How We Got Started Detoxing Our Home

Did you know detoxing your home could be as easy as taking off your shoes at the door?  Or being more thoughtful about dusting?  Most of this is pretty basic stuff that any of us can try.

As we've been showing you all week, the Detox Your Home information from Women's Voices for the Earth also goes a bit more in-depth, with suggestions on checking ingredient labels and trying safer alternatives to conventional products, even making some yourself.

We started looking at WVE's educational materials last year when a few friends helped me try a Green Cleaning Party.  Since then, I have regularly made nearly all of my household cleaners.  A couple of the cleaning recipes become better smelling variations of the basic vinegar-based cleaners I'd already been using - and I love carefully adding a few drops of essential oil to them.  Mopping floors and cleaning windows with a vinegar mix is an easy alternative that I actually prefer.  Be careful to not use vinegar on granite or marble countertops.  You'll also want to check manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning various items around your house. 

Household bleach seemed to be a trigger for my baby's airway reactions, and I am glad to rid the house of it.  I do have to admit that I miss having it around as a quick fix for times when I've forgotten to pre-treat a laundry stain.  Since I'm using hydrogen peroxide as an alternative whitener, I have to be more vigilant about pre-soaking whites before the wash cycle.  I find it cheap and easy to make my own homemade laundry soap for use most of the time.  I still keep one bottle of a better brand of liquid laundry soap to use with delicates.

I personally like to use a simple Castile type of soap for hand washing and some cleaning needs, instead of buying soaps with questionable ingredients.  This transition is still a challenge, especially when my husband occasionally tries to be helpful by bringing home a bargain soap laced with triclosan and other additives.

My husband is also not totally on board with the homemade dishwasher detergent I've made.  You really need to use vinegar in the rinse cycle.  Even then, it doesn't give the spotless, perfect results you might get from some commercial products.

As for personal care products, reading labels can be time consuming, but well worth it.  While I don't intend to give up makeup, I appreciate that more choices are available now, like the natural line that Three Rivers Market carries in Knoxville.  I'll spend more for all-natural versions of fluoride toothpaste for my children, per their dentist's recommendation that they need it for cavity prevention.  I'm a bit more liberal about toothpaste for myself, sometimes making my own inexpensive version from a recipe at  The Road Less Traveled.  Basic ingredients like coconut oil, found in the toothpaste recipe, can be amazing skin moisturizers.  I find the Skin Deep database an essential eye opener for finding out what's really in the products I buy.

Next time:  products some of you say you couldn't live without!

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