For many, conventional household cleaning is far from clean. Disinfecting your home with chemicals isn't making it cleaner—it's making a mess!
By filling your home with toxins, wreaking havoc on your hormones, and polluting the planet—chemical cleaners are, in fact, a dirty industry.
Decades of industrialization have turned the cleaning industry into a powerhouse for toxic chemicals. Common household toxins deemed safe have been linked to numerous health issues, including chronic inflammation, autoimmune disorders, thyroid problems, skin problems, anxiety, and depression.
Sqwishful was born to bring light to these issues—and create solutions. In this blog, we’re sharing why detoxing your home is the best thing you can do for your health and three simple ways to go about it.
Why You Need to Detox Your Home
To understand the threat these toxins pose to your health, first understand your endocrine system. Your endocrine system is an essential and elaborate network of glands and organs that control everything from your metabolism to your mood. It regulates every biological process in your body from birth to old age.
Somehow, companies have created an entire class of toxins known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, that complicate how your endocrine system works.
When Sqwishful founder, Jenn, was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, an endocrine disorder, she wanted to understand the root cause of her symptoms. She discovered that endocrine disorders are linked to not only diabetes and cancer but also female and male infertility.
More specifically, these health issues have been linked to BPA or bisphenol A, a chemical used to make plastic. It's one of countless toxins we're exposed to daily that accumulate in our bodies and cause chronic symptoms.
Believe it or not, the United States has no regulations for household cleaning products. Companies are not even required to disclose all their ingredients. Compare that to Europe's plan to ban over 12,000 chemicals, and it becomes alarmingly clear why these polluting products are a growing health threat. And why it’s essential to detox your home and body.
With a new chemical developed every 1.4 seconds and no safety standards, many companies have taken advantage of the lack of regulation to load products with toxic ingredients. And now, we’re starting to see the effects of these chemicals on our health, planet, and home environments.
"When our liver is overworked from processing toxins, it causes inflammation in our body that can lead to serious health issues," says Jenn. "We live in a world where we have to actively reduce toxin exposure in order to support restoring our liver's natural ability to detox."
It's hard to see how these toxins behave in our homes with our naked eye—but we can smell them. Have you ever wondered why you can smell certain cleaning products (especially ones with big hazard labels) even when they're unopened?
Your home environment is created by the things you bring into it—cleaning products, candles, air fresheners, and even cosmetics.
It’s been proven that some cleaning products, in fact, make the air quality in your home worse. Cleaning products meant to keep your home healthy contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that effectively pollute the air in your home. When exposed to sunlight, VOCs produce a chemical reaction—creating ground-level ozone.
What’s Ground Level Ozone?
Ozone is a colorless gas that usually stays in the atmosphere—but it can also be created by chemical reactions in your surrounding environment. Although ground-level ozone can happen naturally, the volume of chemicals we use today is causing ground-level ozone to rise to dangerous levels.
Highly irritating, ground-level ozone can have severe health effects, especially for children, elders, and people with respiratory issues.
Some symptoms of ground-level ozone:
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
- Inflammation of your airways
- Cough and sore or scratchy throat
- Asthma attacks or lung diseases like bronchitis
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
These are just a few reasons why you should detox your home and why it will help keep your family, home, and the environment healthy and safe.
How Plastic Is Bad for Your Health
BPA is one of many toxins found in plastic. Perchlorate is another. The FDA has approved perchlorate for use in plastic food packaging. Even though the CDC has linked raised perchlorate levels and thyroid hormone levels in women.
"While plastic effects us all, female bodies are more at risk," says Jenn. "Engendered ideas about beauty, wellness, and the role of women in households have led women to use more cosmetic, personal care, and cleaning products. These industries are saturated by plastics and petrochemicals."
How did we get here? While plastic revolutionized most industries, its role in rapidly industrializing our country obscured its problems downstream. As plastic proliferated in supply chains—its chemicals are now virtually everywhere—in our air, water, land, and bodies. Recent studies have shown the extent of microplastics found in our bodies, from our blood to our lungs.
These tiny plastic particles carry the toxins responsible for the cascading illnesses and cancers linked to them.
Detox Your Home in 3 Steps
Ironically, cleaning products are doing the opposite of getting things clean. Although conventional cleaning products with highly toxic chemicals are more affordable—you’re paying a heavy price with exposure and the risk of health issues.
Luckily, detoxing your home is easier now than ever. Here are 3 ways to get started:
1. Audit your products for VOCs.
Take a look at your laundry detergent, furniture polish, bathroom cleaners, personal care products, and aerosol sprays. If there are big hazard labels on them, they probably have VOCs, but you can also look for these ingredients:
- Ethylene glycol
- Methylene Chloride
These are the most commonly used VOCs. Avoid these in any products and switch to non-toxic products. An easy swap is bleach—one of the most toxic chemicals in your home. Simply use vinegar, baking soda, or even lemons instead. They’re entirely effective at keeping your spaces clean without toxins or VOCs.
2. Reduce plastic in your kitchen.
Reducing the amount of plastic you use is essential to detox your home. Plastic releases toxic chemicals when heated or scratched. And if you’re eating or drinking from plastic, there's always a chance you're consuming these chemicals.
You can avoid a toxic buffet by changing out your food storage containers. Instead of plastic containers, choose from glass, silicone, ceramic, beeswax, and stainless steel containers. You can also replace plastic sponges, scrubbers, and brushes that melt or break down into microplastics and enter our waterways with natural ones. We know exactly where you can find those 😉
3. Switch to plant-powered cleaning supplies.
Using natural, non-toxic cleaning products not only reduces VOCs but refillable solutions cut down on plastic too. Instead of buying liquid cleaners in big plastic bottles or jugs, try refillable tablets or sheets that dissolve in water. Or, you can even make your own cleaners using natural ingredients.
Here's our go-to recipe for a natural surface cleaner:
- 2 parts distilled water
- 1 part white vinegar
- 15 drops of May Chang essential oil
- 15 drops of Peppermint essential oil
Mix it all together in a spray bottle and use it to clean countertops!
Looking for more recipes? Allison From Earth shares easy and sustainable DIY recipes we love.
Plastic-Free Cleaning Essentials For Your Home
At Sqwishful, our mission is to make the world a cleaner, healthier, and happier place, starting with our homes. After learning how dirty some of the most common cleaners are, we knew it was time to make better options available.
We use natural ingredients to create effective and safe cleaning essentials so you can clean responsibly and with peace of mind. Our earth-friendly products are powered by our commitment to you. Start detoxing your home today with these tips and stock up on plant-based products.