Guest Post by Joanna Runciman of Actual Organics
There’s much talk of toxins in the home these days, and as a parent, that can feel scary. Fortunately there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of toxins in your home, and today, I’m going to share 3 of them with you.
1. Soaps and shower gels
Many soaps nowadays are anti-bacterial, which might sound like a good thing, but I don’t think it is. I prefer to use a very simple bar of soap such as or Dr Bronners castile soap.
Why? The ingredients are non-toxic and do not contain triclosan.
You can save money by avoiding antibacterial products and instead opting for simple soap and water. It’s cheaper and less toxic. A simple bar of olive oil soap or Dr Bronner’s soap is inexpensive and lasts a good while. These bar soaps are often a few dollars for three bars as opposed to over $5 for bottled shower gels which leaves plastic container waste.
2. Laundry powder
Many laundry powders and liquids have strong synthetic fragrances which can be toxic. According to Dr Anne Steinemann “fragranced consumer products are not required to disclose all chemicals, not even ones classified as toxic or hazardous.” 
Phthalates can be found in many fragrances. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors. I don’t want those in any products I use in my home or on my body!
I use a non-toxic, eco-friendly laundry powder and nowadays there are many washing powders without fragrances and using non-toxic ingredients. Ones that I have used and like are Molly’s Suds, Nature Clean, and even soap nuts which are a fruit from Nepal (they really do work!). And of course, you can always make your own.
I do not use a tumble dryer (mainly as they are very expensive to run) so instead we use a washing line in Summer or a clothes horse in Winter. This saves us hundreds of dollars in electricity bills and obviously is more environmentally friendly. It does require planning as you can’t just wash and tumble your jeans, but it is easy to do. I also wear more of my clothes this way! It is well worth it as the money you save not using a dryer is significant.
3. Household Cleaning Products
This is an area that can be toxic if you are not aware of what you are buying. Unfortunately just as something is on the shelf doesn’t mean it is necessarily safe and reading labels of cleaning products is challenging as often there is not a full list of ingredients, as no law in the U.S. requires disclosure of all chemical ingredients in a consumer product.
I personally use three ingredients to clean my home: essential oils, baking soda and castile soap. Sometimes I mix them together and other times I only use water and essential oils or baking soda and water. Cleaning can be simple.
Here are some ideas.
- Soap is an old fashioned way to clean, and it is effective. Don’t let the simple nature of soap fool you. I use castile soap to make an all purpose household cleaner that works great!
- I use washable cloths for cleaning surfaces and simply put them in a hot wash once a week with a couple of drops of essential oils alongside the laundry powder to clean them.
- I also put our washing up brush in the dishwasher to clean it once a week. Not only is it simple, but inexpensive and effective, Often the simple ways are the best. My second book is all about simplifying life.
- Vinegar is also great for cleaning a loo (toilet) or the grouting on the shower, for example. I simply add a couple of drops of lemon or tea tree oil to ‘fragrance’ it and leave a nice smell.
- Baking soda can also be used to remove stinky smells from a bathroom. Simply put a few tablespoons of baking soda into a dish and add a couple of drops of essential oil. It’s far less toxic than expensive air fresheners which are contained in non-recyclable containers.
Detoxing your home need not be complicated. It can be simple, effective and refreshing. Why? Refreshing as you only need a few ingredients to have a clean home, you’ll save money, and you’ll be using less toxic ingredients.
What is one way you detox your home naturally that helps you save money? Share your tip in the comments below.
Joanna writes for about non-toxic ways to simplify your life and look radiant doing it. She blogs at www.ActualOrganics.com and writes a Canadian newspaper column on non-toxic living. She is the author of “The Radiant Woman’s Handbook: sensible, positive solutions for reducing toxins and loving your body” available on Amazon and in good bookshops. To sign up to Joanna’s newsletter and get your downloadable resource pack including a sneak peek at her book visit: http://www.actualorganics.com/contact-us/subscribe/