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Detoxing Our Homes 10 Easy Steps
Guest Blog by Lauren Dahl at Living Home Blog.
When we talk about detoxing our bodies, most people know what we are talking about. Even if we eat healthy, oftentimes, our bodies have a build up of toxins that aren’t meant to be there.
But today I want to chat about detoxing our homes. We don’t realize how many chemicals we are exposed to every day just in our homes. It can be overwhelming to try and change everything in our homes that can cause us some harm. So today, we are going to talk about 10 simple and cheap (or free) changes that you can make in your home. All 10 of these will make a drastic difference in reducing the amount of chemicals in your home and essentially, your body. Not only are these changes better for the environment; they are better for your health.
1. Get rid of those non-stick pans & purchase a cast iron skillet. Teflon coated or non-stick pans are made from highly toxic chemicals. So toxic, in fact, that if you heat a non-stick pan on high for a while and forgot about it on the stove top, the fumes it releases would cause a canary that was in the room to die. Cast iron skillets are cheap and safe. You can get one made by Lodge for about $14 from Wal-Mart. They last forever, and if you preheat them, food doesn’t stick to them. Here is Lodge Cast Iron Skillet From Amazon.
2. Change out air fresheners and fragrance candles for 100% beeswax candles. Fragrances are one of the most toxic things in our home, and they sneak in all different places. Almost all candles have fragrance in them instead of essential oils. Essential oils are made directly from a plant. Fragrances are a cheap alternative made from chemicals that try to mimic the more expensive essential oils. Beeswax candles are a great way to make your house smell great, and they are long lasting.
3. Buy a down or true rubber pillow. Think about how many hours you or your family spends on a pillow. It’s a lot. And you are breathing in whatever fumes it is releasing (whether you smell them or not). Change out your polyester filled pillow for something safer. I recommend IKEA for down pillows, because they are affordable and sourced from places that guarantee the birds weren’t live plucked (yes, sadly, it’s a thing). Rubber pillows, made 100% from rubber from a rubber tree – not synthetic latex, are a great alternative if you like something firm. Mulligan’s Mattress in Portland is a great source for those.
4. Change out your all-purpose cleaner for an easy to make and cheap alternative. So many cleaners are very toxic and full of chemical based fragrances. I buy a plastic or glass spray bottle; fill it ½ with water and ½ with white vinegar. You can add a few drops of an essential oil if you’d like. It works great on windows, mirrors, all floors (except wood or stone), showers, sinks, counters (except granite and marble), and carpet cleaner. I’ve been a professional house cleaner for 15 years, and this is my go-to cleaner for any job.
5. Try a non-aluminum deodorant. Aluminum in deodorant is not good for your health. There are some good options out there (that work!). I like to make my own. The safe and healthy store-bought brands don’t work as well as the kind I can make. My recipe is 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of baking soda or arrowroot or cornstarch. Then I mix in just enough coconut oil to make a thick paste. That’s it!
6. Get creative and do without your microwave! It’s actually easier than you think. Put your microwave in the garage for a few weeks, and see how you can do without it. We love our little 6” cast iron skillets to reheat a quick meal in on the stovetop! It’s almost as quick as a microwave and so much safer.
7. Opt for fragrance free! Whether it is dish detergent, laundry detergent, house cleaner, or anything else… if there is a fragrance free option, go for it! It will be much safer for you and your family.
8. Try buying wool, cotton and silk instead of polyester, rayon, and other chemical based textiles. It’s amazing how a wool rug actually doesn’t cost much more than a synthetic. And 100% cotton clothing isn’t hard to find in normal stores. Always look at tags and try to buy materials that are natural and if possible, organic.
9. Next time you need to buy sheets and pillowcases, opt for organic cotton instead of regular cotton or synthetic materials. Again, like the pillows, think how much of your day is spent on your bed. Quite a bit! I like to buy in a natural or ivory color since those are the most likely to have no chemical dye in them. Often these organic sheets aren’t much more expensive than what I was already buying,
10. Check for flame retardant and if you find any, get rid of it! Flame retardant can hide lots of places, but some easy places to change it out are children’s pajamas. Check tags before you buy and buy 100% cotton pajamas without flame retardant.
Take it one step at a time. I love to tell people to take it slow and steady rather than trying to make drastic overhauls all at once. If you just have $15 extra dollars this month, buy a cast iron skillet. Small changes each month make for drastic lifestyle changes as the years go by.
Bio: Lauren Dahl has been pursuing the art of homemaking for more than a decade. She strives to create a completely non-toxic and self-sustainable environment for her family. Her heart is to help others find the confidence to take simple steps towards a safer home.
You can find her blog here: Living Home Blog
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