Detoxifying Your Home
This year, I’ve been on a journey trying to create a healthier home. It’s involved trying to understand what ‘toxins’ I expose myself to and then taking small steps to try and reduce this.
Toxins are harmful substances that are derived from food, water, cleaning products, and other environmental sources that we are exposed to regularly.
Many everyday cleaners, beauty products, and home goods, including cookware, often hide harmful chemical ingredients and an accumulation of toxins may become poisonous in the human body. Many of them have been linked to various health hazards including asthma, endocrine disruption, organ damage, and cancer.
The solution? Consider a home detox. And while it may not be impossible to go completely chemical-free (at least overnight), there are a few changes you can start today that can make huge strides towards a healthier home and a happier you.
1. Swap your cleaning products
Think about all that you touch in your home. Surfaces, showers, tubs, sinks, handles, etc. Now think about what you’re using to clean them. Are they safe?
If the answer is no, that’s your first step. Switching to non-toxic cleaners is one of the easiest things you can do!
I recently discovered Method cleaning products, which are all non-toxic and also offer product refills, making them more economical and environmentally friendly. On that note, you can read more about their story and mission here, which might spurn you on to give them a try as they’re also supporting a healthier, cleaner world.
Their cleaning products include:
- all-purpose cleaner
- bathroom / shower cleaner
- washing up liquid
- laundry detergent
And they all smell amazing!
I’ve noticed that it’s not the cheapest switch in the world to make (have you noticed how nothing good for you is ever cheap?!). So my other recommendation comes in the form of wearing PPE when you’re cleaning.
I had never considered this before covid, but the mask will protect your lungs from breathing back in the spray and the gloves will act as a barrier between the product you’re using and your skin. It’s a bit of a no brainer!
2. Read ingredient labels
Did you know that for decades Johnson and Johnson used asbestos in it’s talc powder? You should read this article by Reuters to find out just how big brands can sometimes make big profits at the expense of your health.
What you put in your body isn’t the only thing that matters; what goes on your body can impact your health, too. And whilst the market in the UK is much more regulated than in other countries like America, I’d advocate that it’s still important to stay educated on what harmful ingredients may be hiding in your favorite facial cleanser or sunscreens (these have come under wrap in the USA of lately).
One big step you can take towards smarter shopping: familiarise yourself with common ingredients that may be harmful to your health, like parabens (a preservative) and triclosan (an antibacterial agent) and know in what products they are often found in.
Buy organic where cost allows (it’s expensive!), avoid GMO products and consult the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists, which I’ve linked for you. Both of these detail the 15 cleanest and dirtiest products according to the pesticides used on them.
3. Burn all natural candles
If you’re a fan of burning a candle like me, then I recently made the switch to non-toxic candles!
I’m a big candle person and I didn’t realize that many of the regular candles I was burning were putting tons of toxins into the air in my home. I now make sure to buy only non-toxic candles.
My absolute favourite brand that I’ve discovered is Jo Jo Candles. This is a brand local to where I live, so it also feels nice to support a small business who’s doing some good!
I regularly buy her soy wax candles, which also have lead free cotton wicks, making them candles that are kinder to you and our environment.
Do a search on instagram and facebook to see who you can support locally – so many small businesses that are doing good have popped up over lockdown so let’s support them where we can!
4. Add plants to purify the air
A simple way to filter out some toxins from the air is to have house plants. Plants are natural air purifiers and are an amazing addition to any home. They also look really pretty and bring a very calming feel to your space.
I like to have plants in every single room if possible, specifically in the areas where I spend the bulk of my time. I’m just trying to get a home office / 1:1 pilates studio sorted, so I’ll be plant shopping for this space. My bedroom has lots of plants as does my living room.
5. Switch to non-toxic cookwear
Time to toss the teflon guys!
Materials and metals like aluminum, plastic, lead, and Teflon can pose serious risks to your health and are prevalent in a lot of cookware items
Teflon is the trademarked coating that makes non-stick cookware non-stick. It was a gamechanger for cooking when it was introduced around 80 years ago. The issue is that these coatings (which contain compounds like PFOA or PTFE), are highly toxic and have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, organ failure, reproductive damage, and other health issues (check out the film Dark Waters and the documentary The Devil We Know for a deeper dive into the health risks).
Newer nonstick coatings, like Teflon, technically no longer contain PFOA and PFOS, On top of that, high heat causes the chemicals to break down, releasing toxic fumes. Additionally, PFOAs and PTFEs don’t biodegrade – which means they can accumulate in our bodies increasing the risk of damage.
To wrap up this month’s lifetonic, here are some healthy cookware swaps for you…
Look for one that’s certified by third-party testing and free of PFAs, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. I personally have swapped to Green Pans and love them!
Ceramic is great as it’s completely inert—meaning it won’t leach any harmful toxins. Ceramic pans are generally free of heavy metals, polymers, coatings, and dyes, plus, they’re dishwasher safe!
When shopping you will see numbers like 200, 304, 316, and 430, the higher the number the stronger, longer-lasting it is and the less nickel content it will have.
I’ve moved away from plastic for environmental reasons. Pyrex is the most popular cookware brand but there are many others!
Enameled cookware is usually made of cast iron that has been coated in enamel (think Le Creuset). This is out of my price range but the perk of this cookware is that it won’t rust, in contrast, to cast irons, and should last you a lifetime!
Taking time to find out more about the products and things you use, is another example of how you can be intentional with your health; making decisions that are all going to add up in your journey to become the healthiest version of yourself.
Your task this month, is to pick one area from the five above, do your own research, and then make a positive change in your own life.
What one will choose? Will you share your journey with us in our Facebook Group? I hope so – it’s a great way to help us all learn on this journey!
Have a good month and be kind to yourself.
NB. This is NOT a sponsored post nor affiliate related. I do not personally know any of these companies nor do I receive any payment for recommending them. I just wanted to share a few recommendations to help you in your journey and would encourage you to do your own research.
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