Buying and using various household and personal care products is so deeply rooted in our daily habits and routines that in most cases, we don’t even think about it. But some daily products are harmful to our health and the environment, not to mention that they can be pricey.
Here are five household and personal care products you should stop buying and using.
Shampoo and Conditioner
The list of harmful chemicals found in shampoos and conditioners is impressive. Giving up shampoo completely can seem scary at first. But truth is, there are greener, healthier and cheaper alternatives to shampoo and conditioner. The most popular one is the baking soda and vinegar routine, baking soda taking the place of shampoo and vinegar taking the place of conditioner. You can find various tutorials and testimonials online from people who embraced the “no-poo” life. On the other hand, you can also find testimonials from dermatologists begging you not to put baking soda and vinegar in your hair… Despite being critiqued, the baking soda and vinegar routine is worth giving a try, in my opinion. It’s cheap, it’s green and there is nothing like it to remove product residue build-up from your hair.
Fabric softener – whether you use the liquid type or dryer sheets – is pricey and, frankly, can easily be replaced by cheaper and greener things. To get rid of static cling, throw a ball of aluminum foil paper in your dryer with your load a laundry. It’ll be as effective as a dryer sheet and you can reuse it about a dozen times. You can also pour a little white vinegar in your washer when it gets to the rinsing cycle.
Not only do most all-surface cleaner use chemicals that are harmful to the environment, they also contribute to the toxicity of the air in your home. Replace your store-bought cleaning product with white vinegar. It’ll be as effective as any store-bought product for killing germs and getting rid of mold. To clean the surfaces of your kitchen (counter-tops, sink, stove-top), scrub with undiluted vinegar and wipe clean with water. For cleaning windows, pour a half water, half vinegar mixture in a spray bottle, spray on the glass and wipe with newspaper (yes, this works!).
Blocking the sweat glands is a bad idea, but blocking them with aluminum zirconium is the worst idea ever. Most commercial deodorants and antiperspirants use aluminum zirconium as well as propylene glycol and paraben, which are all harmful to your body. There are various natural deodorants available on the market, but they can be expensive. The best alternative to deodorant would be the alum stone. It removes odor naturally by killing all the stench-causing bacteria at the surface of the skin. You’ll find it in most health food stores and will pay about 5 to 10 bucks for it – but it’ll last you at least a year. Make sure you use it properly to truly benefit from it: Take your alum stone and wet it with warm water, then rub it on your clean, wet armpit, ideally right as you come out of the shower. Unlike what you would do with a regular deodorant, rub your stone on your skin at least fifty times.
The air we breathe is already toxic enough as it is. There is no use in making the situation any worse with toxic-ingredients packed air freshener. There are plenty of natural ways to get rid of bad smells! For a house that smells wonderful, boil cinnamon or lavender for a few minutes on the top of your stove. Placing more plants in your home will help clean and purify the air. You can also simply and naturally open your windows and let smells be chased away by fresh air naturally. Or check out The Yummy Life’s ideas for DIY natural home scents.
Images are from The Microsoft Office Clipart Collection
Guest Author Bio
Mireille is a travel, music and theater enthusiast. She wrote for the stage and television, and is now working as a freelance blogger for Service 2000, a trusted appliance repair specialist based in Montreal.