The more I learn about harmful chemicals and how they affect our health… and how they are EVERYWHERE, the more I knew I needed to share what I was learning. Detoxing my home of nasty chemicals has been a slow steady process for me over the last 7 years. I definitely did NOT do everything all at once. Some people can sustain an all or nothing approach, but I needed to create one new habit at a time. And I can finally say I can see light at the end of the tunnel and am enjoying the benefits of the changes we have made. I have completely switched over my body, skincare, cleaning and cosmetics to non-toxic alternatives. The products I have chosen are not the only ones out there, but they are good and clean and I feel happy with them, both in the fact that they are safe and that they WORK. So I present: The Cheerfully Imperfect Guide to Home Detox.
First off, don’t feel like you have to take my word for any of this. Please do your own research and choose what works for your family. But as you do you research, please be aware of GREENWASHING. What is greenwashing? According to Greenwashing.com it is “whitewashing, but with a green brush”. It’s basically making products sound safe and natural in advertising and packaging, but without actually making them safe. If you become an expert in reading labels, you can avoid the companies and products that do this, but to the average consumer, it can be hard to differentiate between truly wholesome, safe products and ones that know how to use popular verbage. Just because something says “safe”, “natural” or “organic ingredients”, does not in fact, guarantee those things.
So, how do you know and who to believe? A great place to start is with the Environmental Working Group website or their app. You can search for thousands of products and ingredients and get a rating on them based on the actual ingredients. They will link to research done on those ingredients. That being said, I get asked ALL the time what products I use and recommend. So here it goes.
The Cheerfully Imperfect Guide to Home Detox
I will divide this into 3 categories. Cleaning, body products and cosmetics. There are other categories, such as water purification and food and nutrition. But for now, we will limit this to household and external body products.
When you decide toss the toxic cleaning products, you want to make sure you choose alternatives that actually work and do a good job cleaning.
AIR. I use essential oils to clean the air. They have a great track record and unlike air fresheners filled with fragrances (which actually contain some of the most toxic ingredients in our homes), they both purify and have an uplifting and positive effect on the emotions, so that’s a bonus. I get my essential oils here.
HARD SURFACES. This includes, but is not limited to floors, counters, toilets, tubs, sinks, kids toys, windows and doorknobs. You can either go the DIY route and get yourself a big bottle of vinegar and some baking soda and that will pretty much clean anything. I have those ingredients and supplement with them, but now I have switched over to Thieves cleaner for most of my cleaning. It does a fantastic job, smells good and rates well. You won’t find it on the EWG site, but I looked all the ingredients for you, so you can see how it rates. You’re welcome.
LAUNDRY. When I first went non-toxic I made my own laundry soap, but over time it build up a layer of water resistant soap scum on my clothes and actually made my cloth diapers non absorbent. No bueno. So I switched to soap nuts, which I am a huge fan of. Plus, it doesn’t get less expensive than that. You can wash your laundry for $50 per year and if you don’t have a big family like me, you can probably make it last MUCH longer. More recently I wanted something with slightly more whitening power, so I have actually switched over to the Thieves laundry detergent and I am pretty much in love. It just a great job getting the clothes super clean and the ingredients are just as clean! You can check them out here.
STAIN REMOVAL. I actually just use the household cleaner I mentioned above and I put it in a roller bottle and roll onto the clothes before washing. But here are some other great ideas for natural stain removal.
DISHES. IN A DISHWASHER. Also Thieves. Sorry, if you are getting tired of this answer. It’s just such a relief to find safe products that actually work well.
CARPET. For stink I mix purification essential oil with baking soda and sprinkle on, leave a while and vacuum up. For stains and mess clean up I use Thieves cleaner.
Did I miss anything cleaning related? Let’s move on!
I keep things pretty simple when it comes to my body products and I am a fan of making my own, because it’s fun and keeps costs down. You may require more than I recommend, which is ok. Like I said above, just check your products on the Environmental Working Group website. Let’s go, from head to toe…
HAIR. I use a shampoo that I add certain essential oils to, in order to support my scalp. And I make a DIY apple cider vinegar hair rinse. You can find those recipes here.
FACE. I’m a simple girl. I like to wash my face in the shower with water every day and exfoliate with a baking soda scrub once a week (always followed by a toner, to balance the ph of my skin again). Then when I get out of the shower I use a simple face serum made from jojoba oil with rose and frankincense EOs. If you don’t want to spring for the rose (pure rose oil costs a pretty penny… if it doesn’t, then it isn’t pure, lol), then you can use lavender in it’s place. If I didn’t make my own, I would absolutely use the Art Skincare system, which I have tried and love.
HANDS. I generally make my own hand soap using castile soap and a foaming hand soap pump!
BODY. I either use plain bar soap (no fragrances or additives) or Lavender Shower Gel from Young Living. I also use a salt scrub once every week or two on my legs and FEET, which I make with 2 parts salt to 1 part coconut oil and then add peppermint EO to it. Yummy, and it smooths and moisturizes my legs and gets the ashy, dry stuff off.
TROUBLE SKIN. Sometimes I get trouble skin. You know. When a little part of your body no longer feels as soft as a baby’s bottom? Elbows, heels, etc. I generally use a DIY body butter (okay, so that link is to my belly butter… but the recipe is the same, I just use different EOs…) and rub it in where I need it. That recipe is SO nourishing. My skin loves it.
Did I forget anything? Let’s move on.
This was one area I put off for a LONG time. Like I said before, I was only able to tackle one habit at a time and this one came last. I was actually really embarrassed when people would ask me what make up I used, because I was using cheap drugstore make up and didn’t want anyone to know. But it was one more thing to figure out and I just didn’t have time to deal with it. Don’t judge me. You know you have some of those too. But I finally did some research and found a make up company that is very transparent and lists ALL of their ingredients, without hiding nasty chemicals. I tried it out for a few months before publicly recommending it, because I wanted to make sure, like everything else, that it actually worked. And it does. It performs like high end make up, while being very safe. Check it out for yourself. The brand is Beauty Counter and if you live in the Arlington, TX area you can get it from my friend Kristen. If you are local to her, you can get samples from her!!! If you don’t live local, my online go to is my sister in law Arlan. She is also happy to answer questions and help you figure out which make up will work best for you.
I hope this was helpful for you. Do your own research and see what works best for you!!!
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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products or techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am just a mom who shares what works for me!