Tag Archives | Dr. Bronner’s

Starting With The Bathroom ~ It’s Time To Chemical DeTox!

I’m taking a question from the audience with this article because the timing is perfect!  Angie emailed asking where a mom that has no idea how to become eco-friendly should start?  With the number of new parents finding Mommy Footprint I’m going to answer this question room-by-room starting with the bathroom for several reasons  1) more than two years after writing the article ‘Phthalates  Are Making Big News in US‘…today Canada announces they will be eliminating the same class of 6 phthalates in our country 2) I find phthalates to be very scary as they continue to lurk in every corner of a traditional bathroom because they haven’t had the media spotlight our friend ‘BPA’ has been hogging for three years 3) I’m excited to point you to an awesome online store called Saffron Rouge that is making this change easy and affordable by carrying the largest selection of organic brands (that I love) online. Even savvy organics consumers should be thrilled to discover this store because you can request free samples and can ask questions through online chat!

Okay so first – why should a person detox their bathroom?  Once you understand that becoming more eco-friendly in the bathroom isn’t just about helping our environment by not washing chemicals down the drain, but more about not letting chemicals soak into your body…it’s much easier to not want to purchase that container of shampoo for $.99 at Walmart.  Or – and I cringe typing it – the Johnson’s & Johnson’s crap for the next baby shower you attend. The movement behind removing chemicals that surround your most intimate place of refuge (the bathroom) is not about ripping off consumers – it’s about trying to help them flush the phthalates (chemical from these products) out of your body.  Are you trying to get pregnant?  Are you pregnant?  Do you have young children?  You are the consumers being targeted with detoxing your lives…but how I see it…you are the perfect candidates for this action!  I still haven’t answered poor Angie’s question and if she’s new to Mommy Footprint…she might not be used to my rambling.  Here I go Angie…

Want to start a household detox of chemicals?  I would recommend starting in the bathroom. It will be the most affordable room to start in because you will streamline what beauty products you’re using and replace with less, while purchasing quality, organic items. Never throw traditional bathroom products away just to ‘green’ your life. Put them on a top shelf because we all run out of things and it’s the perfect time to use this stuff up! To start checking the products your currently using in the bathroom, you’ll need to discover EWG Skin Deep Database. This stands for Environmental Working Group and they created a database that ranks most beauty products…from shampoo, conditioner, makeup, sunscreen, etc! You might find that some of your products are actually quite safe and eco-friendly so they can stay. The products that rank poorly should go on that top shelf. Now what? If you’re a newbie – you’re finding the site Saffron Rouge at the perfect time because US customers get free shipping over $50, Canadians get inexpensive shipping rates, and you can request free samples of products when you place an order. (Do you see what I mean about the timing of this article? It’s perfect!)  If your plan is to simply replace traditional beauty products when they run out – you can skip the EWG Skin Deep Database checking because Saffron Rouge uses the EWG as one of their tools for sourcing so the safety is already in place for the consumer.

I’m a huge fan of one stop shopping so don’t only green your beauty products in the bathroom but purchase the only cleaner you need.  Yes, I’m still talking about Dr. Bronners and I’ll keep talking about it for a longggg time. It is the only cleaner I have in my house – it’s all you need and it’s so safe for your family!  This liquid soap (the cleaner) and the bar soaps (for body), body lotions, and shaving gels for men are all available here. So many of the brands available are amazing and it’s easy to narrow the scope with budgets and preferences because of the range that’s available.  So I’ve got you covered for personal care and cleaning in the bathroom. If you have a Glade Plug-in or other artificial air fresheners that plug into the wall or are sprayed in a bathroom (Febreeze, etc.) this is the rule breaker for putting on a top shelf.  These need to go immediately. They are so incredible toxic to your health, pets, children, fertility, and babies. To make a statement I would take them to the hazardous waste dept in your area,but if you don’t have time….just recycle. What is your replacement?  Open a window and put some plants into your bathroom.  Anything that is marketed to ‘air freshen’ is only masking odor with chemical fragrance ….only outside air can help ‘clean’ the air. Read more on plant suggestions and air quality tips here.

Daily products that have antibacterial ingredients should be looked at too. Did you know that washing your hands with regular bar soap is effective for fighting the flu and colds?  Some products that contain antibacterial properties also contain triclosan which is a chemical that was created for surgical scrub rooms in hospital? Children should not be using products containing triclosan or microban antibacterial protection. Two places to check in your bathroom are plastic handles (toothbrush, toilet bowl scrubber, hair brush, etc.) that are packaged with antibacterial marketing, containing microban protection. Triclosan can often be found in hand disinfectant or toothpaste. Gross I know and more information can be read here on these chemicals.

Since Angie does have children..I’m going to take this bathroom detox one step further. The bath toys sitting in your tub? Are they a soft plastic?  Chances are they contain phthalates and the chemicals that make the plastic soft are what Canada is legislating to have banned by the summer. Think of your child or baby sucking on one of those bath toys like a sponge with chemicals on it.  I’m sorry….but the image really helped me when I got rid of them a few years ago. I love bath toys because all my kids enjoyed playing in the water but the soft, plasticized bath books and bathtub toys need to go.  I’ve used the Green Toys tea set and Boon bath toys with my smaller children. Naturally finished wooden products made for the water are another great option for tubby fun for older children.

A few bonus tips for the bathroom include sanitary product recommendations for women.  Have you ever thought that bleach on a tampon is toxic and the place it’s going is super absorbent?  This was the only product I couldn’t finish using up after I researched the article about tampons and pads. The thought of the bleach just made my stomach turn. I wrote an article regarding why women should use more natural alternatives and if you ask someone that’s tried a Diva Cup or reusable pad – they love them!  Saffron Rouge carries natural personal lubricants, all-natural deodorant and highly rated sunscreens.  These products are difficult to source so spend some time and poke around their site.  You can’t beat their everyday savings and product knowledge experts that are available through on-line chat to answer your questions.  If you have any for me – please post a comment and let’s discover that a household detox is actually much easier than it used to be. Writing this article almost 3 years after first discovering phthalates and writing about them has me pleased that Canada is taking action against this chemical but at the same time I’m sad at the lack of consumer knowledge. Forward this article to the people you love and ask them to start a chemical detox. It’s not about consumerism…it’s about making healthier changes in our lives with products we need to purchase for our home. Feel the power of educating yourself and starting a chemical cleanse.

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Eco-Cleaning Made Easy

Have you thought about switching over your traditional cleaning products but find it overwhelming thinking about cost and confused by the number of ‘eco cleaning products’ on the market? If you are still using Windex spray and traditional chemical cleaning agents for your bathroom, kitchen, floors, etc., put them away in a big box, high up where little hands can’t reach them and replace with very few products. The total cost can be under $20…in addition to pantry items that help like baking soda, olive oil, and vinegar. You will notice immediate improvements with your health from removing products that off-gas with ‘cleaning’ chemicals and fragrances.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castile Soap

I can’t say it enough how much I love this brand. They’ve been around forever, USDA certified organic, making fair trade and wonderful organic products for 60 years.  I’ve used their classic liquid soap for a few years now – my favorite is the Peppermint Liquid Soap because the scent is like you’ve cleaned with candy canes. <smile> There are so many uses for Dr. Bronner’s soaps but it’s been a life saver for me with replacing all of my store bought traditional cleaning supplies. I use it in the bathroom, kitchen, floors (even hard wood), and to dust with (diluted in water). The price tag for this product is on the higher end in the greener stores but if you’re eliminating all other products…it’s so worth it.

The combination of ingredients from Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap are organic extra virgin coconut, organic olive, jojoba and hemp oils, with pure essential oils. Doesn’t that sound lovely to inhale and ingest while you’re cleaning rather than toxic fumes? The essential oils added to the liquid soaps are for those that still enjoy scent associated with cleaning – without the headaches that a chemical fragrance will give. You will also notice that their isn’t the action of foaming or bubbles because it doesn’t contain synthetic foaming agents. From an environmental standpoint, Dr. Bronner’s is fantastic because they are completely biodegradable and vegetable-based. So not only will you enjoy better health for your family, but the environment will also be improved from you making this switch.

Microfiber Cloths

Norwex isn’t the only company that sells microfiber cloths, but with the number of Nowex representatives in most communities, it’s easy to find someone selling these products. I was introduced to Norwex over 2 years ago by my friend Michelle and I was the mom at the meeting asking “But HOW does it clean?”  I didn’t get it. The idea that a microfiber cloth + water will clean your house is hard to wrap your mind around at first. But once you try the cloths – there’s not going back. The silver agent in the cloths traps the bacteria and dirt and these cloths will last literally years. I clean my walls, kitchen, bathroom, countertops with a dab of Dr. Bronner’s and my microfiber cloth. For my windows I use water and the microfiber window cloth (Norwex brand too).  I can’t imagine using Windex to clean glass or my windows – the thought literally makes me sick.

Norwex and Nanoparticles

I have written about Norwex products a few times, but recently did some investigation about Norwex and their rumoured link to nanoparticles after being asked by a friend about the products. I always want to write in full disclosure when recommending a company or product. I could not find anything linking Norwex to Nanoparticles. I saw a few articles from respected sites questioning if the two are related because of the antibacterial properties within the cloths. Here is the article from the Treehugger forum and an interview with Adria Vasil author of Ecoholic. Norwex has publicly stated that their products use micro-silver technology rather than nano-silver and that cloths do not leach silver while being used.

I also agree with the mind-set that while the technology is still widely untested (the world of nano-particles and micro) – I appreciate the fact I’ve been using a reusable product that has saved me money and my health with eliminating traditional cleaning products containing chemicals.

Baking Soda

I can’t believe how much baking soda I use on a daily basis. In additional to freshening up my laundry with a sprinkle, I use on tough-to-clean stains, sprinkle on my carpet before vacuuming, make paste to clean my oven, and over the last few month…I’ve been using it to wash my hair. Baking soda is such an effective odor removing product – it’s a great arsenal with household cleaning products.

Vinegar

Vinegar is great for everyday cleaning. Household cleaning recipes that contain vinegar have been around forever and the list of vinegar solutions continues to grow every year. My favorite uses for white vinegar is to kill weeds along my driveway (fill up a spray bottle and let the kids have fun), fixing CDs or DVDs when they’ve started to skip (wet a rag with vinegar and wipe the CD and dry), along with baking soda to unclog drains, and a natural fabric softener.

Olive Oil

The only way to clean stainless steel, pour olive oil on a paper towel or rag and wipe along the grain of your stainless steel appliances. This is the most effective way I’ve found to clean stainless steel. It’s not cheap, since olive oil is rather expensive, but the results are fabulous and you are polishing without chemicals.

Related Articles:

Home Made & Eco Friendly Cleaning Solutions

Self Cleaning Oven – Toxic for Humans or Only Birds?

Home-Made & Natural Home Air Fresheners

No Poo Anyone?

Tips to Improve Carpet Health

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