In studying natural health, I have learned that being healthy involves a lot more than just eating nutritious foods. It means taking care of the entire body. In my research, I began seeing a terrifying trend of harmful ingredients in products all around my house. My laundry detergent, dryer sheets, household cleaning products, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, etc. where laden with ingredients I would never touch on their own. We can all agree we don't want to put poisons in our mouth knowing they could hurt us. But, our skin is the largest organ we have. The toxins on our skin ARE going into our bodies.
Deviating from the way we've always done things can be overwhelming. My best advice, based on my own experience, is take it one step at a time. Make one change and let that become the way things are done now. In Isaiah 28:10, the Bible speaks of line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little in learning the ways of the Lord. I believe that is the way of learning in all things. Learning of the Lord is the MOST important learning we can do. If that concept works for that learning, it will work for learning to be healthy, too.
The Bad Stuff
Did you know many detergents, cleaning products and even hair dyes contain ETHANOLAMINE?
ETHANOLAMINE, aka as aminoethanol, is a commercial chemical used to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from natural gas and other gases and to make other chemicals, including detergents, soaps, surfactants and corrosion inhibitors. It is a component in machining fluids, hydraulic fracturing fluids used in natural gas extraction, and polishes. It is also a component in household cleaning products and hair coloring and waving products.
So what's the big deal?
Ethanolamine is known to cause asthma and respiratory problems, skin allergies and irritations, developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as general systemic and organ effects. That's a very big deal to me! Unfortunately, that is only ONE of the ingredients. There are many other toxic chemicals in common household products.
To do your own research, which I highly recommend you do, The Environmental Working Group is a great place to start. They grade everyday products based on their ingredients and breakdown the toxicity of those ingredients.
Once I became aware of the toxins in my environment, I began making changes. One of the first things I did, is switch to common household products with zero side effects.
There are MANY natural recipes online for laundry detergent and household cleaning, all of which are non-toxic to you, your children and your pets. I encourage you to find what works for you.
If you cannot tolerate the smell of vinegar, find an essential oil you love and add a few drops. Essential oils like cinnamon, thyme, tea tree, oregano, peppermint, eucalyptus, clove and lemon are excellent for cleaning and disinfecting. You can also add your favorite fresh herb to a bottle of vinegar and let it sit for a week. Herb-infused vinegar works great in the laundry.
Here's what I do:
I use 1 cup of vinegar per load of laundry. For my work clothes, that's all I need. I no longer have splotches on my scrubs from detergents leaving residue behind and my clothes are fresh and clean.
For really dirty laundry, like my son's work clothes, I use:
1 cup of vinegar
1 cup of kosher salt
1/2 cup of borax
For stinky towels and washcloths, I use:
1 1/2 cup of vinegar (works best in hot water)
1 cup of baking soda