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Toxin-free home series: Green cleaning essentials

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Switching to homemade green cleaning products may be somewhat overwhelming at first but once settled into a routine, a wide array of products can be made with minimal time and effort. Homemade "green" products work wonderfully and with the use of essential oils the scent can be customized according to preference.

According to the Silent Spring Institute, “No comprehensive list of endocrine disrupting chemicals exists, and most of the nearly 100,000 chemicals in use have not been tested to determine whether they affect hormone systems.” A recent study found, “women who report greater use of cleaning products may be at higher breast cancer risk than those who say they use them sparingly.” The Institute researchers carried out telephone interviews with 787 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and an additional 721 comparison women. “Women who reported the highest combined cleaning product use had a doubled risk of breast cancer compared to those with the lowest reported use. Use of air fresheners and products for mold and mildew control were associated with increased risk. To our knowledge, this is the first published report on cleaning product use and risk of breast cancer,” said Julia Brody, Executive Director of Silent Spring Institute.

Essential products for green cleaning:

  • Baking Soda
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Liquid/Bar Castile Soap
  • Borax
  • Washing Soda (made by Arm & Hammer, should be by the borax in the laundry aisle)
  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Essential Oils (optional)

With the above everyday ingredients essentially all common cleaning products can be made, including, laundry soap, all-purpose disinfectant spray cleaner, dish soap, furniture polish, fruit & veggie spray, window cleaner, fabric softener, and a scouring cleaner similar to comet.

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