A friend suggested that one of the contributors to our health issues was that perhaps we had been exposed to toxins and that we could benefit from some natural internal cleansing. We embraced a natural and gentle process of cleansing and started feeling so much better.
The next level of wellness education came when I learned that all the work we were doing to restore our bodies was being hampered by the fact that we were using and had within our home many toxic chemicals. These chemicals such as perchloroethylene (PERC), formaldehyde, 2-Butoxyethanol, ammonia, sodium hydroxide, and chlorine were in cleaning products that we used throughout our home.
The products I was relying on to keep out the germs and protect our immune systems was also poisoning us. The more I researched, the more determine I became to change things. There were two things holding me back from throwing out all those common poisons from my home. The first concern was finding what we could use to replace these products. The replacements needed to still protect us from germs and still clean all the surfaces yet not be toxic to our bodies. The other concern was the feeling that by throwing out all those toxic products was a waste of the money spent to purchase them. Perhaps I could wait until they were empty and used.
After dwelling on these concerns for a few weeks and doing some research for natural replacements, a realization came that prolonging the change to what we cleaned our home with because of money was only prolonging the poisoning of our bodies we were so desperately trying to repair! It was a decision to just make the change. The big event of clearing out all the toxic cleaning products resulted in two, full garbage bags. The natural products purchased to replace all of those removed products was significantly cheaper than what the total value was of the replaced products and they filled a couple baskets in the pantry.
Common Household Cleaning Products and the Lungs
The American Lung Association website states: “Many cleaning supplies or household products can irritate the eyes or throat, or cause headaches and other health problems, including cancer. Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Other harmful ingredients include ammonia and bleach.
VOCs and other chemicals released when using cleaning supplies contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and headaches. Studies are underway to assess how these chemicals affect people who have asthma and other respiratory illnesses. However, past studies link exposure to chemicals from cleaning supplies to occupational asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Cleaning supplies and household products containing VOCs and other toxic substances can include, but are not limited to:
- Aerosol spray products, including health, beauty and cleaning products
- Air fresheners
- Chlorine bleach
- Detergent and dishwashing liquid
- Dry cleaning chemicals
- Rug and upholstery cleaners
- Furniture and floor polish
- Oven cleaners
Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes. Some are harmful by themselves, including some that cause cancer. In addition, they can react with other gases and form other air pollutants after they are in the air.
VOCs can be found in the air indoors and outdoors. Some of these sources continue to produce VOCs when they are stored or transported. Some of the more familiar VOCs include benzene, formaldehyde and toluene.”
Indoor sources of VOCs in personal cleaning products include:
- Cleaners and disinfectants
- Air fresheners
- Cosmetics and deodorants
Endocrine and Hormone Disruptors
The crucible of change for me was learning how these poisonous substances in the home disrupted the endocrine processes of our bodies. Our endocrine hormone processes include endocrine glands that release hormones into the bloodstream. This lets the hormones travel to cells in other parts of the body. The endocrine hormones help control mood, growth and development, the way our organs work, metabolism, and reproduction. The endocrine system regulates how much of each hormone is released. We definitely do not want to be disturbing them!
The most common endocrine disorders are related to improper functioning of the pancreas and the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands. These endocrine hormones help the body regulate processes, such as appetite, breathing, growth, fluid balance, feminization and virilization, and weight control. As the rise of chemical cleaning products in the home has risen over the years, is it any wonder why disorders and diseases due to endocrine disruption are also on the rise?
Replacing these chemical cleaning products with pure products is a simple step towards turning the tide on the health problems of the respiratory system and the endocrine and hormone disruptions.
Natural and Pure Cleaning Replacements
Keeping our homes clean and protected from germs that attack our immune system is important. Having these products consist of natural and pure ingredients not only cleans and protects but also supports a healthier respiratory system and the endocrine and hormone systems.
It is possible to clean and protect the home with basic products and add the immune protecting natural compounds with essential oils. The basic ingredients include baking soda, white vinegar, Castile unscented soap, Witch Hazel, Ever Clear (vodka), fractionated coconut oil, or other carrier oils.
Pure essential oils contain nature’s compounds that fight those things that attack our immune system. Some of these compounds include cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, citral, carvacrol, 1,8 cineole, eucalyptol, terpinen-4-ol, and limonene. Essential oils such as cinnamon, clove, oregano, lemongrass, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree, and citrus oils are essential oils that can be combined with the basic products to make cleaning products that not only work well for cleaning and protecting but also provide support for endocrine and respiratory systems.
It is important to note that not all brands of essential oils are the same. Many essential oils on the market include synthetic compounds to make them cheaper. Even though they may advertise that they are 100 percent pure, there is no governing board to guarantee that. To guarantee a truly pure essential oil in the current market requires a battery of almost 54 tests to make sure that as they come from the distillation process to be bottled without being compromised. If the goal is to replace the purchased poisonous cleaning products with naturally, simple, homemade products so that respiratory and hormone systems are supported and not disrupted it is important to make sure the basic products and essential oils being used are truly pure and natural. (Link to purchase pure essential oils: https://bit.ly/pjdoterra)
The Change is Easy
Once the basic ingredients and essential oils are purchased and simple recipes saved, it requires little time to make safe cleaning products. Having good containers for the new recipes is also important. As many plastics can also contribute to endocrine disruption, it is best to use glass jars and spray bottles. (Glass spray bottles and jars can be purchased from Amazon.)
We cannot control all the hormone and respiratory disruptors that threaten us, but we can control the ones in our home especially the ones that come from the products we purchase and use. Replacing these products with homemade, safe products is one of easiest ways to support our health and wellness.
For additional recipes and with additional lifestyle and essential oil tips, sign up here: Elevated Living News
Essential Oil Dish Soap
2 cups unscented Castile soap
20 drops lime essential oil
8 drops of lemon essential oil
6 drops of grapefruit essential oil
Fill a large glass container with the ingredients. To use: shake and add 1-2 tablespoons to the dish water.
Scrubbing Tub Cleanser
2 tablespoons unscented Castile soap
1 teaspoon OnGuard® Cleaning concentrate (doTERRA)
¾ cup baking soda
10 drops grapefruit essential oil
2-4 tablespoon water (add to desired consistency)
Mix the ingredients together in a wide-mouthed glass container about two cups in size. To use: put 1-2 tablespoons on a cleaning rag and wipe the wet tub or shower floor.
Glass Cleaning Spray
4 drops lime essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
½ cup water
½ cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon rubbing alcohol
Mix ingredients together in an 8-ounce glass spray bottle and shake. To use: spray on window or glass and wipe with cleaning cloth.
General Cleaning and Protecting Spray I
¼ cup white vinegar
1 ¾ cups water
30 drops doTERRA essential oils (lemon, eucalyptus, wild orange, peppermint, or grapefruit)
Add all ingredients to 16-ounce spray bottle and shake thoroughly. To use: spritz on surfaces and wipe clean.
General Cleaning and Protecting Spray II
1 tablespoon OnGuard® Cleaning concentrate (doTERRA)
1 drop lemon essential oil
1 drop lime essential oil
Add the concentrate and essential oils to a 16-ounce glass spray bottle. Fill the remaining space with warm water. To use: spray over the surface and wipe clean with a cleaning rag.
Fabric Softening Spray
16 ounces white vinegar
10–15 drops lavender or geranium essential oil
Add essential oils to a 16-ounce glass spray bottle. Fill the remaining space with warm white vinegar. To use: Shake well before each use to ensure oils and vinegar are well combined. Spray over wet clothing before drying.
Laundry Stain Remover
½ cup white vinegar
20 drops lemon essential oil
½ cup distilled water
Pour the ingredients into an 8-ounce spray bottle. To use: shake and spray on clothing stains and wash as usual.
Entrepreneur | Health Coach | Aromatherapist
PJ Hanks has spent over 40 years in businesses helping women find hope, discover solutions, and achieve goals. She has a wealth of experience with various tools, proven techniques, and love to help her clients find success in all areas of their lives. As a Bastyr trained aromatherapist, a certified holistic health coach, and a successful business leader, PJ assists her clients to become their best selves.
PJ has been a successful entrepreneur for 30+ years and believes that when your emotional and physical wellness is good, your business and work-life are thriving, and you are working on yourself personally you can feel as though you can cope with all the rest of life.
PJ lives in Carnation, WA with her husband and has three adult children and loves being a grandmother to two darling twin granddaughters. She enjoys crafting, being with family and friends, and traveling. She loves to have deep conversations and to help others find hope and joy!
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