Here at EOL we'll be the first to admit it - switching over to an entirely toxin-free home is a monumental task! Our advice? Realize that it's okay to take your time. Not all products need to be switched out at once. Use this journey as an opportunity to learn about the toxins that are already in your home, and to discover what non-toxic replacements work best for you and your family.
Why switch to non-toxic products?
While the focus of this post is going to be on practical ways to switch over to non-toxic living, let’s quickly touch on the why. There are so many chemicals in the majority of popular over-the-counter household products these days, but some of the biggest culprits are the chemicals that make up the ‘fragrance’ in these products. Everyone loves a pleasant aroma, and it’s often the reason we opt for one product over another. When we smell something nice it affects our brains. Scents can make us happy and alter our moods, and we often don’t realize that those scents are made up of some very harmful chemicals.
Essential oils offer a perfect replacement for chemically engineered aromas. Quality essential oils offer non-toxic aromas along with a bevy of therapeutic properties. It's a win-win!
So where do you start?
Love lavender? Whip up a batch of homemade lavender hand wash (recipe below). A few drops of lavender essential oil paired with castile soap makes a beautiful foaming hand wash; it will smell divine and thoroughly cleanse and disinfect your hands. Aside from its aroma, lavender oil provides antibacterial and anti-fungal properties – all without harmful chemicals.
And the list goes on... Here's a quick list of switches you can make right now to begin your journey to a toxin-free home:
Step 1: Non-Toxic Laundry Care
Replace laundry detergent with a DIY laundry soap. There are so many recipes online! We suggest trying a few to see what works best for you, your clothes and your family. Note: some laundry machines work best with a powder formula, while others may work best with a liquid formula - check with the manufacturer if you are at all unsure.
Replace fabric softener with wool dryer balls. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil(s) to wool dryer balls for an all-natural and chemical free fabric softener. We like citrus and lavender oils for this task.
Step 2: Non-Toxic Air Fresheners
Replace candles and plug-in air fresheners with essential oils. Use singles or blends in pretty diffusers throughout your home. A combination of orange, clove and cedarwood will outshine any fall candle. Ylang ylang, lavender and bergamot are perfect for spring and summer. The possibilities are truly endless, and this is a great opportunity to get creative and discover new scent combinations – all 100% toxin-free! Follow EOL on Facebook for weekly diffuser blends!
Step 3: Non-Toxic Household Cleaners
Replace hand soaps with a DIY foaming hand soap. Add the following ingredients to a glass foaming bottle (widely available on Amazon) and use in bathrooms, kitchen, utility room.
- 8 oz foaming dispenser
- 3 tablespoons castile soap
- 20 drops essential oils (try pairing rosemary and lemon, sweet orange and eucalyptus, or lavender and peppermint)
- fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water
- splash of Vitamin E oil (optional)
Replace all-purpose cleaners with a DIY all-purpose spray. Add the following ingredients to a glass spray bottle, shake, spray and wipe clean! This can be used on most surfaces to clean and disinfect.
- 5 oz. distilled water
- 3 oz white vinegar
- 1 tsp castile soap
- 4 drops eucalyptus oil
- 4 drops lemon oil
- 6 drops tea tree oil
- 4 drops sweet orange oil
- 8 oz glass spray bottle
Replace bleach bathroom cleaners with this DIY non-toxic toilet and bathtub scrub. Add the following ingredients to a squeeze bottle for easy use. This stores for up to a month!
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup castile soap
- 15 drops lemon oil (you can also add in tea tree and/or sweet orange oil)
- To use: squeeze into the toilet bowl and follow it up with straight hydrogen peroxide to help kill germs as well as to activate the baking soda. Scrub as usual and flush to rinse!