Lighten the Load
Home is where your health and happiness start, so lightening the load at home in your homecare and your daily routines creates a great foundation for your and your family’s health to thrive. Everything we put in and on our bodies and home environment is absorbed by our bodies. From pesticides on fruit and vegetables, chemicals in our skincare products to breathing in harsh, toxic household cleaners. Our skin is brilliant at absorbing anything we put on it, especially if you think about how effective a nicotine patch can be. Our liver then has to filter, process and detoxify everything we absorb or eat. Good and bad our liver handles it all, and it’s not just alcohol that is a liver loader. The sheer volume of substances we send it’s way can alone load our livers. So creating a low tox environment has a significant impact on our bodies toxic load that our bodies need to cope with and therefore our health.
Many people spend more than 90% of their time indoors (maybe even more so during the time of COVID 19), so the quality of our home indoor environments is more important than ever. Outdoor air has been regulated for decades, but our home environment is often more toxic and dangerous than anyone imagined and often where the real danger lies. Household products and chemicals that are used to keep your home clean, as well as personal care products, may release dangerous airborne chemicals and often contain harmful ingredients that get absorbed through your skin or your lungs. Beauty products, perfumes, air fresheners, paints, lacquers, pesticides, and disinfectants are just a few of the purchases that bring toxic substances into the home and ultimately our bodies.
Cleaning up your health always starts in the home and your body and liver will thank you for moving to more natural cleaners and body products. A lower toxic load at home and in your beauty and self-care routines will help your body processes flow more easefully as they are not as overwhelmed, clogged and congested with all the chemicals they need to process. A more natural environment will also help you avoid health issues when your liver detoxification processes become overwhelmed. Trust me, I have been there! Pesticides, parasites, chemicals and heavy metals (not alcohol) were what loaded up my liver making it sluggish and irritable leading to many of my health problems.
It felt like a lot when I first started to transition to a more natural environment at home. Rather than get overwhelmed, I picked one area (like my bathroom, skincare or laundry routine) and flowed from there. Cleaning is an easy way to create release and transition to a more natural way. In my skincare routine, I opted for more natural solutions as soon as my current products finished. There are so many amazing choices available now that I felt spoilt for choice when I started.
After introducing natural solutions in my home environment and beauty routine, I now battle to walk down the household cleaning isle in a supermarket given the overpowering smells, and my nose and lungs definitely tell me when I walk into a public bathroom cleaned with strong bleach and cleaners. I’d just become so used to it before that I didn’t notice. Now I notice these chemicals quickly, as my body is no longer accustomed to having to cope with these toxins constantly invading my environment.
My advice: start small and start affordable as you begin to iteratively make changes. I have saved so much in my homecare and know that my body (and wallet) are thanking me for it.
Here are some of my favourite, affordable ways to low-tox your home and skincare:
Natural Skin & Body Care
- Skin Care
- Esse Probiotic Skincare
- Earth & Kin
- Simply Bee
- Lula Fox
- Dr Hauschka
- MS London minerals
- Body Care
- doTERRA OnGuard foaming handwash
- Dr Haushka deodorant
- doTERRA OnGuard natural whitening toothpaste
- Bio-Oil skincare oil (natural)
- Africa Organics body wash
- doTERRA salon essentials hair care
All Natural Counter Cleaner
There is no need to pull out your rubber gloves and surgical masks when you clean your home. Simple and inexpensive non-toxic cleaners can be made from ingredients already lying around your house. Using essential oils to create your own cleaning spray is not only safe for the environment, but it is safe for your family as well. This spray is perfect for cleaning hard surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, etc.
¼ cup white vinegar
1 ¾ cups water
30 drops essential oils (I use doTERRA as I love that it is 100% pure, certified therapeutic grade)
Recommended Essential oil combinations:
- 15 drops each of Lavender and Lemon
- 10 drops each of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Wild Orange
- 30 drops doTERRA On Guard®
Add all ingredients to 500ml spray bottle. Shake thoroughly. Spritz on surfaces and wipe clean.
Clean Fruit & Vegetables
Rinse your Fruit & Vegetables to remove any pesticides and parasites before eating. A great method that I use:
- Blast your fruit or vegetables for a few seconds with warm to hot tap water
- Rinse in cold water with a few drops of doTERRA On Guard® or Lemon essential oil (or a few drops of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar). I often leave them to soak for a minute or two
- Rinse with clean, cold water again.
- Now your fruit and vegetables are safe to prepare or eat
Descale your kettle
To naturally remove limescale, calcium deposits and stubborn stains in your kettle, quarter a lemon and place it in your kettle, filled up with water to your kettle’s maximum limit and switch on to boil. I always do this before going to bed and allow the lemons to sit, post boiling, in the kettle overnight. Leave yourself a note to remove the lemon and rinse the kettle the next morning before making coffee.
Drains & Dishcloths
A few drops of wild orange essential oil in my sinks and drains daily and on my dishcloths at night are the perfect way to freshen up my kitchen and bathrooms. They create a great int of zesty freshness whenever I enter the room and come into my kitchen in the morning.
My plumber was the first to throw my conventional, store bought drain cleaners away. He rather taught me how to unclog drains using small amounts of bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar to remove any minor debris. I always follow up by rinsing with hot water from the tap.
Clean your Washing Machine
I’m a big fan of reasonable household cleaners that pack a natural punch. White vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are two staples in my cleaning cupboard. If you have a front loader, remove any clothes and add 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda into the detergent compartment and 1/2 cup white vinegar into the drum then run a normal wash (on hot). Just keep an eye on the machine while it’s washing as you may find it suds up a lot inside due to the build-up of soap residue
Given the acetic acid levels in vinegar, take care when using if you have sensitive skin and maybe wear gloves when cleaning with it. The acetic acid in vinegar can also damage some surfaces, so vinegar is not recommended for use on aluminium, cast iron, waxed wood, or natural stone.
Clean your Dishwasher
To clean your dishwasher out naturally and remove any nasty odours, place a cup of white vinegar in a dishwasher-safe container on the upper rack of the machine. Run the dishwasher through a hot-water cycle. This will wash away grease and grime and remove musty odours, too. You can also sprinkle one cup of bicarbonate of soda across the bottom of the dishwasher to add an extra boost.
To get sparkling, streak free windows, use a spray bottle and mix 50% white vinegar and 50% tap water. For tough, dirty patches prewash with very soapy water, then go to the vinegar spray or try rubbing hard with a cloth dipped in undiluted vinegar.
Fill a clean spray bottle with equal parts water and white distilled vinegar. Spray the solution onto the front and back of the shower doors. I also spray it onto the tiles and grout and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing off.
Aside from storing my food in glass, I also use reusable bees wax wraps as a non-toxic option to wrap leftovers, cheese, sandwiches or any on the go food in.
Good Night Kitchen Routine
To set up my kitchen at night for my morning to flow with ease the next day, I spend a few minutes saying good night to my kitchen. I run my diffuser in the kitchen every evening while I do this to clear the air and start the next morning afresh. My favourite blend for the kitchen is 2 drops each of lemon, lavender, wild orange and rosemary essential oil. Fresh, cleansing and zesty!
While the diffuser is running I clean all the counters, empty the sink, pack (and switch on) the dishwasher, place a few drops of wild orange on my dish cloths and in my kitchen sink drains to welcome me into the kitchen the next morning. I also set up my coffee for the next morning and prep my water bottles for gym and to stay hydrated during the day. I use glass or stainless steel water bottles to minimise my exposure to plastic and place a drop or two of doTERRA lemon or peppermint essential oil (which are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade so these particular oils are safe to ingest in limited quantities) to perk up my water and ensure I stay hydrated the next day.
I love these ideas of how to “lighten the load”. I will definitely be adding them to my daily flow.
I will definitely try some of these.