More and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of toxins in the environment. There is much concern about the very air that we breathe. Not to mention the water we drink. If you are reading this, you probably already understand the serious nature of toxins. And you may have already taken measures to start a detox of your own body.

There is a lot of data on ways to detox the body. But what about your home?  Unfortunately, too often, we grab that all-purpose cleaner with bleach to scrub the counters and the floors. We wipe the windows with Windex. And what about the carpet cleaner to remove stains? Typically it contains 10+ ingredients we cannot even pronounce.

It’s often overlooked that the cleaning products and other products we use in our home are toxic. Not only can they be slowly poisoning your family and friends but also your pets. I am talking about anything and everything ranging from what you use to wash your clothes to what kind of candles or “air freshener” you use.

Let’s look at some quick facts about some of the toxic chemicals that could be lurking in your home:


Phthalats are typically used in the making of fragrances and fragrant based cleaning products. Exposure generally comes from inhalation. However, they can also be absorbed through the skin. It can cause many health issues including cancer.

Use this Instead

Opt for a diffuser with non-toxic essential oils. Even better, stick to something tried and true — open the windows and let that fresh air in! Plants are also great natural air purifiers. And who doesn’t love the excuse to buy more plants?


Triclosanes are common antibacterial agents used in dish washing liquids, detergents, and soaps. It alters hormone regulation in people AND animals. If exposed to this antibacterial too much at a young age, you may be more prone to allergies, asthma, eczema, etc in adulthood.

Use this Instead

Keep it simple! Find soaps and detergents with a short list of ingredients. If you are not sure what the ingredients are, look them up to ensure they are safe. Once you find a safe brand, stick to that brand. Along with this, avoid products labeled as an “antibacterial”.


2-Butoxyethanol is found in many all-purpose cleaners. Inhaling it can cause sore throats. It can even contribute to severe liver and kidney damage, especially when used in confined areas such as a bathroom.

Use this Instead,

Vinegar, vinegar, vinegar! You can use it simply as a mixture of one part vinegar to one part water. Also, you can find many recipes to create your own product. For example, you can use a mixture of vinegar, essential oils and baking soda.


Ammonia is a very common toxin. For example, you can find it in floor polishing waxes, furniture polish, drain cleaners, toilet cleansers, bathroom cleaners, multi-surface cleaners, oven cleansers and stainless-steel cleaners. It is popular as a glass/window cleaner as it doesn’t leave streaks. When inhaled it can contribute to breathing issues like asthma or chronic bronchitis. Also, when mixed with bleach, it can create a highly poisonous and deadly gas.

Use this Instead

Use Vodka as a substitute. Vodka’s high alcohol content, averaging 40 percent, makes it an effective germ killer. It also helps to eliminate streaks and is great as a great polisher.


Bleach is one of the most corrosive and deadly chemicals. When you use bleach you likely experience some burning sensation in your throat or coughing. This is its corrosive effects on your body. And that slippery feeling of bleach on your skin? That’s actually caused by the lye (caustic soda) reacting to the fats and oils on your skin.

Use this Instead

The good news, you can chose from many options to replace the bleach in your home. Lemon juice, Tee Tree oil, Castile soap and baking soda are a few alternatives.


A lot of the toxins listed above are not required to be disclosed on the product’s ingredient label. Because of this, it’s almost always the best option to create your own products.. If you are not able to make your own,  it’s well worth the investment to research and find safe and non-toxic brand.

I think Andrew Saul, author of “Doctor Yourself”, said it best when he noted, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This especially includes your healthcare”.

Stephanie Pete – Clinical Assistant

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