top of page

Why I Changed Our Cleaners

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

There’s a lot of cleaners that I just don’t buy anymore. It’s been a journey to transition our home to natural cleaners but over the past year and half we have successfully changed out 90% of our home’s products to a more natural option. Now that we have so much transitioned to a natural option I look back at this process for lessons learned to offer you in your own natural health journey.

I was very methodical about making these changes. It was tough at times experimenting with different products because I was used to something else that had served our family well over the years. I was a brand loyalist generally and while I was constantly looking for the most economical way to save money on those products I ended up spending about the amount month over month. Nothing says being an adult than having to purchase boring cleaning products right?

My Why

When I embarked on this cleaning transformation it was with the intent of seeing for myself if natural products stood up to what I was using. I was skeptical and leery while also looking at the price tags. Anything that says organic, natural or comes from a specialty grocery store is more expensive right?

I knew what I was using worked, that I could often find discounts, sales and coupons for it and it kept the house and family clean. Why should I need or want to switch to something questionable or even more costly just to say it was “natural?” So yes like many moms my first why change answer was to see if there any truth to natural cleaning products being just as good as other things.

My why eventually changed though as I learned more about what I was using in our home. I began to see the differences in ingredients and what I was actually using to clean our home and clothes. I dug in deep to understand how ingredients worked to clean and how different products claimed to be safe really were some of the most harshly toxic things in our cabinets. The information about how ingredients tangibly weaken our immunity systems and leave us exposed to illnesses and diseases was unnerving!

In this process I learned that some of our most trusted brands that we used every day were loaded toxic health risks to us and the environment. They left us exposed to things that could make us sick, cause long term health issues and even more mess with our hormones, emotions and senses. Some of the things we were buying became very scary to me. How could I use that to clean my home knowing what I knew now? It was like having light cast onto something that is right under our nose but we overlook it, naively trusting marketing messages that this certain cleaner, detergent or product is good for our home and us.

What was even more scary was learning that a lot of natural labeled products were just as toxic as the stuff I was not trying to eliminate from our home. How was this allowed to be sold? Why did manufacturers see the need to openly sell products that could make us sick?

We talk all the time about needing to be informed consumers but often in our search for convenience and time saving products we listen to the commercials and see the brightly labeled bottles and containers of cleaners thinking they look good or we simply pick up “what’s on sale.” They can’t sell it if it’s unsafe right?

FALSE!!!!!!

I could no longer just take it for granted that the long pretty smelling aisles of cleaning products was a safe zone.

As I finished up what we had available I began to seek alternatives. Where it made sense we started making some of our own cleaners and others we purchased. While I’d like to make a whole lot more of what we use and hope to expand doing so over time, I know I must consider time, convenience and fit for our family too. The good thing about changing your cleaners to natural options today is there are lot more positive options available than in years past.

Warning Labels

Look on the back of your detergent, multi-purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner or even your dish soap and you will see some incredible information.

One day I was standing at the sink washing a couple dishes and picked up the Dawn dish soap bottle. The back of the bottle was up and this sentence caught my eye – DO NOT INGEST.

Here I am washing dishes and it’s telling me not to ingest the soap. I had purchased Dawn soap for years. They wash ducks with it after oil spills so surely it was the right product to use in ensuring my dishes were clean right? This was confusing because while I thoroughly rinse the dishes we all know residue lingers on whatever the soap or detergent has touched. It absorbs into the plates and my hands. How do you wash the very same plates and cups that you and your family eat and drink from with a product that clearly says DO NOT INGEST!

I couldn’t buy Dawn anymore. I just couldn’t knowing that while it saves animals who have suffered at the hands of our irresponsibility and accidents it wasn’t something I needed my family to be eating from. There had to be other options to get our dishes clean. For us, I’ve chosen to make our own dishwasher tablets and I found a natural soap for the sink that I’m currently trying out.

Smelling Good

In this process I really learned how much we are driven by our sense of smell. We want our food, cleaners, clothing, homes and environment to smell good because it makes us feel good. It is our indicator that what we are consuming or where we are is a happy, peaceful, serene, safe and clean place.

As a result, the majority of cleaners sold contain a fragrance. In the majority of those cleaners the fragrance is chemically based. While the product itself may not be highly toxic to use – this varies based on what the product is and what the other ingredients it contains are – but the minute the chemical fragrance was added it became a severe risk to you and your family. That scent in the bottle of cleaner that gives it that “fresh clean smell” is what causes the skin issues, asthma, nose bleeds, respiratory problems, and other potential diseases.

We can still have fragrances in our products. We can still capture the “smell of clean” but we can do it with things that are not harmful to us. If a product you love is safe otherwise in it’s ingredients then find an unscented version of it and add your own natural pure high quality essential oils to it. If it’s not safe even without the fragrance then it’s time to find another option.

When it comes to cleaners we are most attracted to Lemon or citrus scents and l