As a mom, the duty of cleaning the house feels like it never stops, especially with little ones around. It can be overwhelming and just exhausting if you are drowning in your stuff.
Check out my post about how we decluttered and it really transformed our cleaning routine and gave us our time back!
Read more here: Why Decluttering Is Essential for Your Family
It is that time a year again where we get all excited to deep clean our house for spring. Every spring I get the urge to declutter and simplify our home even more. Since I am pregnant and am due in June, my nesting is already kicking in!
I know here in Michigan it has been a pretty cold winter and I am so ready to open up our windows and let in the fresh air!
Maintaining a clean home is essential for the health of your family. But are you doing your spring cleaning with products that are safe? According to the American Lung Association, there are multiple household chemicals that actually do harm to our health in the products that most families have trusted for years.
Cleaning chemicals such as air fresheners, bleach, detergents, and dishwashing liquid, dryer sheets, and floor polish all potentially have chemicals that are harmful to you and your families current and long term health.
When we purchase a product we are more concerned about the results that we receive from the product but forget to think about what is actually in it.
Currently, we are in a health epidemic where there are more reported diseases and allergies than ever before. Especially with young children.
Not to mention the hormonal imbalances and fertility issues that so many are facing and don’t have answers to why it is happening.
So before you begin your spring cleaning, ask yourself do you know what is in the product you are using?
Have you researched it to see if it is safe to use?
Yes, it may sound a little crazy at first, but why should we assume that these big name companies have our best interest as their primary intention? I know I don’t believe that anymore.
I started being more selective on the products I brought into my house about a year ago because I had discovered some information on brands that my family had trusted for years.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of chemicals that make up fragrances are toxic to us! Now think of everything that you use that lists “fragrance” on their ingredient list.
It is in just about everything you use! I know it was for use because I love our home and our clothes smelling amazing.
The companies do not legally have to disclose what is considered “fragrances” since it is a trademark of the company. So we, the consumers, are left blind to what we are putting in our homes and on our body and reaping the consequences.
To be honest, I never put much thought into all of this until I had my daughter. I always went along trusting what the brands advertised. But my Mama instinct wanted me to look a little further into what we were using.
I suggest you take a closer look to see what is really in your products.
Time To Go Natural
I discovered EWG, Environmental Working Group, a non-profit group that works towards making the environment a healthier place so we too can enjoy healthier lives. EWG lists out the ingredients that are in the products we buy and rates the toxicity level and how it is harmful to our health.
Having EWG as a tool to refer to when in search of new products has been helpful with eliminating the majority of the nasty chemicals from our lives.
Now at first, this can be a bit time consuming because you have to do the research to find what products you feel comfortable having in your home.
But the peace of mind that you are providing your family with safe products is worth it!
Our family is on a tighter budget so we are looking for budget-friendly products that are safe for our health to help us maintain a clean home.
Check out my current favorites below.
The first thing I took a look at was our laundry detergent since we all have very sensitive skin and have had issues with rashes. Your laundry detergent is such a big deal because your clothes and bedding are against your skin constantly.
Which means your skin, your body’s largest organ is absorbing those chemicals all day and all night long!
We typically used Tide or Gain because I was in love with the smell and was taught that it is the best cleaner out there.
Now I am not saying it doesn’t do its job, but there is more than just a monetary cost to using this product.
According to EWG, Tide and Gain are rated an F for their toxicity levels meaning that the substances in the product have the potential to cause developmental & reproductive issues, and asthma & respiratory issues, and even cancer. Even Tide’s Free & Gentle solution was rated an F.
Safer alternatives for laundry care that I have found effective are Biokleen, Attitude and Seventh Generation Packs. All of these products are considered an A in safety according to the EWG.
This stain remover is perfect if you have little ones around! There is no doubt that laundry gets to be a little more fun when you have kids, especially when they are first learning how to self-feed.
You need a stain remover that keeps the clothes looking like new but still gentle on the skin.
Get your bottle of Attitude Sensitive Skin Natural Stain Remover here.
Since they are natural cleaners, they tend to be much more concentrated which means a little product will go a long way.
Instead of using bleach I have transitioned to using 1 cup of baking soda in my whites and towels. If the clothes are very dirty I will allow them to soak for a few hours prior. Baking soda is also considered a category A in safety as well. And my house does not smell like bleach for the day!
Fabric softener can be substituted for white distilled vinegar and will have the same softening effect on your clothes. (Also rated an A!) Vinegar helps keep clothes looking bright and bold instead of becoming faded over time. Not to mention the vinegar is good to clean out your washer and keeping it fresh smelling!
Now for dryer sheets, I have substituted Wool Dryer balls that I put about 3-4 drops of Lemon or Lime Essential Oil for a refreshing smell.
It is recommended to allow the oil to dry for about an hour on the balls before throwing it into the dryer. So when you go to throw your clothes in the wash, prep your dryer balls so they are ready to go!
Wool dryer balls are effective for removing static and cutting down on dry time.
Get a 6 pack of organic wool dryer balls here for $12.79.
The hardest part about switching up our laundry care was losing all of the fragrant smells that are clothes once had. I really loved smelling our clothes after using mainstream products, especially those yummy smelling fabric softeners!
But companies know most people buy based on their senses and that is why those products are designed to smell like that.
After getting accustomed to the light smell of the essential oils I can appreciate how clean our clothes are at no cost to our health or skin.
I don’t know about you guys, but I need to know my bathroom is clean. It is one area of the house that really grosses me out if we don’t clean it weekly.
There are so much bacteria found in our bathrooms that it took me a while to switch over to natural cleaners for the fear of them not cleaning as thoroughly.
But knowing how dangerous the fumes of harsh cleaners are really motivated me to find better alternatives.
Currently, we are using Mrs. Meyers Tub & Tile Cleaner for removing all soap scum and I have been very impressed with the results!
Plus this cleaner leaves a refreshing and clean lemon scent behind from the essential oils in it. And it is rated a category B!
Get Mrs. Meyers Tub & Tile Cleaner here for $5.49
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Selecting a natural toilet bowl cleaner was difficult because for the longest time I trusted Clorox Toilet Bowl cleaner that contained bleach so I knew all of those nasty germs were gone. However, Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner is safe and effective for cleaning our bathroom to my standards.
Check out Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner here for $15.83
Glass & Window
For our Glass and Mirrors, we use Method Glass & Multi-Surface Cleaner, considered a category B product.
I love this product because I can finally clean our mirrors and windows without getting a headache while cleaning! Some reviews say that it leaves streaks behind, but I honestly haven’t had that problem with this product.
I have linked it here with Amazon but honestly, it is a lot cheaper for this product at your local Target.
Windex always upset my stomach and gave me a headache when I would use it, which makes sense because it is rated a category D product under the EWG.
Do you ever wash your dishes and feel that it tastes like soap? Yup, I have. It’s gross. And at first, I didn’t think much other than “Gee I didn’t rinse that well”
But what is actually happening is that the dish soap is leaving soap residue on your dishes causing you to taste it. Which means along with those delicious nutrients you are eating those nasty soap chemicals.
I mainly observed this in our daughter’s bottles and our plastic water bottles which was very concerning since she was so young. When this happened I googled the soap that I currently was using and turns out I wasn’t alone.
So the hunt for a better dish soap started and research continued. I went back and forth purchasing Method and Seventh Generation dish soap for our hand washed dishes. Unfortunately, I have recently noticed that I taste the soap residue from the Method dish soap as well so I do not plan on rebuying that product again.
I have had my eye on Puracy Natural Dish Soap for a while as this brand is a very respectable brand with raving reviews and will be switching to this product. It is also considered a category A product.
Check out Puracy Natural Dish Soap’s awesome reviews here.
Now for our dishwashing machine soap, we switched to Seventh Generation Powder about 4 months ago. I decided I no longer wanted the plastic packs that melted away in our dishwasher.
I wanted to go back to the basics and just pour the powder in our soap compartment.
This powder cleans our dishes leaving no grime behind!
I do have to say that we thoroughly rinse our dishes before putting them in so I can not advise how well it cleans on dishes that still have a lot of food on them. Therefore, I will not make that promise like all of those commercials do!
Get it here.
Trying to figure all of this out while continuing on with everyday responsibilities can seem a bit much at first. Especially if you have never heard of any of these brands before or the EWG Database.
Puracy offers a whole natural cleaning set to get you started which I highly recommend if you are short on time and just want to get those other nasty chemicals out of your house. It simplifies the process of trying to keep up what product you buy with what brand.
Get Your Puracy Natural Home Cleaning Set for $39.99 here.
Unfortunately, I opted to go the difficult route at first because I was unsure how far I was going to take the natural route in our home. But now with baby number two coming, I am looking to simplify Mama’s life as much as possible, especially our cleaning routine!
I hope to one day be able to switch to mostly DIY Cleaners and will update you guys when I finally set aside time to make them!
If you have any experience with DIY Recipes please let me know in the comments below!
For now, these products are much safer than what we used to be using and help us maintain a nice clean home.
One way to eliminate toxins and odors from your house is to get some houseplants around. Looking for new plant ideas to spruce up your house this spring?
Check out my post on Toddler & Cat-Friendly Houseplants. I even provide you with a free printable of the scientific names to make shopping a breeze!
Read more here. 21 Cat & Toddler Friendly Indoor Plants