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Last month I am guessing you likely had a detox of some sort at the start of the new year – whether it was just a shift to eat healthier once again after the festive season, or maybe you did a full detox plan. This month why not take a detox of another area for your life your home.
One of the areas where over the last year I have been making gradual changes is detoxing our home. As a scientist, I knew of the effects that things like plastic production plants were having on the water systems the effects that the chemicals then had on the wildlife in the streams and ecosystems but now I have kids I’m equally concerned with the effect that these have on our own lives and our kids. A lot are “newish” products and there is no long term study on what they do to our bodies however, we can restrict our exposure to them by making some simple changes that could have far-reaching after effects.
When we moved into the house we decided that the floors to the outside and within the kitchen and bathrooms would be tiled as they would be easier to clean and for 6 years I cleaned them with a mop, bucket and detergent, when we got a dog I switched to a strong anti-bacterial cleaner and then when kids came along an even stronger one worrying about germs that they could pick up. But just over 2 years ago we switched out the mop and bucket for a Steam Mop it has the same anti-bacterial effect that the floor cleaners did but because it uses steam instead of chemicals the only addition is water.
We have a dog – that does mean that when she goes for a rainy walk that we do get that wet dog smell and it does seem to linger so we’ve always used air fresheners plugins normally although I have also used the spray. Over a year ago we switched from those to when needed I would make a simmer pot to create a fragrance in the home. A simmer pot is a pot of water with items like lemon’s, oranges, rosemary, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise or other spices, herbs and food that create a lovely smell when boiled.
But this was costing us ALOT of money as it rains a lot in the UK and over the summer we switched from that to using essential oils in a diffuser and a homemade reed diffuser to freshen the air and I guess we also get the side effects of the added health benefits from the aromatherapy like lavender helping with sleep, orange with uplifting the mood and eucalyptus to help cleanse the air.
Laundry – The Dryer
Yes, we use a dryer – remember the comment above about a wet dog because it rains a lot here well that also means it’s hard to hang out clothes on the line in the rain so the dryer does get used. I used to use dryer sheets, for a while I tried creating my own dryer sheets using fabric softener but then I made a switch to using dryer balls – over the past year I’ve used 2 different sorts PVC dryer ballsPVC Dryer Balls and also Wool Dryer Balls both of which work fantastically.
Laundry – Washing Machine
After making the simple changes above I looked at what I was putting in our washing machine – fabric softener and detergent and with some research switched out for DIY for both. We live in a hard water area so I knew that with the fabric softener I needed to use something that would help break up the lime scale deposits but also to keep clothes and linens smelling fresh so I use a combination of white vinegar, essential oils and Epson salts. Within the draw I add a tablespoon of white vinegar and 5 drops of an essential oil of my choice – I tend to use Lemongrass because I’ve found that it has a scent that lingers after clothes are dry and Tea Tree Oil because that is a fantastic anti-bacterial oil. Into the drum, I add a teaspoon of a blend of Epson Salts and lemongrass which again gives the wash a zing and freshens the clothes.
More recently after using up our stash of detergent, I started to make our own detergent – I make a borax free detergent and am planning to share it with you as soon as I have to make a new load. I like powder for my wash but there are plenty of liquid recipes out there Happy Hooligans has a DIY laundry recipe which I know you can use Borax substitute in place for the Borax and it works just as well.
We have glass doors that divide rooms, mirrors around the house and windows all that need cleaning. When we moved in I used to use a popular glass cleaning brand but once that ran out I switched to a recommendation from my mother-in-law, Microfiber Glass Cleaning Cloths Pack. No more than some elbow grease and water and you have clean streak free windows.