9.14.2015

TIPS FOR A CHEMICAL-FREE HOME

A little over a year ago we decided to make a change in the way we approach health and wellness in our family. It was then that my journey with essential oils began. This lifestyle has opened my eyes to some not-so-pretty truths about the products we use every day. Household cleaners, laundry soaps, personal care products, makeup, baby products--many of them (even those marketed as all-natural and organic) contain chemicals and other toxins that we don't necessarily want in our home. We pay a premium these days for a lot of these all-natural products, so it is disheartening on so many levels to find some icky things hiding in the ingredient lists. 
Luckily, there are ways to ensure the products you use are as "clean" as you wish them to be! Here are some of my favorite tips for keeping a truly chemical-free home:

Tip #1--Do your research.
I wish it was as easy as going to Target or your local grocery store and grabbing products from the shelf purely based on the packaging. A little confession: I have always been a sucker for pretty packaging. So if something looked cute AND it advertised itself as 100% natural or organic... well sign me up, no questions asked!  That was the end all be all for me. Truth is it often takes a bit more digging into the ingredient list to be sure of what we are purchasing. Here's the great thing, though, you don't have to be an expert on chemicals and ingredients because... there's an app for that ;) Think Dirty has been a complete game-changer for me. It allows you to scan the barcode on any product and know instantly how it is rated in terms of toxicity. Cue happy dance. So the next time you are perusing the cleaning product aisle or the beauty counter, just open the app on your phone and scan away. And if you are curious about products you already own? Go ahead and scan those, too!

Another great resource is The Environmental Working Group. Their consumer guides are filled with information on thousands of products and their Skin Deep database is a go-to when I am looking into beauty and skin care products to purchase!
Tip #2--Go slow.
I may have been known to scan the entire contents of our medicine cabinet in one sitting with the think dirty app. True story. And let me tell you it was an eye-opening and jaw-dropping experience. One that made me want to throw every single thing in the trash and start fresh. But if there is one thing I've learned on this journey it's that it's ok to go slow. When you run out of something that's your chance to replace it with a product you feel 100% good about using in your home.
Tip #3--DIY-it.
If I can't find a product that checks all the boxes for me I will make it myself. It's really the only way to truly know what is "in" the products you use. Plus, it is generally a whole lot more economical than purchasing the ready made equivalent. Some of my favorite DIYs are...

Wool Dryer Balls: This is kind half DIY and half DI-buy ;) Place 3-4 drops of your favorite essential oil (I love using citrus fresh or lavender) on each dryer ball and toss them in the dryer. This is a wonderful way to avoid all the toxins and other icky things that dryer sheets put into the air. Plus, the balls absorb moisture from your clothing, cutting down on drying time!

Fabric Softener: In a glass container with an airtight lid, mix 2 cups epsom salt and 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil--lemon, citrus fresh, lavender are all great. Once combined, mix in 1/2 cup baking soda. Add 2-3 tablespoons of these "crystals" directly in with your clothes before starting the wash.

Glass Cleaner: In a 16 oz. glass spray bottle mix together 1 cup distilled water, 1 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon corn starch (helps with streaking), and 10 drops lemon essential oil or another citrus oil. Give it all a shake and you are good to go!
If you are looking for a line of ready-made, all-natural cleaning and personal care products I highly recommend Young Living's Thieves products. The concentrated cleaner, toothpaste, foaming hand soap, and laundry soap are definite favorites, just to name a few :)

To purchase a Thieves Starter kit that includes a wholesale membership (24% off all products) or to check out the other starter kits, click here. Through the end of September, I am offering reimbursed shipping on all starter kits and a fun welcome package filled with amazing resources and some special goodies :) So now is the perfect time to get started on your own journey to a chemical-free home and better health + wellness!
Comment below or email me--erin.mucha@gmail.com--with any questions. And for a little glimpse into my journey with essential oils, follow along over on instagram (@erinmareeessentials)!

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