative, a sports detergent (my personal favorite for all gym clothes), a peppermint all-purpose, and super powder detergents with added enzymes to remove bacteria and keep clothes as fresh as possible. The scents are subtle from high quality essential oils and won’t leave you with an overpowering chemical smell. In addition, all products are Certified-Cruelty Free by Leaping Bunny and Certified Vegan.
Branch Basics is by far my go to and favorite all-purpose cleaner, hands down! In fact, there’s nothing (literally) Branch Basics solution cannot clean. It is safe for the entire family, including adults, children, baby’s, and even pets. One very concentrated solution is all you need for absolutely anything and everything you can imagine. It really is an all-in-one cleaner!
All Branch Basics are free of harmful preservatives, non-GMO, and non-toxic. What I love the most about Branch Basics though besides the quality of products is the value! With only one 34oz bottle of contentate, you can make the following cleaning supplies that last months!
Yes, you heard all that correctly! If you are just getting started, I highly recommend the Starter Kit which includes the concentrate and each of the bottles you need to make everything I listed above. It’s so easy and cost effective, you won’t want to use anything else again! Once you finish the concentrate, all you need to replenish is that since you already have the bottles and can just reuse those over and over again. I have a set of the eco-friendly plastic bottles and a glass set as well. I literally have a bottle of something in every corner for quick clean up.
Think outside of the box when it comes to cleaning with Branch Basics! I love this blog post they shared about all the many unexpected uses of the concentrate. This will shock you reading through all the things you can do and how effective it is! Just to name a few I found so interesting, I learned you can clean your pots and pans, makeup brushes, jewelry, dog, and dishes. You can even use it as a makeup remover (that’s how safe and clean it is)!
Another great resource is their cleaning tips and tricks page. I learned so much here about how to clean the right way and get the most use out of the products in their user guides and walkthrough video tutorials.
Branch Basics has generously gifted this community with a 15% coupon for your whole order (nikkiyeltonrd at checkout) that you can use throughout their website. You can check it all out here!
I’ve been using these essential oils for over 8 years now and absolutely love the healing power and uses for oils. I personally use oils in the house to freshen the air and remove odors without harmful chemicals. Not only does the house smell incredible, but the oils provide health benefits as well! They help with stress reduction, energy, brain power, and give you a sense of calm and focus.
I love using citrus scents to clean and freshen the air and now have a diffuser on every level of my house! During the colder months or when someone is sick, I diffuse Thieves which is a powerful essential oil blend by Young Living that combines the amazing power and aromas of the following oils: Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary. Together, these essential oils purify the air, cleanse surfaces, and counteract odors. I like to add a few drops of Thieves to my Branch Basics cleaning solution for extra power and a fresh scent.
As with all essential oils, using high quality oils is essential to reap the benefits and make sure you aren’t doing more harm than good! If you’re new to oils, I highly recommend their Starter Kit which includes a diffuser, the Thieves products, plus an entire bundle of the best selling essential oils and blends to start your oil health journey. You can sign up for a starter kit here or use my member number (3936607) if you just want to purchase single oils at retail without a membership.
*Note that a membership will give you wholesale prices and you don’t have to do anything different except place an order once a year. Even one oil is enough to keep your wholesale membership. It’s a win-win!
Dryer sheets are one of the highest sources of toxins in most homes. They are typically loaded with fragrances and chemicals, making your clothes smell nice, but harming our bodies in the process.
It’s time to ditch dryer sheets once and for all if you are looking to uplevel your health and improve your autoimmunity, microbiome, immune system, hormones, and energy!
Instead of dryer sheets, you can easily make your own wool dryer balls:
What You’ll Need:
How to Make Your Dryer Balls:
To Use Dryer Balls:
Besides using non-toxic solutions to clean your home and clothes, I also recommend cleaning the air you breathe since so many toxins, pollutants, and chemicals can live in the air you breathe. Once you’ve made the switch to some of the non-toxic options I walked you through, you can start thinking about how to take it up a notch and filter your air. As a functional medicine practitioner, I personally recommend the air doctor, which is the best and highly recommended air filtration system currently available on the market.
In addition, open your windows whenever possible to get fresh air and natural sunlight circulating through your home. Not only does this freshen the air, but it improves your immune system by increasing healthy bacteria in the home!
After reading all this information about household cleaners, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. So, I recommend making small changes over time. Little by little you can transition your home cleaning and laundry care products. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a chemical-free home!
What will be your first step in creating a green home?
"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."
-Nikki Yelton, RD
If you are ready to stop wasting precious time, get off the never-ending hamster wheel, and finally surrender trying to figure things out on your own—this is your moment.
You don’t have to settle for just getting by and hoping tomorrow is a better day. We both know you are a woman who deserves better and are made for so. much. more.