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.

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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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It’s all about Thieves

No, I don’t mean thievery, although that is how this blend started. The Thieves blend essential oil is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary. This blend was used by thieves during the Black Plague. They would wear these herbs to steal from the houses of those who succumbed to the plague. Perhaps its the nurse side of me that finds this story particularly intriguing, but this is the most used oil in our house. Being a nurse, it is incredibly important for me to be able to be exposed to bacteria and viruses without becoming infected. I rub Thieves onto the soles of my feet before every shift. (You’ll never have to deal with foot odor again!)

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Young Living has embraced the popularity of this oil to create a whole line of products, as seen in the picture above. If you haven’t signed up for Young Living yet, click here so you can buy these amazing Thieves products! Here’s how we put the different Thieves products to use:

  • Thieves Essential Oil – My two favorite ways to use Thieves essential oil are by diffusing throughout our home, and by applying 3-4 drops on the bottoms of my feet before being exposed to illness (i.e. work, shopping or school). By diffusing Thieves it kills bacteria and viruses that linger in the air, and applying the oils to your feet protects you from known OR unknown exposure.
  • Thieves Household Cleaner – I keep a spray bottle of this mixed up and ready to go AT ALL TIMES! I use it to clean the kitchen counters, the kitchen table, the bathroom counters and even to dust with from time to time, simply because it smells amazing. I also add a capful to my favorite steam mop before mopping to both disinfect my floors and make our house smell dreamy.
  • Thieves Spray – I keep bottles of this everywhere and its one of my favorite products to gift people due to its versatility. Basically, it is ready to use Thieves Household Cleaner. I keep a bottle in my car, in the bathroom and my husband keeps a bottle in his desk at work. He sprayed his desk down daily during this past flu season and managed to avoid getting sick despite his office having critically low staffing due to the flu.
  • Thieves Foaming Hand Soap – Nurse soap box warning: Antibacterial and antimicrobial soaps are unnecessary 99% of the time with the exception being in a hospital setting. In fact, the overuse of antibacterial soaps is partly to blame in the creation of superbugs. Its the friction that really helps remove the germs from your hands. However, I do love the Thieves hand soaps because I know it is naturally preventing germs from residing on my skin. It’s also one of a few scented soaps I can actually use without breaking out in eczema since the scents are all from naturally derived essential oils!
  • Thieves Bar Soap – This is a total splurge! I don’t often get the luxury of bathing with scented soaps, see previous bullet. So occasionally my husband and I will pop for a bar of Thieves soap, just because!

Do I still use products like Lysol & Clorox? Yes, very rarely! I use Lysol when the dog or cat throws up and I want it super clean, but make sure to read the directions because it is only effective if it is allowed to air dry. Yeah, you’re busted! Clorox is what I use to clean our toilets because I’m a little bit of a germaphobe when it comes to toilets. Seriously… Gross! Other than those two uses, Thieves cleaner or my Norwex products do the job, 100%.

Check out more ways to clean with Thieves Household Cleaner below.

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The statements in this blog are based solely on my experience and are not a substitute for professional medical treatment. This is not advice specific for you, simply what has worked for me. 

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.