Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Few Thoughts on Chemicals and Cleaning

I am still working on My Bob Marley article.  Geez, its been a while since I have really done any research papers/articles, so I am moving a little slowly.  I really want this blog to keep moving, so I am uploading a short article I wrote a while back.  The amount of chemicals we are made to ingest is definately a part of the bigger plan to destroy our health.  This does not only apply to cleaning supplies, think big on this one.  There are massive amounts of chemicals in everything that we put on our bodies as well.  Here is a quick introduction to a topic I will be covering in much detail as we go along. 


Before WWII we relied mainly on coconut oil based soaps to clean just about everything. When the war broke out, unable to get coconut oil, we turned to chemical-petroleum based cleaners. Though these cleaners were more accessible and cheaper to make, they proved harmful to the environment and those who used them. After the war, American chemical companies, used to making extra profits from the sale of chemical cleaners, launched extensive advertising campaigns, designed to convince the American woman that a clean house was her life’s work, and that she needed their wares to be successful in this career.

Today, the average American, has an arsenal of chemicals at his/her disposal. You use one product for tile, and another to clean the shower. You pull out yet another bottle when it’s time to wipe down the countertops. Is this really necessary? Or is it a byproduct of over sixty years of learned chemical dependence reinforced by countless ads?


A 1991 study found that the average American home uses approximately 25 gallons of toxic products per year in our homes. In some cases indoor pollution can prove more dangerous than outdoor pollution.

Dr. Martin's Dangerous Household Chemicals

Toxic Brew Part 1

Toxic brew Part 2

-Studies have found a link between our ultra-clean environment and the rising incidence of asthma in modern society.
-Children need to be exposed to some bacteria in order to build immunity to various germs and viruses. Anti-bacterial products do not discriminate; they also create super bugs, which can survive assaults from conventional insecticides.
-US poison centers handle, on average, one poisoning every 13 seconds. According to the National Safety Council, there were nearly 2.4 million poisonings in the US in 2005. Of these, 93% occurred in a residence, and over half involved small children under the age of six.
-The only way we can smell something, is if the chemical enters our body.
-99% of all housecleaning can be safely completed without the use of chemicals.


-A child born into a home where chemicals such as bleach are used is two times more likely to suffer from persistent wheezing.
-A 1999 Study found that homes where air freshener is used often, mothers experience 25% more headaches, and were 19% more likely to suffer from depression.
-In the same homes, infants under six months were found to have 30% more ear infections and 22% more diarrhea.
-Bleach is one of the most toxic substances known to man.
-The terms, biodegradable, non-toxic, natural, no-CFCs (or chlorofluorocarbons), nontoxic,
and organic are not regulated. (Only food can be certified organic)
-Though you can complete the majority of your cleaning using four ingredients: baking
soda, lemon, white vinegar and borax, for some, mixing household cleaners may be
impractical. Luckily, there are a number of products available that are kind to the
environment. The key is to read the ingredients.

SOLVENTS grain alcohol NOT butyl cellosolve
DETERGENTS coconut or other plant oils NOT petroleum
DISINFECTANTS plant oil (eucalyptus. rosemary or sage) NOT triclosan


Dishwashing by hand: Lemon juice is a main ingredient in commercial dish soaps. This is because it is an excellent grease fighter, the rest of the ingredients are mainly added fragrance and artificial colors.

Oven Cleaning:
Mix 2tbspn baking soda and 2 tbspn salt in 1 cup of hot water to form a paste. Spread over oven and heat to 200 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Let cool then wipe away with warm water and a damp rag.Mix ½ cup white vinegar with 1 gallon hot water. This solution is safe for all washable surfaces including linoleum, tile and hardwood.
Scouring Powder:
Mix 1 cup baking soda, with 1 cup washing soda.  Add essential oils and Hawaiian or Epsom salt for an extra kick.

Drains: To clear clogs, pour baking soda down drain followed by white vinegar.  Let sit for a few minutes, then follow with hot water. Repeat if necessary.
Glass Cleaner:  Vinegar and water can be used to clean most glass surfaces.  Rubbing alcohol can be used for oily surfaces or fingerprints.
Citrus oil can be purchased cheaply (about $5 a gallon) from any home improvement store. It is all natural and a gallon should last around six months. For wood cleaning, mix a solution of 1 cup citrus oil and 1 gallon hot water.Borax works wonderfully for eliminating odors, including pet urine and sour milk.
For Musty Smells:
Add 1 teaspoon tea tree to a cup of warm water in a spray bottle.  Spray over offending odor. Do not wipe up. The oil should evaporate within a couple of days, taking the offensive odor with it. Repeat if necessary.
¼ cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) and ¼ cup white vinegar.
Dark Clothes:
¼ cup salt with ¼ cup white borax. Salt helps restore faded colors, while removing dirt.
Environmentally Safe Dryer Sheets:
Put two or three drops of essential oil on a damp rag, throw it in the dryer with wet laundry.

For Wood: 

Lindsey's Laundry Detergent
(an easy way to clean your clothes and save money)

1 bar soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Hawaiian or Epsom Salt
Essential oils to your liking

Basically, all you do is mix all of the ingredients together and viola, soap!  It works really well.  Use 1-2 tbsp for the high effeciencey model washers and 2-4 tbsps for an old fashioned top loader.  I usually use fels naptha, a laundry soap, but you can use other soaps.  However, they must be the kind with no added moisturizer: I have used Ivory, Dr. Bronner's and Yardleys.  I especially like the yardleys because they make a number of nice scents made with natural essential oils.  Washing Soda and Borax can be found here in Waianae at Tamuras and Longs.  You can also find them at Wal-Mart.  I have been doing this for about a year now, and I LOVE it!! 

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