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I hope you are all as excited about the arrival of Spring as I am! Now is the time to dive into the long anticipated task of Spring Cleaning!
I usually don’t feel so much enthusiasm about taking out the winter clutter, deep cleaning and organizing…. However, completing this yearly task is much more enjoyable using natural cleaning products that is safe for our families. It also means summer is just around the corner!
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Here is a peek at this month’s natural cleaning newsletter:
Why Spring Clean Naturally:
· Health: How do Chemicals enter our bodies?
· Impact on the Environment: What happens after chemicals enter the drain?
Spring Cleaning Guide
· Tips to Decluttering
· Natural Spring Cleaning Tips
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Why Spring Clean Naturally?
Spring Cleaning is a chore that no longer requires harsh chemical cleaners! All you need is a few ingredients you already have in your fridge and pantry, green cleaning supplies from any store you shop, or of course from Modern Betty!
Here are two major reasons why you should Spring Clean Naturally:
1) Your Health and the health of your family.
Toxicity measures how harmful a substance is and this may depend on the dose that comes into contact with the body through the following routes:
· Inhalation (breathing):
Breathing contaminated air is the most common exposure to chemicals.
· Absorption through the skin:
Chemicals do pass through the skin and into the bloodstream.
Accidental poisonings are extremely common in children and the elderly. For this reason, always store chemicals out of reach of children and always keep chemicals in their original container.
We breathe an average of 12 breaths per minute - air travels into our mouth and nose and into our lungs. Each minute we take in 6 litres of air – including any contaminants that the air may contain. However, if you are cleaning, this requires us to breathe harder and take in more than 6 litres of air per minute.
Let’s take a closer look! Air polluted with toxic fumes travel into our nose and mouth and enters the throat. Down to the trachea which divides into two large tubes called the bronchus which is the entrance to the lung. Once inside the lung the bronchus branches and the branches of the bronchus get thinner as they spread, like the branches of a tree. Eventually the tiniest tubes called the bronchioles end in thin-walled air sacs. Each sac is called an alveolus. These sacs are very thin and richly supplied with tiny blood vessels. Although the body acts as an effective filtering system, in which the nose traps visible particles, mucus in the trachea or bronchiole tubes, some chemicals may enter the bloodstream through the alveolar walls and could possibly damage the walls, cause scarring which may eventually interfere with the lung’s ability to pass oxygen into the bloodstream.
When you have asthma, your airways already tend to be inflamed and irritated. This makes them extra sensitive to inhalation of chemicals and may trigger an asthma attack.
Absorption through the skin:
What goes onto you also goes into you! We absorb 60-70% of everything we apply to our skin. We know very little about liquid chemical cleaners, which are the second most common way for chemicals to enter the body. The skin consists of two layer, the epidermis (the outermost layer) and the dermis (a thicker underlay). Although the epidermis is a great barrier against water and infections it is less effective against chemicals. The layers of the skin contain fat like substances which can readily absorb chemicals.
After passing through the dermis, chemicals can enter veins and the bloodstream. Did you know that the forearms are the most easily penetrated due to the small ducts containing the hair shaft. Contact with detergents and solvents can cause skin cracking and dryness and as the protective layer of the skin weakens, chemicals can enter more readily. This is why it is so important to wear protective gear – gloves!!!
Ingestion of Chemicals:
Is usually through accidental poisoning.
Once inside the mouth, chemicals pass down the esophagus and into the stomach which then pass through the small intestine in which chemicals can pass through the tiny finger like projections called villi which are filled with tiny blood vessels.
This can distribute the chemicals throughout the body and may even cause severe burn damage to the digestive system if ingested in high concentrations.
Have you ever read the labels of most chemical cleaners. It advices that if swallowed do not induce vomiting. You would want most foreign substances out of your body but the chemicals would cause even more damage if regurgitated.
Did you know that there are more than 3 million poisonings every year. Household cleaners are the Number ONE cause of poisoning of children.
Click here to learn more about chemical exposure!
Down the Drain:
Did you ever consider what we are washing down the drain and flushing down the toilet as we go about our daily routines? I did and here is what I found:
Scientists have discovered that our wastewater contains many chemicals found from drugs, toiletries and household cleaning products we use everyday. Sewage treatment plants may not be filtering out many of these contaminants according to studies done in the United States, Europe and Canada.
Don Wilkison, a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist monitors streams in Missouri and says “we do not make the connection between what we do on a daily basis in our homes and the health of the nation’s rivers. Red flags should be going up. When you think of aquatic organisms constantly bathed in unknown and changing concentrations I think we should have some concerns.” He also discussed how alarmed he was to find extremely low bacterial counts in streams that also showed high concentrations of triclosan, an antibacterial agent broadly used in soaps and detergents.
The use of regular dishwasher detergent, that contain phosphate and chlorine, releases 5,000 tonnes of phosphates per year, causing the rapid proliferation of algae in our lakes and rivers, harming fish and other aquatic species. Fewer phosphates and less chlorine down the drain means better water for us all!
Follow the Precautionary Principle and Err on the Side of Caution.
There seems to be little scientific data to tell people to stop using all of these products but it all comes down to the choices we make when purchasing products. Read labels and take advantage of the eco-friendly household cleaners that are readily available! Do you really need the hundreds of toxic cleaning products that are on the shelves that we have unquestionably accepted as a part of our lives, when there are natural alternatives?
Natural Alternatives - Click here to view Modern Betty's Products!
Spring Cleaning Tip: Ditch the laundry and dishwashing detergent and make your own!
For recipes for Laundry Soap and Fabric softener please visit:
How about a Natural Dishwasher Alternative?
Phosphates and chorine are very hazardous chemicals to our environment and are common ingredients in dishwasher detergent. Here is a recipe to make your own, which I find to be very effective when used in conjunction with vinegar in the rinse dispenser. It also helps to give the dishes a quick rinse before putting them in the dishwasher!
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
¼ cup salt
¼ cup citric acid
20 drops lemon essential oil
Add 2 tbsp per load. For best results rinse dishes and use vinegar in the rinse cycle.
Spring Cleaning Naturally!
So now that I know how beneficial it is not to use chemicals what do I do?
Let’s start by Learning some Easy Tips to Decluttering your Home and your Life!
“A place for everything, and everything all over the place.”
Clearing clutter is a continual process that goes hand in hand with natural cleaning. I don’t clean a lot I just clean often – and does not require harsh chemicals!
Uncluttering our homes is not just about possessions, it is about clarity in our physical surroundings and our minds. This rings true to using natural cleaners in our homes as well.
Step one to decluttering your home is to unclutter first and then organize. How many times have I found myself trying to organize clutter?
Question everything you bring into your home and think on a smaller scale. Unless it has a purpose, inspires or enhances your life – leave it.
If you’ve ever watched the TLC show Clean Sweep you would be familiar with designating different areas for trash, charity, give away, yard sale – doing it all at once would be ideal – but impossible!) However, taking time each day to unclutter even the smallest area (kitchen drawer, shoe closet, a shelf) will only take a couple of minutes and will benefit you tremendously.
True story: After garage sales I am always left with a pile of stuff that no one else wants….but I have attached memories to these outdated items that are hard to let go of. They always find their way back into my house and clutter it up again. I’ve learned that anything that doesn’t sell gets donated the same day.
Things are just things and it is important to realize that if you prioritize your love of things then you may be overshadowing your love of life and people. The more stuff in your house means more stuff you have to clean.
When the material rubbish of the house is cleared away, the rubbish of the mind tends to follow. This allows new thoughts and energy to come in.
"Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a dreaded list of chores. It can be a rewarding experience that helps provide some structure and organization in your life."
Spring Cleaning Tips
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." -Mark Twain
1. Declutter – household items as well as cothing - do this first and you’ll have less to clean!
2. Wash blankets, linens and pillows – put curtains and shower curtains in the wash as well.
3. Dust books, CDs, movies and shelves, frames, lampshades, fixtures - any home decor.
4. Don’t forget to wash the blinds, too!
5. Walls and doors – or just the dirty places!
6. Inside and outside of cupboards and dtawers.
7. Clean underneath furniture and appliances (fridge, stove, couches, beds and dressers to name a few).
8. Wash the windows – inside and out.
9. Dust and polish wooden furniture.
10. Sweep and mop or vacuum the floors after all of the dust has settled to the ground.
11. Clean out fridges and freezers.
Remember to go easy on any chemical cleaners you use and keep your home well ventilated. Modern Betty’s all natural line of cleaning products is a safe and natural alternative that is effective and can be used on ALL jobs listed above!
April & May Modern Betty Package Deal:
This deal is exclusively offered at trade shows but is now offered to Modern Betty Newsletter Subscribers!
Receive a 1 litre bottle of “One & Only”, Scouring Powder and two microfiber cloths (or a microfiber cloth and a scrubbie) for $20!
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