Natural Cleaning Tips: Why You HAVE to Avoid Chemical Cleaning Products
I have a question for you. As a species (yes, us humans) we understand more about the human body than ever, and we understand more about how to cure disease and illness than ever – so why is it that there are more people than at any other time in history suffering from degenerative diseases?
There is no doubt about it – all data points to the fact that there is a clear correlation between the rise in degenerative disease (cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc.) and our advancement as a race. It seems that the more advances we make, as a species, the more ill we become. The more we understand about how to cure illness and disease, the less we seem to know about how to prevent it. The more time goes on, the sicker we get.
So I have another question for you.
What do you think the cause of this is? Is there one cause? Or is it a mix?
I personally think it is a mix. Off the top of my head I can think of these potential factors:
- Our diets have generally become worse because of the convenience of eating unhealthily
- We exercise less generally because of the entertainment on offer to us now, and because the vast majority of jobs and careers no longer involve being active and on our feet
- The rise of certain foods such as unhealthy oils (margarine, white sugar, flour pasta etc)
- The increasing and continued use of drugs such as tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs
- The increase of electricity/potentially harmful devices such as mobile phones, wireless internet/keyboards/laptops etc
- Our continued over-reliance on prescription drugs for every cough, cold, headache and hangover
- Increasing stress and busy, time-poor lifestyles
And then this one:
Our lives are filled with chemicals. Toxic chemicals.
We use them every day, putting them on our body (deodorant, shampoo, make-up), in our body (toothpaste, mouthwash), on our clothes (detergents) and all over our homes (cleaning products).
And according to Mercola:
“Putting chemicals on your skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body. However, when you put these chemicals on your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs.
Once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down.”
After a significant amount of research here are my thoughts and feelings on why you should ditch the chemical products in your home and go for natural cleaning instead – for your house and body!
Every day we face a barrage of environmental toxins that can invade our body through the air we breath, our skin and the substances we ingest. Our skin is our largest organ, with 2.5 million sweat glands covering our body. In fact, just one square inch of skin has 650 sweat glands, 65 hair follicles, 234 feet of nerves, 57 feet of capillaries, 19,000 sensory cells, 94 sebaceous (oil) glands, 1250 pain receptors, 13 cold and 78 heat receptors, plus immune cells.
Our skin is not only designed to protect us from the outside, but also to let things in too. Sunlight, for example, is absorbed by the skin and benefits us in a number of different ways, including in the synthesis of vitamin D.
However, the chemicals and toxins we are putting on our skin every day could be doing more harm than good. Make-up, moisturiser, deodorant, detergents from clothing and washing, shower gel, soap, shampoo all contain potentially harmful ingredients to which continued exposure to could be highly detrimental to our body.
I know that it is not practical to avoid every potential hazard, and some argue that it is actually beneficial to make our immune systems work a little every now and then. However, I am firmly of the opinion that in our modern lives we simply come into contact with far too many unnecessary environmental toxins and pollutants, which further contribute to the stress we put our body under through our diet and lifestyle.
I really recommend you do your own research on this too, but here are some of the nasties I found lurking in our everyday products:
Shampoo & Shower Gel - Most popular shampoos and shower gels contain concerning chemical substances. I have long ditched the high-street shampoo for natural, chemical-free products and I’m so glad that I did. Ingredients in shampoos have been linked to hormone disruption (alkyphenols), cell mutation and immune system suppression (Sodium lauryl sulfate) and nerve damage methylisothiazoline). Methylisothiazoline has also been strongly linked to cancer, liver disorder and neurological disease . Most shampoos also contain formaldehyde which is a proven carcinogen.
UPDATE: we are proud to offer pH Miracle’s range of natural shampoos and conditioners! Click here for more info.
Deodorant – This is the one I would urge you to avoid more than others. The problem starts with aluminium, which is present in the majority of popular brand deodorants. Aluminium in these products has been directly linked to increase risk of many cancers, most prominently breast cancer. Aluminium has also been linked with neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, motor skill degeneration and bone fragility. Other toxic substances found in many deodorants include Ethanolamine that is a corrosive chemical that negatively affects the liver, kidney and nervous system. It is also an irritant that can lead to many skin allergies.
Laundry Detergent - Laundry detergents trouble me because of the amount of time you are exposed to them. Many chemicals are left behind on your clothes after washing, especially if you use conditioner that is designed to stay on your clothes! Different brands all use different detergents to try and get the cleanest clean and the edge over their competitors, so I have listed a few of the most common toxins to look out for:
- Petroleum distillates (aka napthas): linked to cancer, lung damage, lung inflammation and damage to mucous membranes.
- Phenols: these are featured in many household products and are highly toxic, a suspected carcinogen and are rapidly absorbed by the body.
- Optical brighteners: Can cause skin allergy, toxic to fish and can cause bacterial mutations.
- Artificial fragrances: Cause allergies, skin and eye irritation.
- Ammonia: Causes burns, cataracts & corneal damage. Studies have shown that long-term repeated exposure can lead to problems inlcuding bronchitis and pneumonia. Ingestion can lead to stomach and oesophagus ulcers.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: when repeatedly in contact with SLS severe eye, skin, and respiratory irritation can occur causing quite some discomfort
- Diethanolamine: this common detergent is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a pesticide and a hazardous air pollutant, and yet it is allowed in detergents and most cosmetics. Research has linked it to endocrine system disruption, as well as brain and nervous system effects. It has also been listed as a human skin toxicant and a respiratory toxicant by the EWG.
Oven Cleaner – Oven cleaning sprays are hardcore. The warning labels on these should be enough to put you off! Even before I became interested in my health I was still scared of oven cleaner – and after accidently inhaling some my fears were confirmed. Steer clear of this stuff. Just one look at an example warning label should be enough to put you off:
DANGER: CORROSIVE. BURNS SKIN AND EYES. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED. May irritate respiratory tract. Contains about 4.5% sodium hydroxide (lye). Avoid contact with skin, eyes or clothing. Wear long rubber gloves and eye protection when spraying and wiping. Do not spray toward face. If product contacts person, immediately follow First Aid procedures. Avoid breathing spray mist.
Oven cleaners ofen contain lye and ammonia, both of which eat the skin. There is often residue left behind which is then cooked with your food. I’m getting nervous just writing this stuff.
There is much more scary information out there on everyday products such as toothpaste, make up, skincare, conditioners, furniture polish and a whole host of other products that we use every single day and put on our body, breathe in and absorb through our skin.
This, to me, is pretty scary and I think it is pretty clear that this is definitely impacting the state of our health as a species.
It is so easy, and not actually more expensive, to switch to natural, chemical-free products. I really recommend you give it a try. I made the switch eight or so months ago and it has been pretty easy – I didn’t find it hard at all. I just shop for certain products in certain places and don’t get everything from the supermarket any more.
And as a bonus, these products are all much more gentle on the environment too. So are natural cleaning products worth it? I would say – absolutely, yes – stop using chemicals in your home and on your body and start going natural instead!
Further Reading: Natural Cleaning Tips
Natural cleaning tip #1: How to clean your oven naturally
Natrual cleaning tip #2: Organic association on how toxic your household products are
Natural cleaning tip #3: How to use household products to make natural cleaners
Natural cleaning tip #4: Naturally cleaning your bathroom
Natural cleaning tip #5: alkaline ionized water is fantastic for cleaning vegetables, but even better is the acid water uses that the ionized pH 3 water has. The acid water is totally antibacterial, antiseptic and so can be used to clean all of your kitchen, bathroom, do sterilising and more! Plus it’s great for your skin.
Natural Cleaning Tips for your Body!
UPDATE we are now extremely proud and delighted to be able to offer the pH Miracle range of natural body products.
These are amazing value lasting over 3 months per bottle, and contain a wealth of luxurious cleansing and healing ingredients such as Avocado oil, Colloidal Silver, Wheat Grass, Lavender Oil, Aloe Vera, Green Drink Extract, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potassium Bicarbonate and Flower Essence.
We have also had a whole load of positive reports back from people using these products. A major source of toxicity are the range of toiletries and cosmetics that you use on a daily basis.
You may be ingesting or absorbing many toxic chemicals through your skin. Here is our chart of the worst offenders in our everyday skin and body products – I really urge you to check this out.