Nov 3, 2013

Cleaning Tips for the Chemically Sensitive

This post has been a long time coming. While my chemical sensitivities are not as severe as they used to be, I still consider myself a highly sensitive individual when it comes to smells. Luckily I am not usually sensitive to soaps and detergents, but everything else around the house is fair game, particularly when it comes to cleaning products. I don't have any products like Windex, PineSol, 409 or anything of the sort around the house. Instead, I rely on products that don't trigger my chemical sensitivities. A few of my favorites are Bon Ami, the entire Seventh Generation line, (especially their dishwashing detergent!) baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and occasionally rubbing alcohol. If I ever have to be around chemicals I use them outdoors only. I even polish my nails outside on the deck because the smell of the polish and the remover bothers me indoors.

I keep a pretty tidy house thanks to having mild ocd tendencies. So I never let things get dirty enough to warrant the use of chemical cleaners. For dusting I simply damp dust everything. I wash the countertops with water and a dab of dawn dishwashing liquid. If I need to disinfect surfaces I will use either hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. A 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle does double duty as a powerful unscented glass and window cleaner and a disinfectant. It's one of my favorite products. Some people also swear by a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water for window cleaning but I haven't tried that one yet. I use Purex Free and Clear detergent in the washing machine and I don't use any fabric softener or dryer sheets as they're simply not necessary. I use organic wool balls in the dryer as an alternative. Glade Plug-Ins, Febreze or any sort of air freshener sprays are also not necessary. If you must scent your air to create extra ambiance, use things like soy-based scented candles made with essential oils, or try putting a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a diffuser. There are myriad chemical-free and natural product lines on the market these days, in big stores, online and made by small businesses and individuals. I love Dreamland Naturals on Etsy for affordable all natural soaps and bar shampoos.

Not only is chemical-free cleaning way healthier for you and your family, it's also much easier on your environment. By going chemical free you're reducing your carbon footprint and going greener. It's a win/win.

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