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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cleaning Recipes/How Safe Are Your Cleaning Products

When you become a parent you walk down all the “child safety” aisles in the stores. What do most parents pickup? I did a study on a forum I’m on and here’s what the “numbers” show as of 5:12 p.m. today.

75% of mama’s use cabinet latches. This is the most popular used safety feature in these homes. Wouldn’t it be much more safe to make sure what you have in your home is safe to your child if they accidentally get into your cupboard?

Our family chooses to use a training program coupled with safe household products. We’ll get into “training” another time. For now let’s focus on the safe household products and a few statistics.

Each year, over 1 million children are accidentally poisoned in their homes. 250,000 of these victims are hospitalized. 3,000 of which end up in intensive care. Dozens more actually die. Thousands of children and adults permanent problems and injuries through contact with chemicals in the home, each year.

Ok stay at home moms, this ones for you. Breast Cancer is the number one killer in women between the ages of 35-54. The biggest group of women have one thing in common. They are stay-at-home moms. Why is this?

Cancer is also the number one cause of death for children. Do you really want to know why? The big reason why we are seeing such HUGE losses to cancer is because our homes contain several cancer causing (carcinogen) agents. Guess what they come in the form of? Your every day household cleaning products. My family always said “it seems like it’s in the water” when they would hear of another person who found out they had cancer. Well, they were close. Great Health and Wellness has tons of information on specific cleaning products to steer clear of. Also, check out the Breast Cancer Fund site as well as Slo County Moms for more information and statistics. Below is a list I have acquired from online. You can get more information from them at the Consumer Law Page. This is not me being wacky, this is plain and simple statistics.

By Richard Alexander

AIR FRESHENERS: Most air fresheners interfere with your ability to smell by coating your nasal passages with an oil film, or by releasing a nerve deadening agent. Known toxic chemicals found in an air freshener: Formaldehyde: Highly toxic, known carcinogen. Phenol: When phenol touches your skin it can cause it to swell, burn, peel, and break out in hives. Can cause cold sweats,convulsions, circulatory collapse, coma and even death.

AMMONIA: It is a very volatile chemical, it is very damaging to your eyes, respiratory tract and skin.

BLEACH: It is a strong corrosive. It will irritate or burn the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. It may cause pulmonary edema or vomiting and coma if ingested. WARNING: never mix bleach with ammonia it may cause fumes which can be DEADLY.

CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY SHAMPOO: Most formulas are designed to over power the stain itself, they accomplish the task but not without using highly toxic substances. Some include: Perchlorethylene: Known carcinogen damages liver, kidney and nervous system damage. Ammonium Hydroxide: Corrosive, extremely irritable to eyes, skin and respiratory passages.

DISHWASHER DETERGENTS: Most products contain chlorine in a dry form that is highly concentrated.# 1 cause of child poisonings, according to poison control centers.

DRAIN CLEANER: Most drain cleaners contain lye, hydrochloric acid or trichloroethane. Lye: Caustic, burns skin and eyes, if ingested will damage esophagus and stomach. Hydrochloric acid: Corrosive, eye and skin irritant, damages kidneys, liver and digestive tract. Trichloroethane: Eye and skin irritant, nervous system depressant; damages liver and kidneys.

FURNITURE POLISH: Petroleum Distillates: Highly flammable, can cause skin and lung cancer. Phenol: (see Air fresheners, Phenol.) Nitrobenzene: Easily absorbed through the skin, extremely toxic.

MOLD AND MILDEW CLEANERS: Chemicals contained are: Sodium hypochlorite: Corrosive, irritates or burns skin and eyes, causes fluid in the lungs which can lead to coma or death. Formaldehyde: Highly toxic, known carcinogen. Irritant to eyes, nose, throat, and skin. May cause nausea, headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, memory loss and shortness of breath.

OVEN CLEANER: Sodium Hydroxide (Lye): Caustic, strong irritant, burns to both skin and eyes. Inhibits reflexes, will cause severe tissue damage if swallowed.

ANTIBACTERIAL CLEANERS: may contain: Triclosan: Absorption through the skin can be tied to liver damage.

LAUNDRY ROOM PRODUCTS: Sodium or calcium hypocrite: Highly corrosive, irritates or burns skin, eyes or respiratory tract. Linear alkylate sulfonate: Absorbed through the skin. Known liver damaging agent. Sodium Tripolyphosphate: Irritates skin and mucous membranes, causes vomiting. Easily absorbed through the skin from clothes.

TOILET BOWL CLEANERS: Hydrochloric acid: Highly corrosive, irritant to both skin and eyes. Damages kidneys and liver. Hypochlorite Bleach: Corrosive, irritates or burns eyes, skin and respiratory tract. May cause pulmonary edema, vomiting or coma if ingested. Contact with other chemicals may cause chlorine fumes which may be fatal.

If you’ve read down this far, I congratulate you on caring about your families health enough to start thinking about making a change. So, the question you may now be asking is “well now what do we do?”. You have a couple of options.

1. Find a reputable company with SAFE cleaning products that you can purchase at a reasonable price.


2. You can make your own cleaning products with very inexpensive products you may already have in your home.

We use a combination of Seventh Generation and Trader Joes products along with lots of white distilled vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice.. Contact me for more info. Below you will find cleaning recipes!!!

All Purpose Cleaner
This works good for cleaning the table and counters, washing windows, mopping the floor, cleaning the toilet, etc...

White distilled vinegar

1. Mix 1/2 part vinegar to one part water in spray bottle.
2. As an added boost, add in essential oils of lavender, tea tree, rosemary or citrus.


Carpet Freshener

Corn Starch
Essential oils if you'd like it smelling good.

1.Fill sugar shaker bottle with cornstarch. If you're using essential oils, sprinkle a few drops in and shake well till mixed.
2.Sprinkle cornstarch on carpet and let sit for 15-20 minutes then vacuum.


Carpet Stain Remover
I've combined a couple things I saw online and changed some ratios. This actually got 4 year old stains off my carpet! Yippee!!!

Very warm water
All purpose cleaner with lavendar essential oil

1. Use 3oz very warm water and 2 oz shampoo.
2. Place in spray bottle and swirl till combined.
3. Spray the shampoo mixture on carpet stains - not too much or it will be almost impossible to clean up. Let sit for 3 minutes (this is important).
4. Scrub with a nice scrubbing brush, then spray with all purpose cleaner.
5. Scrub again and then use a dry cloth to wipe away an excess soap/water.
You may need to spray a couple more times with the all purpose cleaner to get the soap suds out. Just keep working it with a dry cloth

Carpet Stain Remover #2 for stubborn stains

Please remember to do a spot test for this. This of course will work well on white or cream colored carpets. I would not try it on anything dark unless you do it in an out of the way area. Give it at least 24 hours to see full results before moving to a bigger spot on the carpet.


Pour peroxide directly on stain and blot or rub out. I used this on grape juice and it was the ONLY thing that worked.

Dishwasher Cleaner
This is best done once a month as a maintenance. However, I used my dishwasher for at least a year before I did this. It worked great!

White distilled vinegar

1.Get a 1 cup measure and fill with vinegar.
2.Place on bottom rack of dishwasher and run a hot, long cycle.


Drain Cleaner

Baking Soda

1. Dump 1/2 cup baking soda down drain.
2. Pour 1/2 cup vinegar down after baking soda.

This will clear most drains by itself. I had a very horribly bad clog in our sink. I waited till things started bubbling up into the sink and skimmed them out. I kept repeating pouring down baking soda, then vinegar and skimming things out till it stopped working - then I took a plunger and with 3 good plunges, my drain ran free.


Furniture Polish
I have yet to use this one - I'm just waiting for mine to run out.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup lemon juice

1. Put into glass jar with mister sprayer - you can find these at health food stores.
2. Shake well to incorporate.


Laundry Detergent

1 bar fells naptha or castile soap grated
2 cup borax
2 cup washing soda

1. Mix together and keep in closed container.
2. Use one tablespoon per load.
This makes over 150 loads for around $4-5


Metal Cleaner
I have not used these but found it online here. Let me know if any work for you:)

*Aluminum: using a soft cloth, clean with a solution of cream of tartar and water.
*Brass or bronze: polish with a soft cloth dipped in lemon and baking-soda solution, or vinegar and salt solution.
*Chrome: polish with baby oil, vinegar, aluminum foil shiny side out.
*Copper: soak a cotton rag in a pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white vinegar. Apply to copper while hot; let cool, then wipe clean. For tougher jobs, sprinkle baking soda or lemon juice on a soft cloth, then wipe. For copper cookware, sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt, then scrub.
*Gold: clean with toothpaste, or a paste of salt, vinegar, and flour.
*Silver: line a pan with aluminum foil and fill with water; add a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt. Bring to a boil and immerse silver. Polish with soft cloth.
*Stainless steel: clean with a cloth dampened with undiluted white vinegar, or olive oil. For stainless cookware, mix 4 tbs baking soda in 1 qt water, and apply using a soft cloth. Wipe dry using a clean cloth.


Mold and Mildew Cleaner
White distilled vinegar
Essential oils - Lavender or tea tree are best

1. Put vinegar full strength in a spray bottle.
2. Add several drops of essential oil and swirl bottle together.
3. Use full strength on affected area. There is no need to rinse.


Soft Scrub 1
Baking Soda

1.Sprinkle area with baking soda and moisten with water or your vinegar/water solution.


Soft Scrub 2
1/2 cup Baking Soda
Liquid dish soap

1. Pour baking soda in bowl.
2. Squeeze enough dish soap in to make a paste and stir.


Lil said...

Great information - thank you for sharing the reality of what people think is 'safe' really isn't.

It's also great you use essential oils in some of your home recipes. That is another area where people have to be careful. About a year ago I was introduced to an essential oil company that has totally PURE and POTENT essential oils. They are the only company that I have found that does not have any chemical or synthetics in their products.

If you are interested to know more about this amazing line of oils, feel free to call me at 801-310-4435 or email at

Continue your good works.


Lavender said...

It is amazing to see such a comprehensive list of dangerous household products. More and more I am looking to make my own safe and natural cleaners - this is a wonderful resource.