4 Easy Steps to Detox Your Home
I have been on a mission to detox myself and my home from certain chemicals and substances that may be harmful! This all started because I’ve been dealing with skin pain and inflammation; my skin burns and itches rarely with any swelling or redness. I thought that it could be something I was eating or drinking or maybe stress. But, it’s really motivated me to “tame the toxins” as the Autoimmune Solution puts it.
Completely overhauling a self-care / beauty routine, kitchen, cleaning, etc is both time consuming and expensive! So, I broke things down into manageable and actionable items that aren’t too expensive or difficult. Mind you - I definitely needed to spend some money and put in lots of effort, but starting with a few easy things got me motivated to keep going:
Switch out plastics for glassware: I recently read an article about how certain plastics contain carcinogens and hormone disruptors. Some plastics contain phthalates, styrene, or bisphenol all of which have been proven to be harmful. Not only that, but plastic can take over 1,000 years to decompose! Meaning that the “plastic planet” will just keep growing and becoming more polluted if we don’t make changes. Glassware is more sturdy and long-lasting than plastic, so this was a pretty easy switch for me - I just ordered a bunch of Pyrex on Amazon and recycled my old tupperware. Now we don’t have as much tupperware, but it encourages me to cook mindfully (i.e., not to overbuy which causes food waste). I also got reusable food bags, which are so cute and easy for food storage!
Make cleaning solution at home: Cleaning solutions have so many different chemicals that I, as a chemistry major, don’t really know of. I don’t know what they do or how they can change your body and hormones. This to me is really scary! What I do know is that most cleaners contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) which are toxic and harmful. So, I started to make my own cleaner using a simple recipe with vinegar, essential oils, and rubbing alcohol. I just ordered a glass spray bottle online and make it whenever I run out. It’s so nice to have peace of mind knowing that I made our cleaner myself and I can name everything in it. I also researched different floor, toilet, and bathroom cleaners for the more “heavy duty” cleaning on this database that lead me to Aunt Fannie’s cleaning products, which are all rated “A” with non-toxic ingredients.
Switch up shampoos and soaps: So many detergents and soaps have phthalates, fragrance, and sulfates. Fragrance in particular is not well regulated, so companies do not have to disclose all the ingredients in their product. This means that potentially harmful chemicals may make your way into so many of your bathroom and laundry products. I recently made the switch to this unscented detergent that is free of phthalates and sulfates. I also switched out my shower products for Dr. Bronners soap and sulfate free + organic shampoo and conditioner. Pro tip: Whole Foods has a standard that they do not sell products that include phthalates, microbeads, triclosan, BHT, BHA, aluminum chlorohydrate and many more, so it’s a great place to start your search!
Shop smarter using an app: Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit that works to keep consumers educated to make safer and more informed decisions when the shop. They have great resources like databases that rank products ranging from cosmetics to cleaning supplies. I did a ton of research when I was searching for my cosmetics in particular. There are also a ton of apps that allow you to scan a barcode and will give you a ranking of the product and information on all the ingredients; the one I use is Think Dirty. The whole detox process has made me so much more aware of what I’m buying and keeping in my house. These resources make it so easy to continue to make informed choices at the store!
I know it seems like a ton of work to detox, but once I got started it was so fun to explore new products and learn what makes me feel good! If you end up doing something similar and need to throw out your old cleaners, just be sure you dispose of them properly!