Thursday, August 27, 2009

Three Simple Ingredients for a Cleaner, Healthier Home

Did you know that the very products we use in our homes to better our quality of life may actually be depleting it? Household cleaning agents are often a source of hundreds of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are comprised of a variety of harmful chemicals, and may have short and long term adverse heath effects. Concentrations of VOCs are consistently about ten times higher indoors, where the average person spends about 90% of their time. According to The Healthy House Institute, the hazardous ingredients in household cleaning products fall into three main categories:
  1. Carcinogens: Carcinogens cause cancer and/or promote cancer's growth.

  2. Endocrine Disruptor's: Endocrine disruptor's mimic human hormones, confusing the body with false signals. Exposure to endocrine disruptor's can lead to numerous heath concerns including reproductive, developmental, growth and behavior problems. Endocrine disruptor's have been linked to reduced fertility, premature puberty, miscarriage, menstrual problems, challenged immune systems, abnormal prostate size, ADHD, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and certain cancers.

  3. Neurotoxins: Neurotoxins affect neurons and brain activity, causing a range of problems from headaches to loss of intellect.

One way to clean your home and help clear some of the harmful indoor pollution build up is to make your own all natural cleaning products. Using these simple three ingredients, you can help keep your home clean and fresh-smelling without the toxic side effects and without breaking the bank:
  1. Baking Soda: Abrasive, soluble in water, and containing anti-fungal properties, baking soda may require a little more elbow grease, but will leave you with your healthy windpipe intact.

  2. Vinegar: Its mildly acidic nature is anathema to bacteria and mold, and it naturally works like like an all-purpose cleaner. Mix one part water to one part vinegar in a spray bottle and you will have a solution that will clean most areas of your home. Don't worry about the vinegar smell, it will disappear as soon as the solution dries.

  3. Lemon Juice: This is another great all natural substance that can be used to dissolve soap scum and hard water deposits, and can also be used to clean and shine brass and copper. Mix with vinegar or baking soda to make cleaning pastes, or cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section to scrub dishes, surfaces and stains, or you can even mix one cup olive oil with 1/2 cup lemon juice and you have furniture polish.

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