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How to clean the house without chemicals

You can leave your house sparkling without using industrial cleaners. It is enough to want to change and, above all, to protect your health and the environment. I leave you here this article from Believe Earth and I invite you to try its recommendations. Your health and the planet will thank you!




Have you ever wondered where the detergent suds that leave your dishes shiny go? To the sewer system, of course. The problem is that there is almost never adequate treatment of the waste dumped there, which ends up in rivers and lakes, where it causes damage to both water quality and marine life.


Many rivers and lakes are poisoned. The foam prevents light from passing through the water, making photosynthesis impossible for underwater organisms. Birds lose the oil coating on their feathers, which allows them to float, and drown.


But the biggest villains among industrial cleaning products are chlorine and bleach. “They kill everything and contaminate the waters and rivers, causing serious damage to the species and ecosystems of the watersheds,” says geographer Leila Vendrametto, environmental educator of Ecoativos , a program that aims to bring the culture of sustainability to students. of Brazilian public schools. "These products are also harmful to human health, since contact causes long-term problems in the respiratory tract and skin."


And in the short term too. In 2016, cleaning products were responsible for almost 11% of all toxic exposures reported to the United States Poison Control Centers, responding to 115,710 calls. A study published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health noted that many cleaning products have substances considered irritating, dangerous or corrosive, which can cause damage to the eyes and skin. Another survey, published in February in the online edition of the Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine , showed that women who regularly clean the house or work in the field may suffer an accelerated loss of lung capacity compared to those who do not. they get involved in this activity. The researchers responsible for the study affirm that the effect of frequent and long daily use of industrialized cleaning products can be equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 20 years.


If what was missing was motivation, this data can be the starting point for a change in attitude. There are a number of natural products that can replace chemical products. And they don't need a prescription – they're ready to use and even inexpensive, like the ones we selected below.



“Industrial products are more abrasive and make cleaning easier. On the other hand, they are too aggressive for clothing and skin,” says Claudia Visoni, journalist, environmentalist, urban farmer and permaculturist who uses only natural products. For those who want to join this team, it is necessary to choose well the containers in which the homemade substances will be stored. “We recommend not storing mixtures in hermetically closed jars, since they produce gases that can cause the container to explode,” says Professor Delmarcio García, from the Chemistry Institute of the University of São Paulo (USP).


As they are natural products, it is best to use them within 30 days to avoid the development of microorganisms, since no petroleum-based preservatives are used. Another instruction is to use gloves during preparation, so that the ingredients do not come into contact with the bacteria on our skin.


Below, 3 recipes for natural cleaning products that will leave your house clean and scented without harming the environment or your health.




NATURAL DISINFECTANT

8 cups (2 liters) of water

1 cup (250 ml) alcohol

1/2 cup (125 ml) grated coconut bar soap

400 g green eucalyptus leaves or 1 tablespoon eucalyptus essential oil


Boil 500 ml of soapy water over low heat, stirring constantly until dissolved. Remove from heat and add the remaining water. Mix all the other ingredients well and place them in a preferably dark container with a spray bottle, which preserves the product for longer and prevents contact with external microorganisms.

Be careful with eucalyptus: it has excellent antimicrobial action, but some people are allergic to its components, so it is better to try first.



NATURAL LIQUID DETERGENT

8 (2 liters) cups of water

1 cup (250 ml) grated coconut bar soap

1 tablespoon (15 ml) coconut oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar (helps make more foam)


Boil 500 ml of soapy water over low heat, stirring constantly until dissolved. Remove from heat and add the remaining water. Add the vegetable oil and sugar and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Place them in a preferably dark container, which preserves the product for longer.



NATURAL LIQUID SOAP FOR CLOTHES

8 cups (2 liters) of water

1 cup (250 ml) grated coconut bar soap

2 tablespoons (30 ml) baking soda

1/2 tablespoon (7 ml) of the essence of your choice (suggestion: lavender or lemongrass)


Boil 500 ml of soapy water over low heat, stirring constantly until dissolved. Remove from heat and add the remaining water. Add the baking soda and essential oil. Mix well. Place them in a preferably dark container, which preserves the product for longer.

Tips : Use a portion of baking soda with vinegar or lemon when washing clothes, to replace chlorine or bleach, and let the white clothes soak for a few hours with water and lemon slices. Then wash normally.




If you think you're not ready for such a radical change yet, you can start slower. Check out 7 tips on how to choose industrial products that are less harmful to the environment:


  • How about using coconut soap – made with natural oils and fats – and natural sponges? They clean as well as liquid detergent and traditional sponges, which pollute the environment.

  • If you think you're not ready for such a radical change yet, you can start slower. Check out 7 tips on how to choose industrial products that are less harmful to the environment:

  • If there is any detergent, liquid soap, bleach or fabric softener left at the bottom of the bottle, mix it with a little water to use up every last drop!

  • To reduce packaging waste, choose cleaning products in the largest container available.

  • Avoid products with fragrances and dyes, they are more likely to cause health and environmental problems.

  • Read the labels of biodegradable products. And attention: data such as “solvent-free”, “phosphate-free”, “vegetable”, “ecologically correct” or “natural” are not indicative of good practices, unless it has the seal of a recognized authority that verified these claims.

  • Look for options made with plant-based ingredients, rather than petroleum products. And don't think that organic ingredients in cleaning products are safer than other substances. Although the term “organic” refers to foods grown without synthetic pesticides, in chemistry, it is synonymous with carbon-based products, such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which release harmful fumes and can cause serious health risks.

  • Choose concentrated formulas, which contain only 20% or less water, and then dilute them with water. Less packaging and fuel is required for transportation.


The cleaning product recipes published in this article are authored by Coletiva Caminho Natural , a Brazilian collective that publishes and offers courses on the subject. The recipes were also analyzed by Professor Delmarcio García and Doctor in Chemistry Giovana Freitas, both from the Chemistry Institute of the University of São Paulo (USP).


The data and information cited in this report were based on reports published by the International Journal of Novel Research in Life Sciences and Health Issues and Environmental Impact of Cleaning Agents .


TO KNOW MORE


  • Here you can see the study at the University of Bergen, in Norway, which reports the health harms of using chemicals in cleaning (in English).

  • Learn how toxic cleaning products are in this article from the Organics Consumers Association (in English).

  • In this link you can find some tips on how to reduce the amount of pollutants in your home (in English).


With gratitude,

Gabriela Ana

Holistic Health Coach


Do you want to discover the impact of chemicals on your endocrinological health?


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GABRIELA ANA

Health Coach

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