The Top 3 Most Toxic Products in Your Home, and What to Use Instead
We know you want what’s best for your family’s health. Everyone knows that healthy foods are a great way to keep our families healthy. But many of us have homes full of toxic chemicals that counteract all the good we try to do. Many products in the average home actually contribute to illness, despite our best intentions. Here are the top offenders in the “toxic products to get rid of” category.
Ditch it: Scented Candles
We get it. Candles come in so many yummy fragrances, from cinnamon bun to mango melon. But let’s talk about those scents you’re breathing in. They are synthetic chemicals. Yes, they smell great. But chemical fragrances pose risks of headaches, respiratory problems such as asthma, and more. Additionally, the melting wax from candles can release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. VOCs are known carcinogens. The soot from a burning candle can linger in the air for hours, impacting the respiratory health of everyone in your house. And studies show that scented candles release more soot than unscented candles.
Switch it: Swap out those scented candles for all-natural essential oils and a diffuser. The diffuser releases negative ions and adds moisture to the air as it emits cool mist along with the essential oils. Pure essential oils can create a spa-like atmosphere and benefit everyone in the room by boosting mood, respiratory health, and immune system function.
Ditch it: Air Fresheners
This includes both spray air fresheners as well as wall plug-ins. Air fresheners contain phthalates, which are known hormone disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of cancer. Many air fresheners contain dangerous levels of formaldehyde, which is a toxic carcinogen. Like scented candles, air fresheners and plug-ins are packed with synthetic chemicals that pose significant health risks. And all these products do is mask odors rather than neutralizing them.
Switch it: Rid yourself of indoor air pollution and stale odors by opening windows to ventilate your home periodically. If that is not an option, diffuse pure essential oils that can combat odors and freshen the air naturally. Lemon, lemongrass, and eucalyptus are good options. For odors in carpet or on upholstery, try sprinkling baking soda (with or without essential oils mixed in) on the area and let it sit for 20 minutes before vacuuming up. Your sinuses and your family will thank you.
Ditch it: Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softeners
Most homes are not properly ventilated, which means that chemicals linger in the air for us to breath in over and over again. These toxins build up in our bodies and cause our organs to work overtime to get rid of them. Dryer sheets and fabric softeners both contain chemicals that are known hormone disruptors, skin irritants, and carcinogens. The chemicals and fragrances in these products linger in the air and on our skin when we add them to our clothes, sheets, etc.
Switch it: Soften your clothes naturally by adding a ½ cup of baking soda to the water in the washing machine before adding your clothes. Fill up the liquid fabric softener compartment with vinegar instead of traditional softener. It will soften your clothes without leaving a vinegar smell behind. Fluff up your clothes in the dryer and shorten your drying time by adding 4-6 wool dryer balls in your dryer load. If you want clothes to have a bit of scent to them, add a few drops of essential oils to the dryer balls when your clothes are just about dry and air dry them without heat for 10 minutes or so.