Scented products were the first category of potentially harmful things I eliminated because they contain so many toxic chemicals. Read more at: Fragrance Fuels Chronic Illness. I tackled cleaning products next. The more research I did, the more harmful ingredients I discovered hiding in cleaning products. I wish I could tell you that I faced making changes with enthusiasm, joy, and loads of positivity. Actually, there was a lot of eye rolling and yelling at my laptop. “Go away stupid internet showing me all kinds of toxic chemicals lurking in products I've been using for years.”
Cleaning products are especially problematical because we spread them on surfaces all over our homes, get them on our skin, and breathe the toxic ingredients into our lungs where they circulate throughout the body with the potential to damage every organ in the body.
I buy nontoxic laundry detergent, dish washing liquid, automatic dishwasher detergent, and other organic cleaners at my favorite big box store or order them online from Amazon. Three of my favorite brands are Seventh Generation, Method, and Better Life.
I’ve learned you still have to be careful. I don't use every product in my three favorite brands and I'm careful when I consider buying any new cleaner. There are no universal standards that companies have to follow in order to advertise their products as natural or organic. I do three things before deciding which products to buy.
- Read the Ingredients Label. I want to know exactly what is in the products I buy. I check the number of chemical additives and the number of natural plant-based ingredients used to manufacture each cleaning product I consider. The ones with the most plant-based and fewest chemical ingredients always win.
- Count the Toxic Ingredients. I give a hard pass to products that contain some of the more toxic substances like formaldehyde, preservatives, petroleum derivatives, BHA, parabens, phthalates, VOCs, and chemical additives with long unpronounceable names.
- Find Fragrance Free Versions. The word scent or fragrance is a red flag. Scented products may contain up to 300 harmful chemical ingredients and the manufacturer only has to indicate the product contains fragrance. They are not required to list the individual ingredients used to produce the fragrance.