It’s impossible to avoid all chemicals. We need some of them; that’s why they were created. But they are abundant in almost every product we use when they don’t need to be. Fragrances are the biggest culprit. On average, they contain a combination of 50-300 chemicals to make that scent. There have been over 80,000 chemicals added after the 1940s and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act hasn’t been seriously updated since it was passed in 1938.
It’s overwhelming once you learn about all of the chemicals in your daily deodorants, toothpastes, soaps, detergents, and (obviously) cleaning sprays. An easy way to educate yourself is to download the Think Dirty or EWG apps. Search your normal go-to items to learn about what’s bad in the products you use and why. I always tell people to swap out one or two things at a time. Swap for a healthier cleaning option once you empty a bottle of something. Otherwise you will be spending a lot of money and making more waste. You don’t need to buy all new stuff — many chemical-free alternatives can be used for your cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc. But if you have the money, always opt for chemical-free and donate the old unused stuff. We can’t save everyone quite yet!
Why I went chemical free?
If you’ve read my blog or know me, you’ve come to the conclusion that I have some health issues. Chemicals can affect every body system from neurological to digestive (head to toe). By controlling what I can, I give myself the best health I can offer my body. You only get one body; you need to nourish it. I was amazed how quickly my body adapted to being chemical-free and how sensitive I became around high-chemical products. My migraines have always made me super scent sensitive, but it’s amazing how your nose adapts after chemicals. You will cringe at scented trashcans and Yankee candles. Most people find that scary and wouldn’t want this, but it’s amazing how in-tune you can become with your body once you are able to listen to it. Removing the chemicals and preservatives from my life allowed me to focus on my health issues without other obstacles that the food and chemicals were causing me without my knowledge.
Where to start?
Some easy swaps to start with include the following:
- Toss your perfumes and sprays. Look into investing in essential oils. I use doTERRA personally. You need to find a reputable brand that makes 100% pure oils. Avoid “aromatherapy grade” and “fragrance grade.” The best companies are as follows: doTERRA, Young Living, Plant Therapy, or Edens Garden (the cheapest).
- Swap your deodorant for a natural one. Our common deodorants contain parabens and aluminum which affect our hormones. *Look for ones with essential oil fragrances, not ones that just list “natural fragrances.” I like the powdered ones but Native is a safe and available stick brand.
- Throw out your dryer sheets and get some wool dryer balls. The chemicals in dryer sheets and some softeners can cause eczema as well as asthma and hormone issues. You can add quality essential oils to the dryer balls to add scent. There are still safe laundry softeners out there; brands I use are listed at the end of this post.
- Toss out your plastic. This is an easy but expensive one; switch to glass storage and drinking canisters or stainless. They will last forever and are safe from any chemicals. They even make cute sleeves to protect them from drops and falls!
- Toss the plug-ins. Buy a diffuser; make or buy beeswax candles. Learn to have a green thumb by using plants/herbs to cook, clean, and purify the air with. If you can’t tell, I love my oils. But I love plants even more. I wish I was able to grow everything I get as an oil. Luckily what I can’t grow, I can replace with a couple drops of oils. I despise air fresheners, and this is an easy and healthy way to live chemical-free and help your health and your families. Making candles are fun and can save you money in the long run. If you want to buy them, look for beeswax candles with essential oils, not “fragrance.”
- Look into paperless cleaning. Norwex has an awesome antibacterial rag that you can clean without cleaner!
- Make your own cleaning solutions! There are hundreds of “healthy” or natural” cleaning companies. To deep clean, you need chemicals. Some are better than others, and the best have simple ingredients that you can make yourself for a quarter of the price! Here’s a supply list to get started:
Not ready to conquer your inner homestead lifestyle and make your DIY cleaning supplies?
Totally fine! I’m all about convenience and time management, so I understand. Do yourself a favor and download the Think Dirty or EWG apps for your phone. They will help you look up what you clean with, why it’s bad, and what to use instead. Here are some safe brands I keep around the house, all available at Target:
- Seventh Generation (fragrance-free)
- Dr. Bronner’s (all products!)
- Molly Suds
I hope this helps you live a more chemical-free lifestyle! Feel free to ask questions.
With everything going on in the world right now, we are learning the power of germs. Now that more people are becoming increasingly aware, pay attention to the chemicals that you put in you and your family’s lives. Stay Well and Live a Long and Healthy Life!