For years I have made an extra effort to provide a toxic free environment in my home. If you think about all the hours we spend inside it's easy to grasp how important it is to do all you can for a healthy space. A clean house doesn't necessarily mean a safe house. Get ready to sort through your cabinets and closets & say goodbye to some nasty chemicals!
My hope is to share helpful information. Educate yourself & never stop researching. Just because something is sold in a store doesn't mean it's safe. They are much purer choices available. Most importantly, a healthy home is a home that Jesus is invited into! Scroll through the page or click the buttons below to jump to a specific topic.
We all want our homes to be a safe place, right?! A healthy home starts with one decision at a time!
There are many components to having a healthy home. Author, Stacey Kimbrell, of Living Balanced has committed herself to educating herself & others on dangerous chemicals. Her website is www.livinganointed.com. I highly recommend her book. It will change your life!
Stacey has helpful printable sheets on her website. There's a chemical cheat sheet, harmful chemicals found in the home, a guide on plastics & more! Below are some of the useful printables she offers.
Chemical Cheat Sheet
Harmful Chemicals in the Home
Harmful Ingredients in Skin Care
Air purity is a biggy! I'm so grateful there are so many choices. I'm all for killing germs & cleaning the air. My favorites are essential oil diffusers & Pink Himalayan Salt lamps. I stay away from synthetic fragrances including air fresheners, plug ins & candles.
Essential Oil Diffusers - A few of the great things they do are; clean the air naturally, destroy germs & support emotions.
Young Living has some great diffusers!
Most people forget to read the little instructional guide that comes with each diffuser. It tells you what kind of water to use, the proper care & usage tips. Here's some quick water info for you-----
Desert Mist Diffuser is Distilled water
Lantern Diffuser is Tap, Spring or Distilled water
Dew Drop Diffuser is Tap or Spring water
Rainstone Diffuser is Tap or Spring water
Aria Diffuser is Tap or Spring water
Orb Diffuser is Tap water
Kids Dino Land & Dolphin Reef Diffusers is distilled preferred but YL said Tap & Spring water can also be used in this one as well.
AromaLux, USB, Travel Fan & TheraPro Diffusers use no water. They are straight essential oil diffusers.
FYI: Young Living said spring water & mineral water are the same thing.
Pinterest is full of diffuser recipes to try. I like to take my favorite essential oils & use them individually or add a few together. There are essential oil blends that are already perfect for use & no recipe is needed! It really depends on the type of smells you like. I diffuse a lot of Purification, Thieves, Christmas Spirit, Citrus Fresh, Grounding, Lemon, Lavender & Stress Away. The best part is that if I have a specific need then I can support it with adding in oils that will be best for that. I would only add a few singles together in my diffuser & I don't mix blends. I'm a 6 drop minimum diffuser gal. I normally use a total of 10-13 drops. It all depends on the room size & oils.
I think my favorite recipe that I have tried is called Country Cabin.
Here are a few diffuser ideas. There really are so many options that there's no way I could list them all. You decide how much of each works for your home.
Pink Himalayan Salt lamps clean the air, promote relaxation & put negative ions back into the air. To absorb EMF's place them wherever you work on computers or have high electric and magnetic field areas.
They do need a bit of maintenance. I have mine sitting in an old glass pie plate because the salt does weep off of it when its humid. You are supposed to wipe it with a damp cloth & cover it with a plastic bag in humid weather if you won't be running it. This type of lamp is not meant to sit for long periods of time unused.
There are many options available on amazon.
Electric & magnetic fields, EMF’s, are basically what we know as radiation. Too many artificial EMF’s can cause physical, emotional & mental stress. Our bodies already have an electromagnetic field & EMF’s can disrupt the way they are meant to function. Our homes are full: electric blankets, cordless phones, cell phones, microwaves, power cords, alarm clocks, dimmer switches, WiFi, computers, IPad, IPods, fluorescent & halogen bulbs, Bluetooth, hairdryers, electric toothbrush & so much more.
Most of us use laptops & cell phones regularly all day every day. There are EMF protective shields on the market. The Defender Pad & Eradicator are two good ones to check into.
I’m ready to go to a lantern if they don’t stop messing with lightbulbs! Ugh…I wish I had something positive to say. Full spectrum light is the healthiest but has been given the boot! The new choices for lightening are not such healthy options. I’m hoping they re-evaluate lightbulbs soon.
The curly kind (CFL) have mercury in them & if you accidentally break one, you’re supposed to clear the area. That’s not always easy inside a home. They aren’t supposed to be tossed in the garbage either. They’re supposed to be recycled. How many people even know that?!
So what are the choices currently?
Compact fluorescent bulbs, CFL’s, have mercury, give off unhealthy levels of UV radiation & carcinogens.
Halogen bulbs are dangerously strong which can hurt the eyes, run hot & can ignite in certain situations.
LED’s, light emitting diode, contain lead, arsenic & other harmful substances.
Here are a couple of articles if you want to read them:
I can't just mention that I don't use candles & air fresheners without giving you a little of the why.
I use to burn regular candles & choose by smell...I know, I know. I had no idea what was used to create that "fragrance". When I discovered that paraffin & lead wicks were dangerous, I switched to soy candles with cotton wicks & I parked there for awhile. You see, I still was not thinking about what created the smell.
Eventually I learned what a synthetic fragrance is & boy is it in way too many products. I was a little shocked to find out that it can have up to 4,000 different harmful chemicals in it. Needless to say, it was 'so long' scented anything in my home.
Air fresheners are no better. They need a new name. There's no freshness in the air...it's a toxic cloud of danger! Plus, they only mask the odor...blah :/ . They even have warnings on them to not use in an enclosed area. Well, I'm pretty sure a bathroom is enclosed. The damage that they can do to your lungs & brain are just the beginning of their harmful effects. Sprays & plug ins are one in the same. No thanks!
Here is a handy article on air fresheners & one on candles.
Healthier options? Of course, I already mentioned essential oil diffusers & salt lamps. If you still want the flickering glow of a candle then try battery operated flameless ones. Unscented 100 % beeswax with cotton wicks are a safer option too.
I have a DIY air freshener recipe that I use. It's safe, healthy, kills germs & you can create your own aromas by adding your favorite essential oils smells. I don't want to cover up odors...I want to destroy them!
I stopping using regular non-stick cook & bakeware a long time ago. There are some newer kinds on the market with less chemicals in it that are labeled PFOA free. I don’t use aluminum either. The less chemicals, the better & this is any easy way to ditch some toxins.
I use stainless steel mostly. I like cast iron in the oven. I would use it more if I was more disciplined at keeping it seasoned. I bake in glass, ceramic, Corningware & coated cast iron. I do have some granite too. There are lots of healthier choices!
The Wellness Mama has a neat little article on cookware if you want to check it out
While I’m mentioning cookware…little healthy home side note – avoid Styrofoam if you can. Never eat or drink hot things using Styrofoam. It’s made from polystyrene & the heat will cause the chemicals benzene & styrene to leach into your hot food & drink. These chemicals have some serious health risks.
There is no microwave in my home. I used to have one but not anymore. We have a toaster oven & a good ole' stove to warm up food with.
Microwaves destroy all the nutrients in food anyway so there is no health benefit to using one. I'm not going to say much about them except that I'm glad we no longer have one. This is one of those topics that people need to do their own research on.
If you do have one then never stand in front of it while its running, don't warm up baby formula in it, don't heat foods in plastic or Styrofoam containers & please one day very soon look into why microwaves are unhealthy!
Plastics?! I’m not a fan. I like glass! There are lots of lidded glass storage containers to pick from & they are very affordable. All different shapes & sizes to pick from. I drink from glass too! If you don’t have a glass water bottle, then a mason jar works well.
If you must use plastic then for sure avoid #3, 6 & 7. Try to use BPA free plastics but that isn’t always a safeguard either. Stacey Kimbrell has quite a bit of info on plastics in her book, Living Balanced & a quick informative page on her website
Everyone seems to have something to say about water. All I have to say is…no on drinks enough ;)
Drinking bottled water from plastic on a daily basis is not the healthiest choice. There are glass & stainless steel drinking bottles. An extra perk is you can add in essential oils. Never add them to plastic! They will start breaking down the chemicals in the plastic which will release into your water.
Unfortunately in this day & age, it’s hard to find clean water. It’s no secret that water is contaminated with too many toxins to count. Water filters are a must for every home. Chlorinated & water with fluoride is a thumbs down for me.
I used to think reverse osmosis was the best way but it strips all the good minerals from the water. I currently use a carbon filter. I say, “why do extra research if it’s already been done”! Here a couple of articles on filters that might help:
It’s time to really clean your clothes!
Between the synthetic fragrances & all the harmful ingredients, doing laundry can be pretty dangerous!
There are lots of non-toxic alternatives. You can make your own detergent or support companies that offer safer products. You really can control your ingredients & have clean clothes. With our skin being our largest organ, it’s crucial to be careful about what it’s in contact with all day. Laundry detergent & fabric softener are often over looked but they have some serious issues if you don’t pick the right ones. EWG has a really helpful guide to cleaner ratings for laundry detergent at http://www.ewg.org/guides/subcategories/49-LaundryDetergentHE . I use Biokleen, homemade & Thieves laundry soap.
I’m not going to focus on all the dangers of detergent but if you are interested in learning more then go to http://www.grassfedgirl.com/7-dangerous-chemicals-in-your-laundry-detergent/ . Stacey Kimbrell’s book, Living Balanced, has information & recipes. You can also go to her website,
There are so many DIY laundry detergent recipes. This is one of those things that will be trial & error. We all have different water, washing machines & clothes that play a factor in what will work best for our laundry. Here is one to try from grassfedgirl.com . She also has a borax free recipe on her website.
Fabric softener is one of the worst things you can use. It leaves behind a coating of toxic film.
Some healthier options are DIY fabric softener, rubber dryer balls & wool dryer balls. Drying your colored clothes ½ way & then hanging them on a drying rack or clothes line to finish will help prevent static as well.
You can make your own wool dryer balls, http://healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2013/04/how-to-make-wool-dryer-balls.html , http://momofftrack.com/2014/11/wool-dryer-balls-essential-oils/ or buy them already made. You can add 1-2 drops of essential oil on the wool ball for a nice smell. Rubber dryer balls are available online & most stores have them in the laundry section where clothes pins & baskets are found. I’ve been using them for years. I keep 4 in my dryer at a time.
I add about ¼ cup white vinegar to my washing machine in the rinse cycle. You can also make up a batch of this:
A clean home needs to be a healthy home & that starts with the cleaning products you are using. Our homes need to be safe for our loved ones & pets. Leaving behind a toxic residue on every surface & filling the air with dangerous fumes is not a healthy home. Remember this….if something is labeled ‘toxic when ingested’ then its toxic topically & aromatically too.
This is a very quick & helpful article http://www.overthrowmartha.com/p/why-non-toxic-cleaning.html
The less ingredients you clean with the better. There are plenty of safe & effective products that can clean well. Essential Oils are phenomenal cleaners!
Distilled white vinegar can kill bacteria, mold & virus germs. When it dries there is no vinegar smell left behind (cider vinegar-yes, distilled white vinegar- no). Plus it’s purified so it won’t leave behind any residue. It cuts grease, deodorizes, disinfects, softens clothes & removes stains.
Unscented Liquid Castile soap are coconut based which is a great alternative to petroleum based soaps. It cuts grease & lifts dirt. Dr. Woods & Dr. Bronners are both good brands. They are usually cheaper online than in stores.
Baking soda is the best non-scratch scrubber around. I love it! You can use it to gently & effectively scrub away grime. I add it to my laundry & make tons of DIY scrubs with it. It absorbs odors, removes stains, deodorizes, clears drains, whitens & softens fabrics.
Olive oil on a rag can be used to polish furniture. It lifts dirt & moisturizes the wood. You only need a tiny amount on a rag & make sure to rub it in well.
A damp rag is a great way to clean dust off of your furniture & household items. Make sure your rag is damp & not ‘wet’. I’ve been doing this for years & it works great.
There are those ‘water only’ cleaning rags on the market as well. They’re basically microfiber clothes with silver in them. Norwex & E-Cloth are the top sellers out there. You can also use plain old microfiber to clean with too. Just make sure that you aren’t spreading the dust around but are collecting it.
Overthrowmartha.com did a comparison on the two if you want to check it out: http://www.overthrowmartha.com/2014/02/norwex-vs-e-cloth-green-cleaning.html
Young Living has a Thieves natural cleaning line. I love the Thieves concentrated cleaner. I have bottles made up in my kitchen & bathrooms. I add a tad more cleaner to the bathroom ones. I spray down & wipe off my counters, stoves, refrigerator, remote controls, light switches, door knobs. floors, toilets, tubs, showers, sinks, pet bowls, dishes, car interior….you name it!
There’s a whole line of Thieves cleaners available…..check them out at https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/home/natural-cleaning
DIY cleaning tips
1) Avoid vinegar & lemon juice on real marble or granite.
2) Hydrogen peroxide or lemon can be used in place of bleach.
3) Rubbing alcohol removes sticky residue & disinfects but don’t use it on wood surfaces because it will dry it out. Lemon essential oil is the best at removing stuff.
4) Toxic cleaning ingredient warning: Cleaning product manufacturers do not have to label all the ingredients on their products. You have no way of knowing what you are exposing yourself to. Anything labeled antibacterial, including soap & hand sanitizer, has Triclosan in it. It’s registered by EPA as hazardous. Look up all the damaging effects it has on the body. I think you’ll be shocked. Avoid toxic foaming cleaners. They have an anionic surfactant in it which enters the body through the skin & stays for 5 days causing major health problems. Research that one too! Please stop buying hazardous cleaning products & either make your own or buy safer alternatives.
A healthy home starts with educating yourself, researching ingredients, finding alternatives to toxins & making changes. There are many websites & links throughout my website that I hope is useful to you. There is a healthy balance on knowing what’s going on in the world & with products. Gathering enough information to create a healthier environment in your home is a way to equip yourself.
Here are a couple more links
TODAY is the day to start creating a healthier home!
DIY cleaners are the best! They smell great & are completely non-toxic. You can store them in glass mason jars or purchase glass containers from the links I shared on my Healthy Resources page.