Category Archives: Spring Cleaning

Greener Spring Cleaning With Non Toxic Cleaning Products

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How Healthy Is Your Home? It’s alarming but true-scientists and doctors have discovered that there is  a connection between our health ant eh use of common everyday household chemicals. If yours is the typical home, you probably use dozens of cleaning and personal care products, purchased at the local grocery store, which contain chemical ingredients that could be harmful to your health and the health of your loved ones. Since World War Ii, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of man-made chemicals we use in our homes. The typical home now contains over sixty-three hazardous products that together contain hundreds of different chemicals. At the sane tune there has been an equally dramatic rise in the incidence of certain certain chronic health problems.  Research indicates that this is more than coincidence that the dramatic rise in these various diseases has coincided with the increased use of hazardous man-made chemicals in the home

 

Have We  Always Been Sick? Around the beginning of the 20th century the cancer incidence rat was about one in fifty. Today in the US one in three women and one in two men will suffer from cancer some time in their lives. Cancer is the number two killer of adults and the leading cause of death from disease in children. The incidence of central nervous system disorders like Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis increases annually. Birth defects are on  the rise as well. Over 150,00 babies are born with defects each year for reasons unknown. Another 500,000 babies are miscarried early in pregnancy each year with an additional 24,000 miscarried  late in pregnancy or still born.  Infertility is increasing and widespread with over 2,000,000,000 couples who want children unable to conceive. Asthma was also once a very rare disease. Now the condition is extremely common. The Asthma rate has tripled in the last twenty years with over 30 million twenty years.

Happy Endings Some conscientious companies now offer household products that are safer and more natural. Most of these people friendly and environmentally sensitive product work just as well or better than grocery store brands, and in many cases actually cost less. So there’s really no reason to risk your health, or the health of your loved ones any longer. Is your home a healthy home?  right now, it,s probably not as healthy as it could be. Read on to learn more.

 

They Would’t Sell It If  It Isn’t Safe Would They?  Yes they would learn why. The government has very limited power to regulate manufacturers, or to require testing of their products.  Her are some disturbing facts:

  • A product that kills 50% of lab animals through ingestion or  inhalation can still receive the federal regulatory designation  “non toxic”.
  • Of the 17,000 chemicals that appear in common household products, only 30% have been adequately tested for their negative effects on our health :   less than 10% have been tested for their effect on the nervous system; and nothing is known about the combined effects of these chemicals when nixed within our bodies.
  • No law requires manufactures to list the exact ingredients on the  package label.
  • “Personal car product” refers to just about anything we use to clean our bodies or make ourselves look or smell good. The closest thing to a regulatory agency  for the personal care industry is the Food & Drug Administration(FDA), and their power is extremely limited
  •  Here are more unsettling fact regarding personal care products
  • The FDA cannot test any personal care product until it is released into the market place.
  • Neither personal care products nor their ingredients are reviewed or approved before they are sold to the public.
  • The FDA cannot require companies to do safety testing on their personal care products before they are sold to the public.
  • The FDA cannot require recalls or harmful personal care products from the marketplace.
  • The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) analyzed 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products. The results were as follows:
  • 884 of the chemical were toxic
  • 314 caused biological mutation
  • 218 caused  reproductive complications
  • 778 caused acute toxicity
  • 148 caused tumors
  • 376 caused skin and eye irritations

Attention deficit disorder in adults and children is rising in 1993 2 million children took Ridltan so they could sit still long enough to learn. In 1995 that number had doubled.   Everyone wants a clean and fresh smelling home, but if you’ve been using commercial cleaners and air fresheners, you might have a home full of toxins! In fact, the EPA says that the levels of pollutants in the home can be up to 100 times higher than the outside air. This pollution can come from gases given off by anything from your carpeting to your kitchen cabinets to your cleaning products. Walk into any grocery store and you will see a myriad of cleaners – there’s so many it might even be hard to choose. Most of them are loaded with harmful chemicals, but there are many now that bear the words “natural” on the label. However, one should not be fooled by that one little word – many of these cleaners are anything but natural and there are no standards or regulation for using this word on product labels. If you really want to go green with your cleaning, there are plenty of natural things you can use. Tea tree oil is a great natural cleaner for mold and mildew, baking soda makes a wonderful abrasive cleaner and white vinegar is a great all around cleaner that will shine your windows and mirrors like nobodies business. In addition to the health benefits of no toxic cleaning, using these substances is also much less costly than most store bought cleaners. For scrubbing surfaces like bathtubs, sinks and even counters use a mixture of baking soda and liquid detergent combined to make a paste. Put the paste on a sponge and scrub away. You can also mix baking soda with a little water if you prefer. For cleaning glass surfaces, there is nothing like vinegar. Mix 3 tablespoons with 2 cups of water and just a dab of liquid detergent. Put it in a spray bottle and shake it up, then just spray on and wipe off as you would any cleaner. When it comes to moldy areas, bathroom tile and even cutting boards, you can use straight vinegar sprayed on the area and let to sit for as long as you want (even overnight). The vinegar will work to clean and sanitize as well as deodorize. If you have a mold problem, combine 2 teaspoons tea tree oil with 1 cup of water and spray directly on the area without wiping off – it works wonders! You can even use natural ingredients as an effective furniture polish and olive oil works wonders for this task. Mix ½ teaspoon with ¼ cup lemon juice – dab onto a rag and wipe over the wood. This mixture can be stored in a tightly closed glass jar for quite some time. When it comes to deodorizers for the home, those store bought sprays are harmful both environmentally and health wise. Your much better off to open the windows and let the fresh air in. If that’s not enough then you can always put out bowls of dried flowers or herbs, use an open box of baking soda to absorb odors or place some cedar blocks strategically around the house. There’s no reason why you can’t clean everything in your home using natural ingredients, so throw out all those chemical cleaner bottles and arm yourself with some baking soda, vinegar and tea tree oil not only will your house be less toxic but you’ll save on your next grocery bill too!

Spring Cleaning should also include cleaning out the clutter. Like putting away the cold weather clothing I put our winter coats in a zipper garment container on a rack in the attic. You can add cedar blocks or shavings to the bottom of the zipper bag. Sweaters and hooded sweat shirt and long sleeved shirts  can be put away in storage bins and marked clearly.

563045600Put out large card board boxes. Mark one for winter coats and jackets ,sweaters, sweat shirts and blankets. mark these for the winter coat and blanket drives. When the time comes  donate them for the homeless. if you cannot find a drive drop them off at homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the area.

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Put Christmas and winter decorations you no longer use in one box, spring decorations in another. Summer and patriotic in another and fall in another.  When that time of year comes along  drop the appropriate box off at good will or the Salvation Army.

 

imagesCheck the garage for any bicycles  or other large toys or baby swings that are too small for your children give to others. Put a notice on the bulletin boards at the grocery store, at the gym even the church bulletin. Grandparents  may be interested in having bikes for the grandchildren when they visit.

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This is a good time to clean and reorganize drawers  and closets in your bedrooms. Discard worn out clothing. vacuum  out the draws and put in fresh liner paper. put in dividers or boxes to  separate the clothes with a fabric  softener sheet in each divider. Then put this seasons clothes away.  Make a list for what you will need to replace the worn out clothes.

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Vacuum and clean the closets discarding unwanted clothes and coats to put aside to give away. Using hangers that hang from each other can relieve crowding. hangers for belts or scarves will help. Discard any worn out shoes or slippers.  Put this seasons clothes in the closet  and store the winter clothes in the attic.

Kitchen

Go through one shelf at a time discarding any expired food or grains that have weevils in them.  Vacuum the shelfs and wash replacing shelf paper as needed.  I like the gallon jars you get marinated artichoke hearts in because they are straight and take up as small a space as possible.  Keeping food in jars is the best way to keep them fresh as well as seeing what you have on hand at a glance.gal jar 125x208

 

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Also clean drawers  One drawer each time you do dishes until they are all done.

 

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Spring is also a good time to start an outdoor compost.  At the back of your yard  place a compost area. You could simply make a bin out out of  hardware cloth use twisted wire to secure the sections together. Also make a cover with twisted wire at the back edge only and make a fastener from wire with a hook to secure it from wild animals. Put a closed wooden box or a storage bin with newspaper to keep the carbon monoxide  from forming.  Put in peelings, weeds from the gardens dead and discarded plants etc. in the bin in layers with paper. If you want to speed the process purchase worms from  the internet to add to the mix.