When it comes to “clean living”, or non-toxic living, it can get overwhelming very fast!
When you are just starting out it may seem like you will never be able to make all of these changes for your family. It may be easier to just give up and do what you’ve always done. Don’t fret! Start small with one change at a time and work your way towards the bigger picture.
A great place to start is how you clean your home. Of the thousands of chemicals used in commercial cleaning supplies, only about 200 have ever been tested by the FDA and only a few of those are actually regulated. Switching to natural ways of cleaning your home will lessen the contact that your loved ones have with toxic chemicals and will also improve the air quality in your home.
So, where to start?
One of the most common and frequently used cleaners is glass cleaner. A lot of commercial glass cleaners contain toxins such as ammonia. Did you know that the vapors can linger in the air for days? Days! These chemicals have been known to cause irritation to skin, eyes and even your respiratory system. This is a good place to start. Ditch that blue chemical soup and make your own, natural glass cleaner!
You will need:
- 2 cups of Berkey filtered water
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar
- 10 drops of lemon essential oils (or scent of your choice)
I find that lemon helps cut through the smell of the vinegar quite nicely, but you can use any essential oil that you like. I recommend using Berkey water because it is a clean, pure water source. What is the point of making a natural cleaner if you use water that is laden with chemicals like chlorine?
Mix all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake gently to combine. Spray the window or glass surface and then wipe down with a clean microfiber cloth.
Vinegar is a wonderful item to always have on hand when switching to a non-toxic lifestyle. You can do so much with it. Paired with Berkey water it is truly a cleaning powerhouse! Some people are put off by the smell of just straight-up vinegar. If this is you, try this tip.
Infuse your vinegar with fresh citrus!
Fill a glass mason jar with citrus peels. You can use lemon, orange or a combination of both, Mmm…..there is nothing quite like the smell of freshly cut citrus. Pour undiluted white vinegar over the peels to fill the jar to within a half inch of the top. Leave the vinegar sitting for a couple of days, or up to 2 weeks. Strain out the vinegar into a spray bottle, or another clean mason jar to store it. Discard the remaining citrus peels. This delicious smelling vinegar works as a window cleaner (as mentioned above), or disinfecting all types of surfaces, toilet cleaner, mopping floors, or even as fabric softener.
To use as a fabric softener follow these simple steps:
Mix 2 parts Berkey water to one part vinegar. When the wash cycle gets to the final rinse, add ¼-⅓ cup of the vinegar solution to the washer. Vinegar is excellent for helping get rid of oil stains and cooking grease.
Bottom line is this. Don’t be intimidated by all the changes that you feel you have to make now. Just start small and implement one change at a time. This will also help you adjust to a new routine, and you will be less likely to give up on your plan. Remember, seemingly small changes (like switching to a Berkey water filter) can have a really big impact!