Laundry and Cleaning

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.


  • Vinegar

  • Borax

  • Baking Soda

  • Kosher Salt


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:


Laundry

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

1 cup of kosher salt

I might even thrown in some borax for good measure. I do not like stinky towels and washcloths.


If the towels and washcloths don't stink, I only use vinegar and baking soda OR vinegar and salt.


Floors

For weekly cleanup of my kitchen and bathroom floors, I use:

1 cup of vinegar

1 cup of baking soda

1/2 gallon of HOT water


As a general rule, I use a very wet mop, go over the entire floor and let it sit. Then, I mop the floor again, wringing my mop out regularly. It works very well for me.


If the floors are very dirty, I will clean them with:


1 cup of vinegar

1 cup of baking soda

1/2 cup of borax

1/2 gallon of HOT water


For stubborn areas, I sprinkle baking soda and use my mop to scrub it. It is a non-abrasive cleaner that works great. As noted above, I like to wet the floor a lot with my mixture and let it sit. Sometimes, you need a little elbow grease to get the bad spots.


Disinfecting

A 50-50 dilution of vinegar and water is enough to kill germs. Hot water enhances the germ-killing power. I generally keep a spray bottle of diluted vinegar under my sink for disinfecting my kitchen counters and sink daily. I also clean my toilet and bathroom countertops with vinegar.


Often, when I'm cooking, I spray the counters and clean up as I go. It is wonderful to be able to spray my cleaner around my food and never worry about being poisoned!


There are some DON'Ts with using vinegar:

  • Do not not mix bleach and vinegar. It can cause the release of chlorine gas.

  • Do not store vinegar and baking soda in an airtight container or it may explode.

  • Do not mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. It may cause eye, nose, throat and skin irritation.

  • Do not use on stone, marble or granite countertops.

  • Do not use on wood floors.

Room Deodorizer

Glass bottle (essential oils can break down some plastics)

2 tbsp baking soda

10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil (avoid citrus oils because they can stain fabric)

20oz of distilled water


Mix in bottle, shake and spray. Shake well before each use.


Resources

ETHANOLAMINE. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://www.ewg.org/guides/substances/2073-ETHANOLAMINE/


Ethanolamine. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Ethanolamine#section=Overview


Levy, G. (2019, December 12). 8 Best Essential Oils for Disinfecting and Cleaning. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://www.backdoorsurvival.com/8-best-essential-oils-for-disinfecting-and-cleaning-2/


Ruggeri, C. (2020, March 11). Does Vinegar Kill Germs and Mold? Ways to Use vs. Not. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://draxe.com/health/does-vinegar-kill-germs/


Williamson, L. (2018, November 16). Cleaning Vinegar: Using Vinegar To Clean Your Home. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://www.bhg.com.au/cleaning-vinegar-using-vinegar-to-clean-your-home



MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Cynthia A. Barrington nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.