how to clean your home naturally
Does all natural mean it’s safe?
As health and wellness are on the rise, you will see many more companies put products on the shelf that appear to be safe and read “all natural”, but are they really all that safe?
Today, we will break down some of the misleading information out there and give you alternatives you can feel confident using at an affordable price, while making a difference in your health and the environment.
Before you start reading, go to your app store and download the app called “Healthy Living.” Spend a minute reading the "About the App" tab. I like this app because it includes food + personal care products.
From food to shampoo – we are exposed to chemicals every second, yet we know very little about them. To navigate this complicated world and make safer choices, EWG combined two of their most popular resources to form their Healthy Living App. Now, the product health and safety ratings for over 200,000 food and cosmetics products are simply one click away.
Use the Healthy Living app to scan products and see how they rate in terms of safety. If anything rates a six or higher, I don't touch it with a ten foot pole. If it rates between a 3-5, I check out the ingredient/s that are making it rate that high and also look them up on The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website to see why that ingredient is given a higher rating. If that ingredient is the LAST ingredient listed on the product label, I know there is only a small amount in the product. Then I make my own judgment call on whether I want to use the product or not. Products rated 1-2 are completely safe and are my top picks. **Fragrance** can be full of dangerous or toxic perfume chemicals – or contain mystery ingredients you can’t discover because it’s considered a trade secret.
Furthermore, the FDA “has not defined the term ‘natural’ and has not established a regulatory definition for this term in cosmetic labeling.” That means it is a very loose term when used on your personal care products. Long story short, don't be fooled by cleaver marketing. KNOW WHAT IS IN YOUR PRODUCTS!
I want you to collect one product from your kitchen, bathroom, cosmetic bag, and laundry room. For example, all-purpose cleaner, shampoo, makeup, and laundry detergent. Have them within reach as you go through this post.
Let's chat about one of the number one things we all use for a clean home: household cleaners. EWG recently came out with their Cleaners Hall of Shame list. The list includes common products you use to clean your home. These products contain ingredients containing carcinogens, asthma instigators, and poisons, which mean some sparkly cleaners might come at a high price. Check out EWG's guide to healthy cleaning for more.
Many of the generic cleaners contain Phthalates, which interfere with hormones and are carcinogens.
Thieves cleaner does NOT contain those big bad Phthalates. Instead of Phthalates, Thieves Cleaner by Young Living contains two different sulfates that are derived from coconut oil and sugar. These all-natural and safe sulfates that are considered surfactants, which contain a molecule that loves water and a molecule that hates water. That means the Thieves Cleaner sticks to the surface and grabs the oil and then washes away easily with water. Science is amazing, right?
This all-purpose cleaner is a staple in our home. It can be used for counters, sinks, tables, and even grout. It helps to kill bacteria, so it’s helpful to have in the kitchen after handling raw chicken or fish. In a study conducted at Weber State University in September 1998, it was concluded that Thieves essential oil kills 99.96% of bacteria, including airborne bacteria.
“Research conducted at Weber State University, as well as other documented research, indicates that most viruses, fungi, and bacteria cannot live in the presence of many essential oils, especially those high in phenols, carcacrol, thymol, and terpenes. This, perhaps, offers a modern explanation why the Old Testament prophet Moses used aromatic substances to protect the Isrealites from the plagues that decimated ancient Egypt. It may also help us understand why a notorious group of theives, reputed to be spice traders and perfumers, was protected from the Black Plague as they robbed the bodies of the dead during the 15th century.”
(Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th Edition, p6)
This cleaner is also insanely cost effective. It is highly concentrated so you only need about a capful of this all-purpose cleaner in about one cup of water. With this ratio, one small bottle will yield you about 29 - 16 oz spray bottles of safe all-purpose cleaner. That means it's under $1 for one spray bottle. Can't beat that price! Time to #DitchAndSwitch all your household cleaners for the Thieves all-purpose cleaner. Living above the wellness line and saving money at the same time. Double bonus!
Here is my favorite DIY recipe using Thieves essential oil blend.
Cleaning hack: lemon essential oil
Lemon essential oil is irreplaceable when it comes to cleaning. Here are some favorite uses:
It removes crayon (and permanent markers) from walls. Test a surface before removing a stain, as lemon oil can strip paint.
Add a drop to your dishwasher soap before running a load.
Put two drops in hard-to-clean pans, and let sit for 30 minutes.
Add a drop in a bowl of water for a fruit and veggie soak. Rinse before eating. This can prolong the life of your produce.
When life gives you lemons, you make an all-natural stain remover or whitener. Skip the harsh chemicals and make these safe and effective alternatives. Use this whitener in your laundry, the bathtub, and any other surface that needs a little brightening.
Got a grimy bath tub? This heavy-duty cleaning product is going to be your best friend. Take a before and after photo of your shower and let me know how it works for you!
Are you still washing your hands with antibacterial soap?? The FDA has banned the chemical Triclosan from hand soaps. This chemical was not proven to be effective or safe in antibacterial hand soaps. However, this chemical is still being used in toothpaste and teeth whitening products, antiperspirants/deodorants, shaving products and creams. Explain that one!?
If it wasn’t proven safe to use and it can be known to cause an interaction with hormone receptors along with other health concerns, then WHY is it still in our products? Here’s an alternative. Grab your favorite essential oil or blend and make this uber simple hand soap.
You may think, “Why do I need to worry about the soap I use to wash my dishes? I am not eating them or putting them on my body.”
That is correct, you aren't eating the plate for lunch; however, you do put food ON your dishes, the food picks up the detergent residue on the dishes and then you ingest the food. That means that you ARE ingesting the detergent. You also inhale the chemicals as the dishwasher releases them during washing. AHHHHH time to use the Thieves Automatic Dishwasher Powder.
The fact that the entire family uses dishes makes it very important to make sure your kitchen products are safe for everyone.
Easily swap out your not so safe dish soap with Thieves Dish Soap - This is a powerhouse cleaner infused with Jade Lemon, Bergamot, Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, and Rosemary essential oils. It contains one of the most gentle surfactants around, often used in baby shampoo, called Decyl Glucoside. Perfect for the most sensitive skin.
Don't be fooled by few bubbles while washing. That means they didn’t add that harmful chemical that makes bubbles! Still can't get over washing dishes without bubbles? I am going to share some ninja dish soap tips with you.
Young Living makes so many of their products as highly concentrated substances. That means a little goes a long way!
To make your Thieves Dish Soap last longer and give you all kinds of bubbles, put 2/3 Thieves dish soap in a canning jar leaving 1/3 in the squeeze bottle. (Once you have a spare Thieves dish soap bottle, you can use that.) Add 1- tsp of baking soda into the Thieves bottle that contains 1/3 of your Thieves dish soap. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake. The Baking soda will add all kinds of bubbles and you just got THREE bottles of dish soap in one! So much more affordable.
Why is it important to use safe laundry detergent? Why should laundry detergent and dryer sheets be one of the first things I replace?
For starters, just like everything else, using safe laundry detergent means one more step to living above the wellness line.
It is one of the first things to replace because it affects the entire family. Replacing toxic laundry detergent and dryer sheets with toxin-free products means that there is no more wearing clothes or rolling in sheets that are filled with chemicals 24/7. These chemicals are transferred onto your skin and absorb into your body throughout the entire day.
Scan your Laundry Detergent or your dryer sheets with your Healthy Living app. What score did you get? Now check out one of the ingredients that was rated a four or higher. Are you surprised?
It is common to see harmful chemicals like Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in detergents. It is a foaming agent that has been linked to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and biochemical or cellular changes, possible mutations, and cancer.
There is some controversy over whether SLS is safe or harmful, but to be honest, if there is any question that it could cause the things listed above, I'm going to avoid it. What about you?
Ditch those dryer sheets for wool dryer balls. Simply add your essential oils to the wool ball and toss them in the dryer with your clothes. So fresh!
Let’s revisit that "Hall of Shame" list.
Air fresheners can be some of the WORST culprits. The term “fragrance” can be composed of hundreds of “ingredients” but under U.S. regulations, those hundreds of ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance.”
That means when you see the ingredient “Fragrance,” you don’t really know what you are getting. No wonder so many people get a headache when they are around air fresheners and perfume.
Be courteous to not only your own health but your visitors' health as well and replace your unsafe air fresheners and candles with a safe diffuser and pure Young Living essential oils.
Not only are Young Living essential oils safe, but they are effective as well. You can use a scent like lavender to not only fill your room with a fresh aromatic bouquet, but you can also use it to calm your mood and help you get a restful night sleep. You can diffuse Thieves, Lemon, or Purification essential oils to eliminate odor and provide a safe uplifting scent.
What is your favorite candle or air freshener scent? Maybe I can help you find the essential oil combo equivalent!
Here are some of favorite diffuser blends:
Mood Boost // 4 drops Stress Away + 4 drops Peppermint
Sleepytime // 4 drops Lavender + 4 drops Cedarwood
Breathe Easy // 4 drops Lemon + 3 drops Peppermint + 5 drops Lavender
Meditation // 4 drops Bergamot + 5 drops Frankincense
The Avoid List
There are so many chemicals in our everyday products that are harmful to our health and bodies without us even knowing. What we want to do is empower you, our people, and educate everyone on what to avoid and how to avoid it.
Here are a few to keep on your radar:
FRAGRANCE: Short term toxicity can include coughing, skin irritation, rash, wheezing, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and irritability. Long term toxicity can include cancer, lung disease, heart disease and reproductive disorders. Found in: scented candles, perfumes, lotions, and more.
TRICLOSAN: Used in many formulations as an antibacterial agent to prevent or reduce bacterial contamination and registered as a pesticide by the EPA. Topical absorption of triclosan has shown disturbances to the endocrine system, and is believed to lead to birth defects and uncontrollable cell growth Found in: soaps, deodorants, cosmetics, shave gel, first aid spray, kitchenware and children’s toys.
PHTHALATES: A low cost endocrine disrupting chemical that in lab studies has shown to interfere with hormone production in rats and mimic estrogen in human studies. Found in: plastic food packaging, lotions, skin moisturizers, fragrance, cleaners, glues and nail polish.
FORMALDEHYDE: This is a known carcinogen and recognized as such by the Cancer Institute. Exposure can cause eye irritation, asthmatic response, skin irritation, headaches and nausea. Long term effects include cancer and possibly leukemia. Although products generally contain small amounts, when this chemical is used in many common everyday household items in addition to being present in our wood, sheetrock and furniture, our exposure adds up. To make things even more alarming, this isn’t an easy ingredient to find. The ingredients is often listed as its fragmented name. Found in: baby shampoo, pet shampoo, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, sun blocks, cosmetics, baby wipes, toothpaste, and more.
There are also many ingredients to be aware of due to carcinogenic properties: Alcohol, Aluminum, DEA/TEA, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, TALC, Parabens and more. These are found in so many common household products and should be avoided as much as possible for more healthful alternatives.
I have one question for you...
Are you ready to ditch the toxins and start living radiantly?
While you may not be able to control the other environments you are find yourself in, YOU are the gatekeeper to your home. YOU control what comes in and what goes out.
I am going to give you a SUPER EASY ninja tip: Ditch and switch with the Young Living Thieves Premium Starter Kit. You can literally throw out BAGS AND BAGS of harmful products in your cabinets and use a few life-changing products instead. What products do you use in your daily life? Check out all these options.
Now you KNOW better, so are you going to DO better?
Leave a comment below and let me know what product surprised you the most. Or take a photo of all the products you’re ditching to share on Instagram! Tag me @naturewellnessbeauty so I can see, and give me a follow if you don’t already! I’d love to stay connected!
Thank you for being here on this journey with me. I'm truly honored you're here.
With Love & Gratitude,
Hello! I’m Jess – I’m a small town Oregonian, a scientist, and a crunchy mom. Passionate about essential oils, long distance cycling, cooking with my littles, cashew milk ice cream + margaritas (on the rocks - salt, please!). My purpose is to help people and nature, both in my professional career and in my personal life. I have spent my career helping bridge the gap between commercial development and preserving nature. Essential oils have become my way to do the same between all the commercial products in our home and creating simple, products on my own. This blog shares my journey to a more natural lifestyle using essential oils, including the science behind essential oils, DIY recipes, tips, and ways to save money using plant-based alternatives. Check out my free email course ditch + switch – natural living with plant based products and learn the steps you need to take to kick those toxins to the curb.
I am not a doctor. I am not here to diagnose, treat, or cure any of your illnesses. The content I share is for informational purposes only.
***Disclosure: If you purchase products linked in the content of my website, I may receive a small percentage from affiliates***