Healthy Spring Cleaning: Avoid These 3 Toxic Chemicals!

Healthy Spring Cleaning- What to Avoid

I’ve been reading DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes, Mommypotamus’ eBook, and she has some interesting information in there regarding discoveries of MALE fish producing eggs and alligators with tiny penises. What do they have in common?

They’re bathing in our old water!

To quote Heather, “In a recent TED talk presentation, award winning documentary filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer breaks down what these poor amphibians have in common: They’re bathing in our old bathwater and soaking up compounds like atrazine, an herbicide the EU had the sense to ban in the same year that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency re-approved it for use. (And use it we do, to the tune of about 800 million pounds a year!)”

This is no bueno. And it’s the season to start being really concerned about this. Spring Cleaning!

On the other hand, it’s an exciting time of year!

We’ve made it through the winter. The sun is starting to shine once again and the cherry blossoms are blooming. (They sure are a sight for sore eyes here in Portland!) We have the opportunity to open all the windows, let the sunshine in, and clear out the winter’s mess.


Starting new is a wonderful thing–just make sure that you don’t add a toxic burden to your house (and other creatures’ habitats) while getting rid of everything else! Here are 3 chemicals to look for and avoid this season:

1. Triclosan

According to the Environmental Working Group, “Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of the chemical, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources. That’s especially unfortunate since triclosan is very toxic to aquatic life.”  Triclosan is typically used in liquid hand soap, dish washing detergent, toothpaste, and face wash, and air fresheners like Febreze. There is also strong evidence showing that it leads to bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

2. Phthalates

Phthalates are added to air freshener products and products that contain fragrance in order to make the fragrance last longer. Up to 200 chemicals can be used just to create one fragrance! (source) Research on Phthalates has linked it to male reproductive system birth defects, reduced testosterone, infertility, allergies and asthma, and hormone disruption.


Speaking of fragrances, did you know that Clorox brand uses 1,219 different fragrance ingredients in their products? Yup, you read that right! INSANE. These are not benign fragrances, they are synthetic, hormone disrupting, cell damaging chemicals. Skip the Clorox, this season! (keep reading for alternatives to Clorox)

3. Borax

Also seen on ingredient lists as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. May be included in a lot of products marketed as “green” or “natural”. This is a harsh cleaning agent, however, that causes short term problems as well as long term. Short term problems include vomiting, eye irritation, nausea, skin rash, oral irritation and respiratory effects. Research has shown men working in boric acid-producing factories to have a greater risk of decreased sperm count and libido and animal studies indicate exposure can also lead to reduced ovulation and fertility in females.

The really scary part is that there are 77,000 chemicals in active production in North America. The average human has been shown to have 700 chemicals present in the body at any one given time. 

If this is not incentive to de-chemicalize your cleaning and sanitization protocols, well, then maybe I need to find better research or…you’re just crazy. ;) 

Cleaning product companies would have you believe that their products are the most cost-effective, convenient, and sure-fire way to get your house clean. What they don’t want to you know is that there are natural ingredients that folks have been using for hundreds of years that work just as well, if not better, for a fraction of the cost!

To get you started on your natural journey, I highly recommend Heather’s eBook that has FIFTY recipes! You will never need to buy a conventional cleaning product again. She is so passionate about her recipes, I can guarantee you will love the results. She is a PRO at making sure you are getting recipes with proven efficacy. Most things on the blog here are completely 100% free content. I would never attempt to have you guys purchase anything that I didn’t FULLY believe in and use myself. So when I do recommend a specific book or product just know that it’s because I think it’s as valuable as gold.

If  you want help concoting your own budget-friendly, delicious, and easy non-toxic cleaning recipes look no further than Heather’s (of the Mommypotamus!) eBook, DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes.

Especially because right now it is 25 % off! Just use coupon code SPRING25.

(ends March 31st)


Recipes include: 

  • Tea Tree and Clove All-Purpose Sanitizer (personal favorite!)
  • Pink Lemonade Dishwasher Detergent
  • Goo & Gunk Remover
  • Mold & Mildew Remover
  • Lemony Fresh Toilet Cleaner
  • Fabric Softener
  • Scented Dryer Sheets (personal favorite!)
  • Oxygen Bleach (bye bye Clorox!)
  • Lemon & Rosemary Dusting Spray
  • Carpet Deodorizer
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner
  • Fresh Laundry, Sunshine Spray, Tuscan Escape, Earthy Delight, Mountain Pine, and Tahitian Lime Air Fresheners (bye bye Febreze!)
  • How To Make Coconut Oil Soap For Laundry




{Click Here To Buy The Book}



DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Healthiness’ ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers.

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A Year Without Shampoo

A Year Without Shampoo!

As I watched the Today Show’s feature of my fellow blogger, Jacquelyn of LittleOwlCrunchyMomma I thought, “Wow, Jacquelyn’s been doing this for FIVE YEARS?” That’s incredible! I’ll be excited for the day I can say that myself!

(Yes, Kathie Lee was a rude beezy but that’s another tale for another time. And whatever, no ‘poo-ers scalps are healthier than hers! Neenerneenerneeeeeeeeener.)

And then it dawned on me. I’ve been doing it for a whole year! Okay, it’s not as cool as if I could say five years but it’s still cool. And I thought it deserved a blog post. An anniversary celebration, if you will.

Not using shampoo seems like a CRAY CRAY thing to do to the normal people of the world. The whole idea is veiled with a dark cloud of mystery. “What!? You don’t use shampoo? What do you do? How is that possible? You mean, you just like, use baking soda? and water?”


There is something very freeing about being able to walk past aisles of shampoo and unnecessary hair care products without a second glance.

And, it’s not that mysterious. Just 1 T baking soda mixed with water in a plastic squeeze bottle like THIS. Apply it to your roots and work your way down the rest of your hair.

That sounds too complicated. Seriously, just squirt it on there. Get it all up in your roots and massage it around. Then rinse.

It’s up to you what you do after that. You can apply an herbal rinse like THIS. You can apply Apple Cider Vinegar for added nutrition. I, however, ditched the ACV because it turned my hair into hay.

I now use a variety of oils to keep my strands supple. I like moroccan oil for leave-in, detangling action and coconut oil for a deep conditioning mask.

I also have been known to buy a bottle of Trader Joe’s conditioner here and there. Of course, the kind without plastic-additives and harsh sulfates. Just oils.

I’m all about the conditioning.

Now, what are the benefits of not using shampoo?

1. It’s way inexpensive. A box of baking soda here and there is sure to make your budget happier than expensive organic shampoos or endless bottles of Pantene.

2. You will need to wash your hair less often. Your body produces oil to naturally condition your hair and keep it healthy. Using shampoo daily (with harsh detergent cleaning agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate) upsets the natural balance and causes you to produce more oil than necessary to compensate.

3. You may find that your hair color changes. The plastic additives in conventional shampoos add a coating to your hair that is difficult to completely rid. It may take a week (it did for me! I smelled Pantene in my hair even a week after I stopped using it!) Your hair will be more susceptible to the sun’s rays and possible get an extra highlight or two.

4. No more chemicals on your head or through your skin! Most shampoos are ridden with toxic substances, harsh detergents, and plastics. Yuck.

You can follow more of my no ‘poo journey with these blog posts:

~The First Day of Hair Detox: No Shampoo!

~Day 8 No Shampoo

~Day 23 No Shampoo

~How to Ditch Your Shampoo For Good

~Easy Hibiscus Rinse for Enhancing Light and Dark Hair

Bon Voyage!


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January/February Giveaway! Enter to win a copy of Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin


I absolutely LOVED this book. I am so happy to be giving a copy away. I first read this book after my husband and I saw Joel Salatin speak at Willamette University here in Oregon. I bought a copy of this book to have him sign. Needless to say, I was quite starstruck when I met him. I may have blushed a bit and tried to act really cool. I’ll never forget it, though. Best moment everrrr!!! *silly grin*

To give you a taste, here are some awesome quotes from the book:

“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.”

“The same teen who can’t legally operate a four-wheeler, or [ATV]…in a farm lane workplace environment can operate a jacked-up F-250 pickup on a crowded urban expressway. By denying these [farm work] opportunities to bring value to their own lives and the community around them, we’ve relegated our young adults to teenage foolishness. Then as a culture we walk around shaking our heads in bewilderment at these young people with retarded maturity. Never in life do people have as much energy as in their teens, and to criminalize leveraging it is certainly one of our nation’s greatest resource blunders.”

“Food security is not in the supermarket. It’s not in the government. It’s not at the emergency services division. True food security is the historical normalcy of packing it in during the abundant times, building that in-house larder, and resting easy knowing that our little ones are not dependent on next week’s farmers’ market or the electronic cashiers at the supermarket.”

“I saw a news report recently that measured average video game use by American men between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five: twenty hours per week. Do you mean the flower of America’s masculinity can’t think of anything more important to do with twenty hours a week than sit in front of a video screen? Folks, this ain’t normal. Can’t we unplug already?”

“That many if not most people…who want fresh leafy greens in January buy them at the supermarket after they’ve been bleached and plastic-bag shipped from California or beyond is not a tribute to modern technology; it’s an unprecedented abdication of personal responsibility and a ubiquitous benchmark of abnormality.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TERMS & CONDITIONS: All entries are mandatory. You must like LLPH of Facebook, follow on Pinterest, and be signed up for LLPH’s newsletter to be eligible to win. A winner will be announced on Facebook on February 17, 2014. I will also send the winner an email requesting mailing address.


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