To keep myself creative and fight any creative blocks, I started ditching chemically-laden products back in 2014 and switched to essential oils and essential oil-infused products and other natural cleaners as much as possible. I did’t do it all at once. I took my time and did as much as my budget would allow. Since I’ve switched, Young Living now offers a Thieves Premium Starter Kit and Essential Rewards kit, which makes it much easier to make the switch for a small investment. Read on to learn why this switch is so important!
Why is it important to clean with natural ingredients?
You’re at the grocery store and you see a cleaner on the cleaning aisle. It looks cute and makes promises of a germ-free environment. You assume it’s safe for use because it’s sold at the store. Most people assume cleaning products on the grocery store shelf have been tested and are safe for use, but that is simply not true!
Just because a commercial cleaner promises a germ-free environment doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden dangers and other risks associated with its use:
- Conventional cleaning products contain many endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can wreak havoc on your respiratory system, cellular health, thyroid, adrenal glands, and even mental clarity.
- Indoor air quality is five to seven times more toxic than outdoor air quality mainly due to conventional cleaners.
- Children born to women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant have an elevated risk of birth defects, according to a 2010 study by the New York State Department of Health.
- Some ingredients found in cleaners may be linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, allergies and irritation, burns and poisonings.
- According to the U.S. EPA, cleaning products contribute to concentrations of many common pollutants that are two to five times higher inside homes than outside.
- Studies show that many toxicants invade our bodies. They have been found in blood, urine and breast milk, as well as in the umbilical cord blood of newborns.
- Nurses who used disinfectants to clean surfaces at least once a week had a 24 percent to 32 percent increased risk of developing lung disease.
- Regular use of cleaning sprays can have as much of an impact on health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, according to this study
Because of the Toxic Substance Control Act, companies did not have to clear even a basic safety review before using a chemical in a consumer product. Instead of requiring chemical manufacturers to demonstrate that their products were safe before they went into use, the law required the government to prove that a substance caused harm in order to control or replace a dangerous chemical. The law has been slightly updated for newly created chemicals, but the 80,000+ chemicals created in the last century are still being used in the marketplace. Yikes.
Ok we get it, chemicals in cleaning in products are bad.
How many of you have heard someone say, “But there’s such a small amount of chemicals in these products, does it really matter?” Or “I’ve been using them for years and I’m fine.”
Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind?
Consider the effects of bioaccumulation. The EPA has stated that small amounts of chemicals are not harmful to the body, but what happens when a small amount of chemicals are found in every single product you use and you use these products every single day, every week, every month for the rest your life?
A small amount of chemicals in your personal care products, hair products, detergents, and cleaning products can add up to big problems and this can put a significant burden on your body. This is called body burden. You feel fine, until one day, you don’t. Chemicals can stay in your body and build up over time.
•Some chemicals accumulate in our bodies over time
•Impacts may show up long after exposure
•Some chemicals can become harmful or more toxic in combination with other chemicals
•Chemicals can have more impact during certain periods of development (womb, infancy, puberty)
•Even tiny doses can be very potent
Do you want that in your home? I didn’t. It was hurting my ability to be as healthy as I wanted to be and keep my home as toxin-free as possible, so I decided to make some changes. This affected my creativity because I didn’t feel my best.
Where do we start?
So where do we start when we want to ditch the toxins in our home and make a switch to more natural, plant-based products? It seems overwhelming, right? Everything seems to have toxins in it!
Take a deep breath, at first it may seem impossible to have a chemical-free home, but don’t be overwhelmed. There are a few simple, practical changes that can make a huge impact on your home.
Step 1: Become aware. Understand that there are chemicals found in many household products that can be harmful to your health. You are already becoming aware of harmful chemicals by reading this blog post!
Step 2: Focus on avoiding chemicals you can control, like the products you choose to have in your home.
Step 3: Educate yourself on ingredients and chemicals you should avoid.
Step 4: Take action. You don’t need to replace every single product in your home tomorrow. Transitioning to a healthy, plant-based home is lifestyle journey and you can make changes overtime. Start by replacing the products you use most frequently. This may be your household cleaner or maybe your hand soap. Focus on replacing products used on those most susceptible. Children and those with a compromised immune system can be more prone to the harmful effects of chemicals.
The first products I switched out were my household cleaner, soap, and toothpaste, as these are what I used most often. Then we moved into mouthwash, sanitizer, and shampoos and conditioners.
The Dirty Dozen
One of the best ways to make small changes in your home is to be aware of what ingredients to avoid. Let’s talk about the Dirty Dozen; the Dirty Dozen is a list of twelve ingredients that we suggest avoiding when choosing products for your home.
1. BHA and BHT is an Endocrine disruptor and carcinogen and is used mainly in cosmetics as preservatives.
2. Coal tar dyes are carcinogens and have a heavy metal toxicity; they are commonly found in processed foods, lipstick, hair dyes.
3. DEA-related ingredients are also carcinogens; they are found in creamy or foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos.
4. Dibutyl phthalates are Endocrine disruptors, as well as a reproductive toxicant; they are commonly used in nail care products.
5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are a carcinogen; they are used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives.
6. Parabens are Endocrine disruptors and they may interfere with male reproduction; they are used in cosmetics as preservatives.
7. Parfum/Fragrance are carcinogens, and can cause neurotoxicity, allergies and skin sensitivities; they are used in variety of cosmetics to add aroma. Companies do not have to disclose the ingredients due to “trade secret”.
8. PEG compounds: can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane which may be a carcinogen; this ingredient is commonly used as the base for cosmetic creams.
9. Petrolatum is also carcinogen; it is used in hair products for shine, and as the moisture barrier in lip balms/sticks.
10. Siloxanes are also Endocrine disruptors, as well as a reproductive toxicant; they are used in cosmetics to soften, smooth & moisten.
11. Sodium laureth sulfates are carcinogens; they are used in foaming cosmetics, shampoos, cleansers, and bubble bath.
12. Triclosans are also Endocrine disruptors, and can cause antibiotic resistance; they are found in toothpastes, cleansers, and antiperspirants.
What is an Endocrine Disruptor? Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. According to the Environmental Working Group, “There is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.”
The Thieves Line
What are safe and effective alternatives to chemical filled household products? Which products we can trust?
Young Living is known for its large selection of pure, authentic essential oils, but we also have a wide selection of safe, naturally derived, plant-based products for the entire home!
The Young Living Thieves product line offers healthy alternatives for all your cleaning needs! We have everything from hand soap to laundry detergent. You can feel confident knowing that we don’t use any harsh chemicals and the entire line is infused with the powerful Thieves essential oil blend.
You will feel empowered knowing that the Thieves line is pure enough for your family and still strong enough for your everyday life!
I recently shared a post about Thieves essential oil, which was the oil that got me started on my Young Living journey. I purchased this oil before realizing how many toxins were in my home. As I would diffuse this oil, I would feel so good and my mind would get this creative kick again. I realized it was because I was allowing myself to breathe in plant-based oils and they were helping me. The next logical step was to try the household cleaner.
If you want to start using plant-based products, but are not sure where to start, start with the Thieves Household Cleaner! It is versatile, effective, affordable, and you can clean your ENTIRE house with it!
Thieves Household Cleaner uses naturally derived, plant-based ingredients and essential oils like Lemon and Thieves to give you a safer way to clean your home.
This all-purpose cleaner can clean just about anything and will be your go-to cleaner of choice. Use it on your counter tops, floors, furniture, windows, walls, in your oven, around toilet, and on almost any surface that needs cleaning! Wherever you use it, you’ll feel good knowing it’s safe to use around everyone in your family, including pets! Best of all, it is formulated without the harsh or dangerous chemicals found in many traditional clean products; it is made with a vegan-friendly, plant-based formula.
I love that this product is so versatile. You can literally clean everything with one product! I use this product in my home as well as within the home of an elderly lady I care for three times a week. it not only smells amazing, but it is cleaning the home without adding nasty chemicals into the environment.
Here is some helpful information about the cleaner, so you can compare it to what you are currently using.
Summarizing it all up for today.
We’ve talked a lot about harsh chemicals and your health, to make it simple and easy for you to share, we put together the top 5 reasons you should be using a plant based cleaner. We’ve gone over most of this information, but this list summarizes it all into 5 points.
1. Safety: Have you read the label on the back of a commercial cleaner? Warning! Flammable! Do not ingest! Keep out of reach of children! Many chemicals used in household cleaners have not been tested for safety. Household cleaning supplies are one of the top five substance classes accounting for calls to the National Poison Control Center. Many commercial cleaners contain ingredients that are endocrine disrupting chemicals, carcinogens, or neurotoxins. Kids, babies, and pets are even more vulnerable to chemical exposure because they are smaller and cannot get rid of toxins as easily as adults. It is definitely worth ditching harsh chemicals for a cleaner with plant- and mineral-based ingredients.
2. Air quality: Did you know that indoor air is 5–7 times more polluted than outdoor air? Most cleaning products contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which have been associated with many health problems, including damage to the liver, kidneys, and the central nervous system. They have also been shown to harm our lungs and cause throat irritations and headaches. VOCs are released when products are used and can linger in the air long after we clean. When we breathe, we inhale the air—as well as whatever is in the air.
3. Environmental impact: Harsh chemicals found in cleaners are not only harmful to our bodies, but they also have a major impact on the environment and are huge contributors to environmental pollution. Some conventional cleaning products contain ingredients that are toxic, non-biodegradable, and from non-renewable resources like petroleum, so they harm the Earth’s ecosystems. Harsh chemicals may contaminate the water through rivers, streams, and lakes, which affects wildlife, plants, trees, and us! Plus, there are thousands of chemicals that are in cleaning products that have never been tested for safety.
4. Convenience: It’s much easier to clean with a few products that take care of all your cleaning needs, rather than a having whole arsenal of toxic products under your sink and in your bathrooms. With Thieves® Household Cleaner, you can tackle multiple cleaning jobs in your home without switching products as you clean! It cleans countertops, windows, mirrors, floors, toilets, showers, and pretty much everything else. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting bleach stains on your clothes or accidentally mixing dangerous chemicals together. It’s worth a try for the convenience alone.
5. Cost: The cost of buying cleaners is expensive, especially if you have to buy multiple different cleaners. Thieves Household Cleaner is very cost effective, and it comes in a concentrated form. There are approximately 60 capfuls of the cleaner in a 14.4-ounce bottle. Using the medium degreasing ratio, you can get about 29 16-ounce cleaners. That’s less than $1 a bottle!
Why worry about all the what if’s? Be empowered and take charge of your chores by using a cleaner with plant-based ingredients.
These are only five of the many reasons to use a plant-based product. Share in the comments if you have any questions or any tips you have if you have ditched chemically-laden products for plant-based products.