One sobering fact of modern life: endocrine (hormone) disruptors are everywhere. Occasional contact wouldn’t be a major concern but the trouble is, most of us come into contact with them multiple times in a day, often in our cleaning products we use across our homes. Many of these toxins either block or promote estrogen and other hormones, so either way, they throw off your hormonal balance.
More and more young women are being diagnosed with breast cancer — a disease that used to be almost completely confined to women over 50. A theory is that because these young women have gotten such massive exposure to endocrine disruptors — starting in the womb — they are now struggling with hormone-related problems that used to take decades to develop.
Although buying your cleaning supplies at the store may be the most convenient way to go, we promise you it is not the best! Conventional cleaning products seem like a great convenience, but here’s a little secret: cleaning with common nontoxic household staples is cheaper, simpler, and a whole lot safer. We often don’t realize it, but those store-bought cleaners are filled with toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors that over time can have a big impact on our health and increase our chances of developing diseases like cancer.
One of our 7 Steps to Stomp Out Breast Cancer is to live a greener lifestyle, and living a non-toxic life is a perfect step in the right direction! Ultimately the goal is to completely chemical proof our homes, like we discuss here on the blog, but we understand that takes time. Swapping out your toxic cleaners for non-toxic ones is a quick & simple step in the right direction. Here are five natural housekeeping necessities that can clean almost anything:
Baking soda neutralizes odors and makes a good sink, tub, oven and countertop scourer. Sprinkle it on carpets before vacuuming. Line litter boxes with a cup before adding litter. To degrease and deodorize drains, pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar; let bubble for 15 minutes and rinse with hot water. For a “soft scrub,” mix together baking soda and liquid soap in single-use amounts. As a cleaner, baking soda is a workhorse, and no home is complete without a box.
Lemon juice can be used as a cleaner to cut grease, polish metal, and lighten stains. For a laundry brightener, add 1/2 cup of strained juice to the rinse cycle. To remove tarnish, rub sliced lemons sprinkled with baking soda on brass, copper, bronze and aluminum.
Washing soda is baking soda’s stronger cousin. It requires the use of gloves and more rinsing, so save this cleaner for extra-stubborn stains. To clean ovens, apply a paste of 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup of washing soda, plus water, and soak overnight. Add 1/2 cup washing soda to laundry as a detergent booster.
WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR
White distilled vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner that disinfects, deodorizes, pulls dirt from wood, and dissolves hard water scale, gummy residues, and tarnish. It also works wonders on windows. Put 1/4 cup in your laundry rinse cycle to remove detergent completely from clothes and to eliminate that scratchy feel. What can’t it do?
Borax is a good mold and mildew solution. This alkaline mineral is found in the laundry aisle and can also be used in place of washing soda as a cleaner. For an extra-strength toilet bowl cleaner, pour 1 cup of borax into the toilet before going to bed and scrub and flush next morning. One note: borax can be toxic when swallowed, so take extra care when using and storing it.
If you’re feeling inspired and want to go one step further, check out the infographic below to find instructions on how to whip up any DIY cleaning product you will ever need!
Mind Body Green