Wellness-focused design goes far beyond creating an aesthetically pleasing space, it also includes considering important factors like your home's air quality. A few years ago, I was introduced to the harmful effects that some conventional cleaning products can have our our health. Traditional cleaning products (think Mr. Clean or Lysol) can emit harmful VOCs into our home atmospheres, including formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen, and which may cause a myriad of different health problems (1). These products also end up in our waterways and create inhospitable environments for all kinds of wildlife. I believe we can make better choices in our homes with wellness and sustainability in mind.
Since this is the first post in this series of wellness posts, I want to keep things simple and talk about little, affordable swamps we can make with our everyday cleaning products. To eliminate any excuses you may have of not being able to make the plunge into non-toxic cleaning products, all of the below swaps can be found on Amazon! Add all of these items to your cart and in two days you'll be on your way to having a cleaner, toxin-free home.
Puracy dish soap - Replacing my dish soap was one of the first swaps I made in my own home. If you're like I used to be, you're probably using Dawn and you probably feel pretty good about since they use it in commercials to clean oil off of impacted wild-life! I know it sounds great (and it's good marketing) but the reality is that the Environmental Working Group gave Dawn a 'D' grade because of it containing methylisothiazolinone, which is a listed as a high health concern. A better choice is this Puracy soap, which I have found to work just as good as Dawn on dishes.
Puracy dishwasher pods - in line with replacing my dish soap, I was eager to find non-toxic dishwasher pods. Our dishwashers get so incredibly hot that they can actually open up cracks and pores on items like plastic. If any soap residue remains in those cracks, I want it to be something that's non-toxic.
Puracy laundry detergent - Our skin is our largest organ, and whatever we put on it gets absorbed into the body. I opt for a non-toxic laundry detergent option that does not contain any harmful chemicals, like this one. I will sometimes use diluted white vinegar in place of fabric softener, which is amazing at removing mildew from towels and it keeps the inside of your washer super clean!
Wool dryer balls - say goodbye to even more toxic chemicals coming in contact with your skin by using wool dryer balls! These balls are great at reducing static, but at $9.99 they save you a ton of money as well! I've had my set of six dryer balls for over a year and don't see a need to replace them anytime soon.
Essential oils - I know what you're about to say: you love the smell dryer sheets leave on your clothing! Well, I'm one step ahead of you. Put a drop or two of your favorite essential oils on your dryer balls and get ready for the best smelling laundry of your LIFE.
Sapadilla all-purpose cleaner - I will admit, it took me a LONG time to find a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner that I liked. Surprisingly, the Method brand and Seventh Generation cleaners don't get great scores with the EWG. And I found that cleaners like the OG non-toxic cleaner, Dr. Bronner's castile soap, left a film or residue on certain surfaces. Enter this cleaner by Sapadilla. Not only is the grapefruit smell amazing, this tough cleaner removes all stains and doesn't leave a residue on my counters or streaks on my stainless steel. Win!
Crate 61 Bar Soap - Although it's difficult to avoid plastic packaging 100% of the time, it's always worth the effort to try. One area I try to avoid plastic packaging is hand soap. A bar soap feels so classic and is just as effective at washing away viruses and bacteria as bottled versions.
Bamboo dish scrubber with ceramic dispenser - This eco-friendly, bamboo-crafted dish scrubber is the perfect companion to your non-toxic dish soap! The scrubber is replaceable, but the dispenser will last a lifetime.
Equip zero-waste dish scrubbers - For tougher jobs, you need something that's going to help you apply some elbow grease. These coconut fiber dish scrubbers really get the job done, and come in fully recycled/recyclable packaging to boot.
When it comes to eliminating toxins in your home, there's no reason to wait, and these simple swaps are a great place to start. Let me know which products you'll be trying in the comments, or ones you love that you're currently using in your own home!
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