Why I Switched Our Cleaning Supplies

Household cleaners and soaps are some of the biggest offenders of toxins in homes and they can routinely expose us to chemicals that can affect us to varying degrees ranging from minor skin irritation to hormone disruption or cancer. If you’re cleaning up what you’re putting IN your body, you should care what you put ON your body, and what you put in your environment. Period. There are safe cleaning products out there.

Most every household contains traditional cleaning supplies that are laced with toxic chemicals that are harmful. We’re exposed to them routinely — from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners. Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity. According to the Environmental Working Group, using them just once a week can have a harmful effect.

Why I Switched Our Cleaning Supplies

How Toxic Are Your Cleaning Supplies?

Toxic chemicals in conventional household cleaners vary in their severity – from immediate hazards such as skin or respiratory issues, chemical burns or watery eyes to long term major problems such as cancer, fertility issues, ADHD, compromised immune system and more.

It can be overwhelming to to start to realize how many toxic chemicals are in our home, and I’m not saying we can avoid exposure to toxic chemicals altogether, but it is possible to reduce it, and significantly decrease our risk of illness. Some chemicals build up and can cause enough harm in our bodies over time, that can trigger harmful effects. So knowledge is power.

How Do I Find Out What are Truly Safe Cleaning Products?

Here’s the thing: there’s so much we cannot control, but for the things we can, and use daily, why wouldn’t we do a little research and make safer swaps for our families? At the very least, we should be aware of what is in them! I use two resources in our home to identify how toxic our products are. One is EWG.ORG/SKINDEEP and the other is the Think Dirty APP. Both are apps that you can use to scan barcodes in your home, and see how toxic your current products are. Pretty cool, right?

It can be slightly terrifying when you start scanning your products, but remember: make small changes and do the best you can. I’m not advocating you throw out every product in your home right now, but rather once you are informed you can try to make the best choices you can going forward.

What are the Harmful Chemicals in Household Cleaning Products to Avoid?

Here are a few to look out for:

1. Phthalates: Often found in many household products with a fragrance, such as air fresheners, dish soap, even toilet paper. Because of proprietary laws, companies don’t have to disclose what is in their scents, so you won’t find phthalates on a label. If you see the word “fragrance” on a label, there’s a good chance phthalates are present.

2. Perchloroethylene or “PERC”: Often found in dry-cleaning solutions, spot removers, and carpet and upholstery cleaners.

3. Triclosan: Found mostly in liquid dishwashing detergents and hand soaps labeled “antibacterial.”

4. Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”: Fabric softener liquids and sheets, most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial.”

5. 2-Butoxyethanol: Often found in window, kitchen and multipurpose cleaners.

6. Ammonia: Find them in polishing agents for bathroom fixtures, sinks and jewelry; also in glass cleaner.

7. Chlorine: You’ll find this in toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, laundry whiteners, household tap water.

8. Sodium Hydroxide: An ingredient often in oven cleaners and drain openers.

Why I Switched Our Cleaning Supplies

A Note on “All Natural Cleaners”

This might surprise you, but many “all-natural” cleaners found in grocery and health food stores still have harmful chemicals and may even score worse than conventional cleaning products. This is where those handy apps above come in handy. Again, do your own research!  

What Safe Cleaning Products are in my Home:

I avoiding conventional household products as much as possible and have found great alternative, safe swaps for cleaning products, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and air fresheners. Here are some options for you:

  • You can make your own DIY household cleaners: LCK Food Editor Kelli uses a mixture of Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap, Water, and Essential Oils for almost all cleaning tasks. For heavy duty jobs she also will add in baking soda.
  • All-Purpose Cleaning Products: I use Branch Basics for my Bathroom, All-Purpose Counter Cleaner, Glass, and hand soap!
  • Laundry Detergent: Again, I use Branch Basics. I also use their Oxygen Boost for my Whites. I’ve also heard Molly’s Suds is a good brand, but haven’t personally tried it!
  • Dryer Sheets: I use Dryer Balls (see this post).
  • Air Freshener: I use this home spray by The Laundress or safer candles by Phlur.

For me, Branch Basics is literally magic. Their multi-purpose concentrate makes cleaning simple, affordable and sustainable. The products are refillable and they’re significantly less expensive than similar single-use products. You dilute The Concentrate with water, and then it’s ready for any cleaning job around the house, even dirty laundry!

A word from the Branch Basics team:

“We’re not fans of shipping water. Our multi-purpose concentrated cleaner makes cleaning simple, sustainable, safe and affordable. Just dilute with water in our spray and foamer bottles (complete with marked fill lines) and you’re all set to effectively tackle every room in the house and your laundry too! Our kits come with everything you need to get started or you can purchase the concentrate in whatever size it best for you.”

Safer Cleaning Products

Discount for you:

My friends at Branch Basics let me give you 15% off starter kit with code LEXI15! The starter set includes one 33 oz. Concentrate, three empty spray bottles, one Foaming Wash bottle, one Laundry bottle, and then I add the oxygen boost and dryer balls to my order.

I was not paid to write this post, though it does contain affiliate links. Here’s my promise to you. While I make a small percentage on sales used through my code, this is the brand I TRUST. I PERSONALLY use them in my home for my family, and no super small amount of commission is worth compromising your trust. So please trust me when I say I would never promote a product that I don’t fully stand behind.
Safer Cleaning Products

Swap THIS for THAT: Safer Home Swaps To Try Right Now

Eating clean isn’t the only part of a healthy lifestyle. Our environment plays a big role too. What we put ON our bodies, what we use in our homes or environments, and even the relationships we keep, are just as important as the food that we put IN our bodies. The same goes for how we treat ourselves. Self-care is essential and setting boundaries within this technological world we live in is needed, though difficult.
I’m going to start this swap series, with this first post of Home Swaps to Try Right Now! These products are changes I’ve made for me and my family in our own home.
 Primally Pure Deodorant
With that said, we can do our best to reduce our toxic load, but without driving ourselves too, too crazy. Am I right? Believe me, it’s easy to do that. We now read labels and rid our home of toxic chemicals (as best as we can, not perfect).

Swaps I’ve Made in Our Home:

Dove Body Wash —> Beautycounter Body Wash in Citrus Mimosa

Have you read the ingredients in your body wash? Mike was actually the first one out of the two of us to give it a glance. He was horrified! The new body was we are using is extremely gentle and non-drying with a creamy texture! It has rich and nourishing marula and mongongo oils, which are ingredients that help soften and protect skin while sealing in moisture. Mike loves the smell, too!

Secret Deodorant —> Primally Pure Deodorant

A natural deodorant that works, and I’ve tried them ALL! No aluminum for me, please and thank you! Primally Pure deodorant will keep you smelling fresh all day long while also pampering your pits with good-for-you ingredients (like tallow from grass-fed cows and organic + fair trade coconut oil) that are pure and natural enough to eat!

Primally Pure deodorant is not an antiperspirant – sweat is a HEALTHY and NORMAL part of being human! And since this product doesn’t contain any of the toxic chemicals found in conventional deodorants, it won’t interfere with your body’s natural and necessary detoxification process (also known as sweating).  IMPORTANT INFO: Adjusting to 100% natural deodorant may take some time – be patient! 🙂 The good news? Primally Pure deodorant has a cumulative effect – the longer you use it, the better it works!

Conventional Cleaning Products —> Branch Basics

On occasion I’ll whip out the heavy duty stuff if it’s URGENT, but for everyday cleaning, this REALLY does the job! Branch Basics multi-purpose concentrated cleaner makes cleaning simple, sustainable, safe and affordable. Just dilute with water and you’re all set to effectively tackle every room in the house and your laundry too! Branch basics is my preferred, I don’t know how it works so well, but it really does! I also heard Norwex cloths are great. 

*15% off with code LEXI15

Conventional Laundry Detergent —> The Laundress Products or Branch Basics

Admittedly, this was one of the last swaps I’ve made. This product is nontoxic, biodegradable, and allergen-free. It’s also free of petroleum, phosphate, phthalates, and artificial color! 

*15% off Branch Basics with code LEXI15

Conventional Eye Make-Up Remover —> Beautycounter Eye-Make Up Remover

I used to use coconut oil, but sometimes that clogs up my pores. Before that, I used whatever junk I could find in the drugstore. I am LOVING Beautycounter’s new eye make-up remover. Just a quick shake activates this innovative dual-phase formula to completely erase long-wear and waterproof makeup. Made without mineral oil or silicones, it uses the power of coconut and macadamia oils to break down pigments and cornflower extract to soothe delicate skin. Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, too!

Air Freshener —> The Laundress House Spray

A light scent to spruce up the house when I’m not diffusing essential oils (see below).  It doesn’t last super long, but adds a touch of freshness when needed. It’s made with a nontoxic formula is family, food, and pet safe. It has natural antibacterial properties and adds scent while removing odor!

Conventional Make-Up —> Beautycounter Make-Up

I’ve switched over most of my make-up to Beautycounter at this point, and aside from them being high-performing safer products, they have helped clear my skin so much in the past year!

  1. Bare Minerals Tinted Moisturizer —> Beautycounter Dew Skin with SPF
  2. Benefit Hoola Bronzer —> Bronzer in Dune
  3. Drug Store Maybelline Mascara —> Volumizing Mascara
  4. Tarte Eye Shadows —> Beautycounter Eye Shadow (Favorite Palette)
  5. Bare Minerals Blush —> Beautycounter Blush in Nectar
  6. Random Brands of Founation —> Beautycounter Foundation in Honey (Summer) and Sand (when paler)
  7. Mac Lipsticks —> Color Intense Lipsticks
  8. Glossier Boy Brow —> Beautycounter Brow Gel
  9. Random Make Up Removers —> Eye Make Up Remover and Make Up Remover Wipes

And that’s just the start to the list!

Gold Bond Body Lotion —> Primally Pure Body Butter and Primally Pure Body Oil

What we put ON our body is so important. Our skin is our biggest organ! Primally Pure’s natural body butter only contains ingredients that are safe enough to eat – high quality ingredients that work to restore the skin (your body’s largest organ) to a healthy and nourished state!

*10% off with code LEXI

Tampons —> Lunette (I prefer this over the Diva Cup)

Sounds gross, right? I thought so too, until I tried it! A period cup is a non toxic (made from silicone), eco-friendly, affordable, and sustainable alternative to tampons and pads. You fold the cup up a certain way and insert the cup inside of your vagina (as you would a tampon), and it collects your uterus lining. You simply rinse it out every 12 hours and re-insert it, making it extremely sustainable and stress-free!

Crest Whitening Toothpaste —> Desert Essence Whitening Tea Tree Toothpaste

This was actually one of the first big swaps I made. I ditched the crap in the Crest toothpaste for this fabulous one! It works great. Brush your way to a brighter smile and fresher breath with this exclusive blend of Bamboo Stem Fiber and Baking Soda that helps fight stains. Sea Salt and Zinc Citrate help reduce plaque, while pure Wintergreen and Australian Tea Tree Oils freshen breath with a burst of minty flavor.

Dry Shampoo —> Primally Pure’s Texture Dry Shampoo

Instead of an aerosol can, often used for dry shampoo that uses butane and fragrance, this dry shampoo comes in a shaker bottle, is easy to apply, and it REALLY WORKS! There is an option for dark hair or light, so it doesn’t make your hair that ashy gray color. Simply shake a bit onto your scalp/roots of your hair, rub it into the hair, and you’re good to go with fresh looking, and feeling hair!

*10% off with code LEXI

Conventional Candles —> PHLUR or Essential Oil Diffuser

Instead of burning candles that are a combination of toxic ingredients, I’ve started diffusing essential oils in a diffuser! The house smells great. Favorite combo: Lavender and Eucalyptus! Buy candles? Opt for safer alternatives, like those that use a cotton or paper wick, and are either unscented or scented with essential oils, and look for ones that don’t contain any paraffin! Note: I don’t have a particular essential oil company that I love, I just try them all out!

*Code LEXI for 20% off your first Phlur Order

Bug Spray —> Primally Pure’s New Nature Spray

I’ve always hated the thought of spraying chemical bug spray ALL over my body. Primally Pure’s NEW all-natural insect repellent is made with nourishing + non-toxic ingredients. It’s free of DEET and full of organic ingredients that bugs can’t stand!

Plastic —> Glass 

I am really trying to reduce the use of plastic in our home. A few major swaps I’ve made are:

Conventional Perfume —> Safer Ferfume

Did you know? Fragrance is being referred to as the new second-hand smoke? Ew. It’s only human to seek out pleasant smells and to try to eliminate unattractive scents from our environments. However, the immediate and long-term effects of synthetic fragrance exposure is hazardous to our health

This took me forever to say goodbye to my Coco Chanel! I finally found a safer perfume I like! I use PHLUR’s Hanami. No BHT, harmful fragrance, Parabens, phthalates. 

*Code LEXI for 20% off your first Phlur Order

Deals for YOU!

  1. Primally Pure: 10% off with code LEXI
  2. Beautycounter: Band of Beauty Membership. 15% Product Credit, Free shipping over $100, + a Complimentary Gift upon sign up. For $29/year. Check it out HERE!
  3. Branch Basics: 15% off with code LEXI15
  4. Phlur: LEXI20% off your first order with code

Disclosure: There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi’s Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my disclosure policy for more info!

What safer home swaps have you made? I’d love to hear yours!