It’s that time! For most of us, winter is over and spring is in full swing. This brings Spring Cleaning to mind. Before you go cleaning with clorox and simple green, we need to talk about toxic chemicals in cleaning products, and what allergen friendly and green cleaning products are available to us.
Growing up, I “knew” the house was clean because my sinuses and lungs were burning. I know I’m not the only one who use to think like this.
If you are using products that bother your body this way, you are not only damaging your sinuses and lungs, but you are flooding your body with toxins. On top of all the nasty chemicals, we have to think about the gluten they often contain. If you’re eating gluten free yet still not feeling 100%, your cleaning products (along with beauty products but that’s another blog post) could be part of the problem.
If you’ve been following me awhile, you know that my daughter has to be gluten zero. We don’t have any gluten in the house, ever. Before I learned that gluten was in…everything, her eczema and gas weren’t going away. I make all the food for the baby sitter, she has her own high chair tray and everything. So I had to ask, where else could gluten be lurking? So I looked at the ingredients in my dish soap and right there, staring me in the face, was gluten. The next day I replaced all her (expensive) bottles and most of my store bought cleaning products.
Gluten has many names in health, beauty and cleaning products including:
- oat/oat oil/extract
- triticum vulgare
- hordeum vulgare
- secale cereale
- avena sativa
- hydrolyzed malt extract
- phytosphingosine extract
- amino peptide complex
- beta glucan
- dextrin palmitate
- semino peptide complex
- maltodextrin (can be from barley)
- wheat germ extract/glycerides/oil
- hydrolyzed wheat protein/starch/gluten
- hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl (hydrolyzed wheat protein)
- hydroxypropyltrimonium (hydrolyzed wheat protein)
- plant based cleaning agents
- sodium lauryl oat amino acid
You can see why it was hard to spot at first. Chemical companies don’t even have to disclose all the ingredients that they use to make their products. You have to ask each company directly to find out!
Many chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to asthma symptoms, skin irritants, cancer promoting and so much more. Here are 5 (of many) you want to avoid:
- Phalates. Also known as fragrance, is a known endocrine disruptor. This means that these nice smelling products wreak havoc on your hormones.
- Triclosan. The antibacterial stuff in everything. This stuff is dangerous and is suspect in causing the superbugs emerging these days.
- Bronopol. A formaldehyde releasing preservative added to extend shelf life of products. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.
- 1,4 Dioxane. Commonly used in liquid laundry detergents is bad news. According to the EPA, this solvent is probable human carcinogen and this excerpt from their website warns:
- Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4-dioxane has caused vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in humans. It may also irritate the skin. Damage to the liver and kidneys has been observed in rats chronically (long-term) exposed in their drinking water.
- Borax/boric acid. These are suspect of being toxic to the endocrine system and can cross the placenta, possibly affecting the development of babies.
So what options do you have that are eco (and body) friendly and gluten free? I found 3 brands you can buy with A and B ratings for most, if not all products, by the EWG and are also gluten free.
You can also make your own products at home. Pinterest is a great resource for finding recipes. I do recommend researching the reasons behind certain ingredients are used. It takes time. I promise it’s worth it.
Personally, I like to use a spray bottle filled with half distilled vinegar and half water for my all purpose cleaner. It can smell gross but it doesn’t last very long. If you really can’t stand it, you can mix in essential oils like lemon, lavender or tea tree. For places like the bathroom, I buy the pre-made stuff from any of the 3 companies I listed above.
You have to find what works for you and your family. Whether you make it yourself or buy it, it’s worth it for everyone’s health.
Photo Credit: http://dishdish.us/5-tips-for-kitchen-spring-cleaning/