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I debated on whether to even begin this post because it can be a very cumbersome project, even to write about. But the bottom line is there are many things that accumulate and affect our health, and sometimes it’s not about what we put IN our wellness basket, but what we take out as well. And while detoxing our homes, or taking out the toxins, can be cumbersome, just like the things we put IN our wellness basket, it’s not about perfection. It’s about making progress and taking small steps towards the end goal that is important. So let’s talk about how to start a detox for your home today!
Why Detox Your Home?
First it’s important to know the WHY. The why is what keeps your motivation going when the going gets tough. The process of detox, whether it’s for your body or your home, is never the ‘easy’ way to live. But it makes a huge difference.
So with that said, here’s some facts to ponder:
Air and Pollutants
Poor indoor air quality may lead to a rise in asthma or asthma symptoms.
Exposure to pesticides, air pollutants, or formaldehyde may increase risk of cancers.
Cleansers and Chemicals
Household cleaners have been a common cause of poison control calls. Many household cleaners contain chemicals that can be harmful if ingested, inhaled, or come into contact with the skin or eyes.
According to environmental experts, the average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals. While the manufacturers making the products and making money by selling the products argue that in small amounts these toxic ingredients aren’t likely to be a problem, I and others realize when we’re exposed to them routinely, and in combinations that haven’t been studied, it’s impossible to accurately gauge the risks.
There’s a number of chemicals in our environment including lead, mercury, alcohol, solvents, PCBs (synthetic organic chemicals),etc. are known to affect brain development and may be factors in the cause or increase of symptoms of ADHD, autism, and similar brain issues.
Evidence in Newborns
Human umbilical cords can contain various pollutants and chemicals at birth. These pollutants can enter the fetal bloodstream through the placenta during pregnancy. Studies have found that umbilical cords can carry a range of substances, including heavy metals (mercury, lead, and others), VOCs, and more.
Where to Start?
How and where to start detoxing your home of toxins is really a personal choice. You must evaluate the ease and cost of everything. Start where you can. Increase as time goes on. But here’s some ideas and tips to ponder as you begin this part of your wellness journey.
Don’t let this part of your wellness journey become overwhelming. Remember that progress doesn’t have to be perfect– it is still progress and still makes a difference. Start with things that are the easiest and most doable. Overwhelming your self leads to stress and stress is something to eliminate the best you can on your wellness journey.
Evaluate the Toxins
Take time to consider what toxins are in your home. Whether it’s cleansers, cosmetics, detergents, carpets, mold, bedding, food products, paints, floorings or whatever else you may come across in your explorations, decide what’s most important to you to get rid of or start replacing. Sometimes it’s easier to just replace the smaller things as you use them up. For example, if you are close to being out of laundry detergent, this may be the time to investigate cleaner brands. If you need to replace carpet, this may be the time to evaluate better less toxic options before purchasing and installing.
- Replace items with cleaner products as you run out of them.
- Replace items in one room first such as the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom.
- Look for sales on organic sheets and other bedding to replace those things as you can.
- Toss out the air fresheners. They are really bad for respiratory health with their synthetic fragrances and other potentially harmful chemicals. Replace with essential oil diffusers if you feel you need something or simmer fresh or dried herbs on the stove.
- Learn to make your own cleaning spray. I make mine with water, a touch of vinegar and rosemary and lemon essential oil. So easy. So fresh smelling! And definitely anti-bacterial!
- Try, a little at a time, to replace conventional personal care products, such as soaps, deodorant, shampoos, and cosmetics, with natural and organic alternatives. Look for products that are free from potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. Earthley Wellness has wonderful selections on these and more!
- Consider the pesticides and herbicides on your foods, garden, and yard. Instead of using chemical pesticides and herbicides in your home or garden, opt for organic and natural pest control methods. This could include using traps, natural repellents, or practicing integrated pest management techniques. This is an ongoing learning experience in my home as we learn new methods of dealing with fleas, ticks and other insects!
- Consider replacing plastic food storage containers with glass or stainless steel alternatives. The same goes for cookware. Again, start small and look for sales. These items would be the perfect things to ask for as birthday or Christmas gifts as well! I love my Pyrex glass storage set. Add them to your Amazon Wish List!
- Synthetic bedding and mattresses can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Opt for organic, natural fiber bedding materials and mattresses made with natural materials like organic cotton, wool, or latex. I have yet to do this for mattresses, but I have been replacing our sheets and blankets with organic alternatives.
In Summary: Detox Your Home
It’s super important on your wellness journey to detox your home. Read more about toxins and learn why it’s important to at least start purging them and begin to make cleaner choices. Remember it’s okay to start small so that it doesn’t become too overwhelming, stressful or a financial burden. Pick an area of your home or a type of item to begin focusing on. It may be something you realize is most harmful because of the type of toxin or because you use it so frequently. Or it may be because it’s the easiest thing to replace. Either way, get started! Let me know how you are doing in the comments below!
Sources and Items to Consider:
Earthley has a lot of home supplies to help you get started. There’s a number of things you can find on Amazon as well:
Mrs. Myer’s Products – while I wouldn’t call these products perfect, they are by far better than most cleaning products that are not homemade and help with an easy and usually financially doable transition! They have lovely natural scents and offer products for surfaces, floors, laundry, bathroom, dish soap, and more!
Seventh Generation – this is another well known company selling cleaner products for the home. I like their dish soap and have used their bathroom products before making my own cleaning spray.
Detox Your Home: A simple guide to remove the toxins from your home!