Reducing Chemical Use in Your Home

I mentioned the book, Fearless: Confidence with Essential Oils in 2 Hours by Sarah Harnisch in my post about the Young Living Premium Starter Kit. This book not only helped me find new ways to use my essential oils, but it jump-started a transformation throughout our home. Sarah Harnisch does a great job of explaining the problems with the chemicals we use everyday. A large number of chemicals banned throughout Europe are deemed “completely safe” and widely sold in the United States.

The more I read the more I knew we needed to make a change. I had picked out items that I liked or that my skin didn’t react to without ever questioning their safety. As I started to question the products we readily use everyday, I found this website: Environmental Working Group. What has been most helpful are their Skin Deep and Guide to Healthy Cleaning pages which let you look up thousands of products to see how safe and environmentally friendly they really are.

For instance, I looked up the laundry detergent we had been using, All Small & Mighty Free & Clear. My dermatologist even recommended this brand to me because I have eczema. It’s advertised as being free of dyes and perfumes. The ads also claims it is the #1 recommended brand among dermatologist, allergists AND pediatricians! However, it receives an “F” rating, as seen in the photo below. The primary reason for its poor rating is, “Top Scoring Factors: May contain ingredients with potential for developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; respiratory effects; chronic aquatic toxicity.” No doubt, it was past time for a new laundry detergent.


I looked up our laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, shampoo, deodorants, hair styling products, body washes and more. Some cleaning items received F’s while others received C’s or better. We decided that we would aim for items ranked with A’s & B’s, but we did keep one item with a C, Dawn dish soap. Unfortunately, there weren’t any great options for dish soap that received better than a C. Through my research, most liquid detergents and soaps rank fairly poorly compared to powered alternatives. For cosmetics, ranked 1-10 with 10 being the worst, we aimed to stay at 3 or below. We threw out a LOT of products, and bought great alternatives.

I’d pretty much resigned myself to having eczema on my scalp for the rest of my life, but after switching shampoos it has almost completely cleared up. We feel better about wearing our clothes and eating off our dishes knowing they aren’t covered in chemical residue. Think about it, if your dishes have a scent to them after being washed, what are you really ingesting?

I’ve long used alternative cleaning products, like vinegar in place of chemical-laden products. (Vinegar does just as good a job cleaning your Keurig as an expensive descaler.) Around Christmas, I also started using Norwex products to clean my counters, mirrors, windows and car with just the cloth and water. Those were great steps, but I was ignoring the products still sitting in my home. I encourage you to look into the products you are using in your home. Make better choices for your family and the environment.

This blog contains affiliate links from which I may receive monetary compensation. I assure you that I only recommend the products I use, personally, for me and my family. Full disclosure policy here.

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