Alternatives to the Use of Household Cleaners

By cassandrwiley / On / In Alternative Therapies, Parenting

For those of us that clean, particularly moms (and dads), we may use cleaning products  with very strong odors. Sometimes, the smell is so strong that it makes us cough.  We use it because it works, right?  If we open the windows as we clean, the smell won’t be so bothersome.

Well, have you ever read the ingredients on the label of a bottle of cleaner?  For instance, toilet bowl cleaners, no matter the name brand, contain hydrochloric acid or HCl for all my fellow scientists.  Hydrochloric acid is a strong acid, which means that it can burn the skin.  The fumes from the vapors are very toxic.  Whenever, I’ve had to use this for lab experiments, I wore gloves and worked under a fume hood.

Some of you may use bleach to clean your toilets and for washing your white laundry.   Although like hydrochloric acid, bleach will kill the germs and “whiten whites”; however, bleach contains chlorine, which is also toxic. (If you swim in a chlorinated swimming pool, you may notice that your eyes my burn if they come in contact with the water).

Many drain cleaners contain concentrated acid.  So, since HCl and bleach are both harmful, there are safer, effective ways to clean.  Mixing 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1/2 cup baking soda will clean the drain.

As the weather is getting warmer, you see more insects. Since our house is surrounded by trees, we often find ants and other insects in our home.  Since my son is fascinated with all types of bugs, I don’t want to use any strong chemicals in our home.  We also have a dog that should not be exposed to chemicals. For gnats, I leave a small glass of apple cider vinegar in the area that they populate.  After a few days, I’ll notice gnats floating in the glass of vinegar.  For ants, I make a mixture of 1:1 white vinegar and water and 5 drops of essential oil. (I chose lavender scent, but it’s your personal preference). It kills ants (and spiders also).  I spray it around the doorways to repel the ones that are trying to enter our home.

Here is a list of alternatives that you can use in the home instead of chemicals:

1. Glass cleaner – 1 tbsp. vinegar in a quart of water

2. Shower cleaner – use vinegar in a spray bottle

3. Furniture polish – use a damp cloth or try this recipe: 1 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 tsp. olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. lemon essential oil

4. Chlorine bleach – use non-chlorine bleach

5. Toilet bowl cleaner – baking soda and vinegar. (This also gets rid of urine odors, particularly for households with boys!). Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate.

6. General cleaning – water, vinegar, and lemon juice.  White vinegar kills both salmonella and E. coli bacteria from contaminated food or water.

Simple household items can do wonders in your home.  You’ll not only make your home environmentally sound, but you will also save money.

Fluoride: A Deadly Deception

By cassandrwiley / On / In Alternative Therapies, Health and Illnesses

Many of you, like me, thought that fluoride was beneficial. It helps prevent cavities, you need it in our drinking water, and so forth. There are many reasons to avoid fluoride, but I will only discuss a few of them.

  1. Fluoride does not prevent cavities. Dentists are trained to tell you that you need fluoride to prevent cavities.  I stopped buying fluoride toothpaste last year. Tom’s of Maine makes fluoride-free toothpaste for adults and children. My son didn’t have any cavities on his first dental visit. If you notice, all “training toothpaste”, like Orajel is fluoride-free. The label also says “Safe If Swallowed”. So, does that mean that fluoride toothpaste is NOT safe if swallowed? When I was using fluoride toothpaste, my teeth were prone to cavities. Streptococcus mutans is actually the bacterium that causes tooth decay. A friend told me that she recently started using coconut oil instead of mouthwash, and it appears to be working.
  1. Drinking fluoride water is not beneficial to your health. Again, fluoride water claims to prevent tooth decay. I’m going to give you the chemical formula breakdown of fluoride. It comes from Fluorine, which is a chemical element that exists as a highly toxic gas. When it reacts with water, it forms hydrogen fluoride and hydroxide.  In layman’s terms, I wouldn’t want to drink water with any chemicals in it. Use a water filter and obviously don’t buy the gallon jugs of fluorinated water from the grocery store.
  1. Fluoride has been linked to brain damage. Various animal studies have shown fluoride to affect behavior and learning by interfering with certain brain functions. With that in mind, studies have also shown that it can also lower IQ.
  1. Fluoride affects the thyroid. I know those, including myself, which suffer from thyroid issues.  Beside fluoride, there are other chemicals in the water, like chlorine, that suppress thyroid function; they compete with iodine absorption. The thyroid gland needs iodine to perform properly. My doctors haven’t given me a concrete cause for my thyroid nodules or prescribed any medication.

You may be thinking as you read this post that you don’t have or show signs of any health issues. Well, 6 years ago, I didn’t have thyroid nodules. There was a time when I didn’t have any health issues. Any type of preventive measures that you can take now will help you in the future.