Creating a Healthy Home
Joy of Home
When I found out I was pregnant, I started researching what things to avoid while pregnant and I wasn’t too surprised by the list of items – alcohol, paint fumes, harsh cleaning products, certain foods, and so forth. However, when I started paying close attention to labels on cleaning products especially, I was surprised to find out how many potentially harmful chemicals they contained. Not only are they unhealthy for us and our households, but they also aren’t good for the environment. The more I researched, the more I realized my home was potentially full of harmful toxins. Changing out our household and personal items to safe, less-toxic products is still an ongoing process 5 years later but it is worth the investment.
Prior to starting this journey of creating a healthier environment for my family, I used all name brand items and assumed they were safe. Sadly, that is not the case. Because of weak regulations, many name brand household items contain potentially harmful toxins. Thankfully, there are a number of great alternatives that are safer, work the same or better than name brands items, and are budget friendly.
There are also a lot of great resources that can help us make wise decisions. A couple of months ago, a friend shared the Environmental Working Group's website. It is an amazing resource. They have a database of products which scores products based on the ingredients they contain. They rate products from A to F with A being the least toxic to F containing the most toxic ingredients.
The list below contains items I have switched out over the years with a couple of items I plan on switching out soon. Most of the items are cleaning products and a few kitchen items. In the near future, I plan on sharing what personal items I have switched out. Please note that the suggestions are my own based on my research and experience. I encourage you to do your own research as you choose the right items for your family.
Ecover Zero Dish Soap, Fragrance-Free
EWG Rating: A
Places to purchase: Amazon, Walmart, Jet
Seventh Generation Auto Dish Powder - Free & Clear
EWG Rating: A
Places to purchase: Target, Walmart, Amazon, Jet, Grove Collaborate
Paper Towel Alternative
Bambooee Reusable Bamboo Towels
These towels are pretty big so I cut them in half. After washing, I fold them in half and keep them in a napkin holder. They are super soft and absorbent. They do shrink a bit in the wash and some stains like spaghetti sauce do not come out 100% after the first wash, but overall, they are a great alternative to standard paper towels. I've washed them multiple times and they are still holding up great. They are advertised to be machine washable up to 100 times.
Places to purchase: Amazon
No cleaning products needed – just use water!! Norwex Microfiber can remove up to 99% of bacteria from a surface when following the proper care and use instructions! The EnviroCloth or EnviroSponge have replaced all the general cleaners and disinfectants in our house. I was so glad to get rid of the disinfecting wipes especially. In the kitchen, I use the EnviroSponge mostly. It is great for cleaning up all your kitchen messes. I have four of them that I rotate out. Read more about the EnviroCloth here and the EnviroSponge here.
Places to purchase: Amazon, Norwex.com
Plastic Tubberware Alternative
Slowly, I am trying to switch out as much plastic Tupperware as possible. The Pyrex still has plastic lids but I prefer them over any kind of plastic food storage containers.
Plastic Wrap Alternative
Silicone Suction Lids and Food Covers
Plastic Straw Alternatives
With controversies regarding whether non-stick pans are safe to use, I decided to play it safe and go with stainless steel pots and pans. We also use a cast iron skillet for certain recipes.
EWG rating: A
Better Life Natural Stain and Odor Eliminator
EWG rating: Not listed
Finding an effective yet safe option was a little tricky but this is what I am trying right now.
Dryer Sheets Alternative
The EnviroCloth is great for wiping down everything in the bathroom - from the countertops to the toilet. I do have a separate one for the toilets only and always put in the laundry afterward. As mentioned above, the EnviroCloth removes up to 99% of bacteria with proper care and use and you only need water! Read more about the Envirocloth here.
Norwex Microfiber Window Cloth
Again, all you need is water and this cloth and you are good to go. If the mirrors are really dirty, I will use the Envirocloth first and then finish with the window cloth. It is so quick and easy. Read more about the window cloth here.
I am still working on finding the best alternative for toilet bowl cleaner. I am considering buying Norwex's toilet bowl brush along with their Bathroom cleaner. I'll let you know what I decide.
The scrub mitt is great for a quick wipe down of the shower and bathtub.
As soon as we have a clogged drain, I am going to try some natural DIY drain cleaners. I'll let you know what works. Click here for several different DIY drain cleaners.
General Household Cleaning
I originally bought Norwex dusting mitt for dusting the house but a lot of times I just end up using one of my Envirocloths. Either get the job done without out any cleaners!
By now you are probably beginning to see a trend. Yes, I really like Norwex products. I already had a mop handle so I just bought the Norwex pad to go with it. It makes mopping so easy. All you do is wet the pad and go. Sometimes the floors are too clean though and my kids are slipping all over the place if they are not careful!
Norwex Microfiber Window Cloth