We believe in focusing on the whole person. We believe nutrition is a large foundation of our health as the greatest accumulation of impact on health comes from poor diet (1). This is precisely why Wholesome exists.
To foster a community dedicated to the prevention and management of chronic disease by raising awareness about the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
As part of a healthy lifestyle, we focus on limiting our exposure to harmful ingredients and products. Unfortunately, there are many every day ingredients/products we may use in our homes, apply to our skin, wash the dishes, deodorize, etc. that are linked to cancer, endocrine (hormone) disruption, respiratory issues (i.e. asthma), and other chronic conditions.
I am all for reducing our risk of cancer and chronic diseases. If you’ve read our infertility story, you know I seek alternative solutions for traditional everyday products.
Thankfully, I was introduced to Norwex a few years ago. I can’t even remember who first introduced it to me, but Norwex products are now a staple in our house and have replaced most, if not all, of our traditional cleaning products.
One of my favorite resources to identify healthy products is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The EWG seeks to “empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment”. After doing my own personal research, there are several items we have ditched for good and I believe the following products are safer and effective alternatives.
Here are my top five (5) household must haves for a safe, clean home (bonus: a healthier environment too!).
Dryer Balls instead of Dryer Sheets/Fabric Softener
I remember when I first started doing my own laundry, I used to throw at least 2 dryer sheets in to decrease static and improve the smell of my college softball uniform. Then I learned fabric softeners contain harmful ingredients known as “quats” or quaternary ammonium compounds and are added to promote the softness of the clothes. The chemicals used to provide those “fresh” scents have been found to be a mixture of chemicals, some untested. For example, phthalates and synthetic musks in most dryer sheets are found to be hormone disruptors. (2)
No, thank you.
That’s why we use Norwex Dryer Balls instead. No chemicals. No fragrance. Nothing but 100% wool.
Other Pros: Reusable, decreases clothes drying time, 2-year warranty, decreases static cling
Con: Doesn’t provide additional “fresh” scent.
Solution: We add a few drops of essential oils to the dryer balls to help with that!
2. Enviro Cloths instead of … almost everything!
I used paper towels like no other! Cleaning the kitchen counters, tables, bathroom sinks, toilets, you name it. Now, I use the Enviro Cloth for almost everything!
When I was pregnant, I started getting more wary of household cleaners. I worried about kids getting into the cleaning cabinets, the residue of cleaners on a surface ultimately touched and in the mouths of babies and kids, and even the strong scents still lingering several hours after a clean.
Turns out, even some of the cleaners marketed as “natural” contain potentially harmful ingredients. With the Norwex Enviro Cloths, we clean most surfaces in our home with the simple cloth and water, thanks to the microfiber and its ability to kill up to 99% of bacteria.
If you could make only one change to improve your health and the environment, these Enviro cloths would be it--at least in my opinion!
Other Pros: Reusable, washable, 2-year warranty
Cons + Solution: None for us! [I even consulted my husband for these cons!]
A really cool feature of EWG’s website is product grading. The EWG has evaluated thousands of common products and provided letter grades based on concerns for asthma, cancer, skin irritants, development impact, hormonal impact, and environmental impact. Some of the most common brands received a big, fat “F” (e.g . “All”, “Ajax”, “Babyganics”, “Cheer”, etc.).
Thankfully, there are some common brands that did indeed receive an A! Although EWG has yet to evaluate Norwex’s laundry detergent, I feel extremely comfortable with the product since it is free from phosphates and fillers and uses other biodegradable products.
Other Pros: Suitable for HE and regular washers, environmentally friendly, effective
Cons: Not effective for cloth diapering (which we do!), increased cost
Solutions: We have a different routine for cloth diapering.
Special Offer: Kelley Sisko, a Norwex Consultant, will be providing a free ½ pound bag of Norwex’s Laundry Detergent for anyone that places an order through the following link: Place an Order!
Please Note: this offer will only be good now through Thursday, October 4th, 2018 at 11:55 p.m.
I absolutely LOVE this cleaning paste -- I use it on carpets, furniture and more! It removes stains I couldn’t get out with traditional stain removers.
Although I have a toddler, I still love white furniture--I know, not smart! My daughter’s play area is decorated with navy and white. I couldn’t resist a little white play table where she colors, or in her words “draw”.
She is relatively good at coloring on paper instead of other surfaces, but we still get occasional color on the white table (plus, the occasional marks on the which came off easily with the Enviro Cloth!). One time, she took black pen and scribbled all over the seat of two chairs. When the Enviro Cloth didn’t work well enough, I pulled out the cleaning paste. It was quickly looking new without much muscle!
Other Pros: Phosphate-free, super long-lasting, works on many types of surfaces.
Cons: I can’t think of any!
5. Window Cloth
Original Windex scores a “D” with the EWG, primarily related to ingredients impacting asthma/respiratory and environmental concerns. Most window cleaners contain butyl cellosolve and ammonia. Again, no thank you.
The Norwex window cloth is amazing! It truly gets shiny surfaces shiny again with only water. When cleaning windows or mirrors, I clean with a wet Enviro Cloth first, then a final wipe with a window cloth.
Other Pros: Reusable, washable, decreases paper towel use, dries quickly
Cons: I can’t think of any!
Although those are my top five (5) household cleaning products, I have several other products I use on a regular basis. If you are interested in those, here are some of my other must-haves:
Mop Collection: With a toddler running around (who was an infant not long ago), I feel so much more comfortable cleaning floors without using chemical cleaners.
Dusting Mitt: This makes cleaning window screens SO easy! And trust me, I usually hate cleaning window screens.
Stainless Steel Drinking Straws: My daughter loves drinking her smoothies out of a straw and I find I drink more water throughout the day when I drink out of one. Plus, plastic straws are one of the biggest environmental pollutants!
Reusable Produce Bags: Not only do I use these for produce at the grocery store, I store some foods like potatoes. When I was nursing and pumping, I also stored my pump parts in here so they could easily air-dry!
Kids Towel: My daughter loves to dry her hands with this towel as we teach her to wash her hands with potty training!
I hope you find this post helpful in achieving a healthier home all while improving the environment too! A special thanks to Kelley Sisko for providing a special offer of a FREE ½ pound bag of laundry detergent!
To order Norwex products, check out the party Kelley has opened for our readers. You can order through this link through October 4th, 2018 at 11:55 p.m.
Let Us Know: What are your favorite healthy cleaning products?
💕 a l i s o n
Forouzanfar, M. H., Alexander, L., Anderson, H. R., Bachman, V. F., & Biryukov, S. (2015). Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks in 188 countries, 1990–2013: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet,386(10010), 2287-2323. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00128-2
Sutton, R., PhD. (2011, November 1). Don't Get Slimed: Skip the Fabric Softner. Retrieved September 14, 2018, from https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2011/11/dont-get-slimed-skip-fabric-softener#.W5vNEZNKjOQ