kitchen glovesAre you still wearing gloves to protect yourself from chemicals in the kitchen?  Or perhaps worse, are you NOT wearing gloves to protect yourself from chemicals? Either way, you must be hearing about the increasing amount of research on the potential toxicity of common household detergents. What I’d like to offer you today is a few tips on how you can transition towards the gloves free kitchen.

Often we focus simply on the dangers of fumes and the hazard of ingesting various household products. But what about the dangers that are caused when they simply come into contact with your skin? Most common household cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can cause anything from a mild skin irritation to severe health conditions. You might have a sparkling kitchen, but what have you really fed your skin in the process?

Without realizing it, we constantly absorb chemicals into our bodies through our skin, which is the largest organ in the human body. If you come into direct contact with chemicals, they immediately start penetrating into your bloodstream. In effect, this means that the chemicals you touch with your hands can be transported to any part of your body where they can wreak havoc and cause damage.

Chemicals are constantly absorbed through our skin.
Chemicals are constantly absorbed through our skin.

Detergents are a double-edged sword: not only are they potentially toxic in and of themselves, but they weaken the protective layer of the skin and make it easier for other chemicals to be absorbed.

Often it is not the individual chemicals but the combination that is problematic. If you’ve ever looked at the list of ingredients on one of these detergent bottles you’ll know what I mean – you need a degree in chemistry to understand all of that! To put it simply, many common chemical ingredients, when combined, form nitrosamines.

Nitrosamines are carcinogenic and enter your body simply through being absorbed through your skin. Suddenly, you’re thinking back in horror to when you last cleaned without wearing rubber gloves…

And the worst part is that young children are particularly at risk. They spend a lot of time sitting, crawling and lying on the floor. Not to mention putting their fingers in their mouths. Children’s bodies are much smaller so the effects of absorbing chemicals from household detergents are amplified.

So how can you have a clean home that is also safe for you and your family? The answer is straight-forward: use organic or home-made cleaning products and you won’t have to worry about wearing those gloves.

lemonHome-made detergents that can be used safely in the home:

  • Multi-purpose surface cleaner: mix 1 cup each white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. This should not be used on marble or tiles. Tip: for a fresh scent, add some citrus peel to the mixture.
  • Linen bleach: soak stains in lemon juice and then dry in direct sunlight
  • Window cleaner: Mix ½ cup white vinegar, 2 cups water and 1T lemon juice in a spray bottle.
  • Fabric softener: Just use ¼ cup baking soda. Tip: ¼ cup vinegar will get rid of static.
  • Countertop disinfectant: Mix 10 drops pure lavender oil in 1 cup of water, in a spray bottle. No need to rinse!
  • Drains: pour ½ cup baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup white vinegar. Leave it to foam for a few minutes, and then pour 1 cup boiling water and the juice of 1 lemon down the drain.
  • Bathroom deodorizer: place a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the inside of the toilet roll. Every time the roll is turned it will gently release some fragrance.

Using these easily available, natural ingredients will prevent many health complaints for you and your family. Avoid those chemical detergents: they come with warning labels for a reason. Get natural and ditch those gloves.

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