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End of Endo, Diminish chemicals in your home
October 18, 2004
Hi everyone,

Hi there, and welcome once again to End of Endo - the newsletter which aims to provide you with practical advise and information to help you in your fight with Endometriosis.

This month we are looking at how you can start to get rid of all those toxic chemicals in your home, which you use as a matter of course every day to keep your home clean.

How does this help women with Endometriosis! …… By reducing the number of different chemicals you are exposed to, which can be absorbed by your body, you will give your body a much better chance to function properly, for your immune system NOT to be put under stress, and improve your chances of healing.

You may be unaware of some of the toxins you are absorbing from the outside environment. And what is worse … you have no control of this exposure. It is caused by industry emitting billions of tons of fumes, cars churning out noxious poisonous fumes, and agriculture spewing out millions of gallons of pesticides and organo-phosphates. Most of these toxins are invisible, and some of them you cannot detect with your sense of smell. They are insidious, highly dangerous to all life on earth, and we are all starting to pay the price now.

Because endometriosis seems to be such a modern epidemic, it only takes common sense and simple logic to realise that what is happening in our environment and what is happening to reproductive health around the world, that these two things are undoubtedly linked.

These environmental chemicals are wreaking havoc on the health of humans, animals and plant life alike. In humans, it is women and children who are most susceptible to these pollutants - and it shows up in condensed pockets of ill-health in people living near industrial plants.

BUT, the home is one place where you can start to take control. You can minimise your exposure to chemicals. As well as using chemical free, non-toxic personal toiletries - which we have covered in the past in End of Endo - you can change your habits and start to use old-fashioned natural alternatives to clean your home instead. And they work just as well. We have all become acclimatised/brainwashed/fed the advertising, which makes us believe we need all these different products.

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I have said this once, and I will say it again …… when women with endometriosis STOP using toxic toiletries on their bodies, miracle of miracles, their health improves - and in some cases this improvement is very noticeable. Please read End of Endo - Non-toxic Toiletries.
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The following advise gives you some tips and ideas to keep your home clean without using a multitude of different chemical based products.

People invest in separate products for individual cleaning jobs: furniture polish, bathroom floor cleaner, bathroom fixture cleaner, kitchen surface cleaner, oven cleaner, bleach for general purpose around the house, 2-3 laundry detergents for cleaning clothes, glass cleaner, drain cleaner - the list goes on.

If you look in the average cleaning cupboard of many homes, you will find a huge array of different bottles, cans and containers; some of which may have only been used once. Some of them will be past their ‘use by date’, and you have to throw it away - more toxic garbage thrown into the environment - and you have wasted your money. You will also notice that many products advise to keep away from children or your pets, must be used in a well ventilated room, and many will have severe warning logos stamped on the container, which means they are either highly toxic or flammable and down-right dangerous.

All of these products are costly, dangerous to your home, family and the environment. You can keep your home clean, germ free and smelling sweet by using only 2-3 home-made organic products, and you will save money.

Let's start with the kitchen. Rather than use a different cleaning product for the stove, kitchen sink, cabinets, floor and refrigerator, work tops and so on, there are only 4 ingredients that you need, and you can purchase them in any grocery store. They are white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and salt.

Also take note - all of those ingredients you can put into your mouth quite safely without fear of poisoning.

~ Kitchen Floors - In a bucket mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with 1-gallon hot water. This is safe for hardwood, linoleum, tile, and any washable surface.
~ Oven Cleaner - Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon salt, and add 1/2 cup hot water. Make a gritty paste, apply to the oven, heat slightly, cool and then wipe away with a damp rag.
~ Refrigerator Seals - The plastic seals of refrigerators can be wiped free of debris with a rag dabbed in white vinegar.
~ Kitchen Cabinets - 1/4 cup of lemon juice mixed with 1 quart of hot water. Lemon juice helps to remove grease from wood and metal.
~ Dish-washing by Hand - In a small spray bottle, fill 3/4 with water and 1/4 with lemon juice. Lemon juice is the main ingredient in dish-washing detergent because it is an excellent grease fighter. You don't need any of the other ingredients that make up commercial dish-washing detergents - they are mostly fragrances.

For laundry, there are three products to use: washing soda, white vinegar and salt.

~ Laundry Detergent for White Clothes - use 1/4 cup washing soda (sodium carbonate) in place of bleach. Bleach is one of the most toxic substances for the environment. Washing soda costs only a few pennies per wash load, and it is far less expensive than bleach. Along with the washing soda, add 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
~ Laundry Detergent for Dark Clothes - use 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of salt.

Salt helps restore faded colours, and to remove dirt and grime. It is salt that is used in dyeing of fabrics that helps to fix the dye.

For carpets there are three choices: salt, baking soda or cornstarch.

Just as salt helps to restore the colour of dark coloured laundry, it also helps to bring out the colour in carpeting, while at the same time, removing dirt.

Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt (depending on the size of your rug or carpet), let it sit for 15-30 minutes, and then vacuum. You can also alternate between salt and cornstarch. The instructions are the same. To remove odours from carpets, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the salt (or cornstarch) and make a powder with the mixture, sprinkle on the carpet and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, and then vacuum. If you want to add a fresh scent to your carpet, you can sprinkle Cinnamon, or All Spice on the carpet, let it sit for 15 minutes and then vacuum.

The bathroom - The same cleaning products used in the kitchen are suitable for the bathroom; white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.

~ To clean the toilet, sprinkle in baking soda and scrub with a toilet brush
~ Bathroom Glass Cleaner-1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. To remove oily or greasy fingerprints from the mirror, dab on a little rubbing alcohol and wipe with a linen rag.
~ Bathroom Floors-The same as kitchen floors: 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1-gallon hot water. This is safe for hardwood, linoleum, tile, and any washable surface.

Other cleaning areas

To polish wood furniture and wood floors, and to have a wonderful citrus scent, use citrus oil. You can purchase a gallon of citrus oil from many home improvement store. It costs about $5.00 a gallon, but will last you a long time.

~ Polishing Wood Furniture - pour a small amount of citrus oil (undiluted) onto a lint-free rag, and polish to perfection.

~ Another Furniture Polish - mix equal parts olive oil and lemon juice for a natural furniture polish. Just apply with a soft cloth and buff to a shine.

~ Cleaning and Polishing Wood Floors - Dilute one cup of citrus oil in one-gallon hot water. Use a sponge mop and mop floor.

For crayon marks, spilled candle wax, and residue left from tape and other adhesive, dab with mineral oil and wipe gently with a rag. Mineral oil is the main ingredient of many commercial products that advertise the removal of greasy wax stains and marks.

To further ensure that you are helping the environment to remain toxic free there are a few simple things that you can do:

  • Use cloth rags - never use paper towels or the new "Disposable Wipes." Such products are bleached, and are therefore toxic.
  • Recycle old clothing, sheets and towels into rags. Wash once a week and you'll never have to waste money on paper products again.
  • Recycle Paper and Plastic Bags - Never buy plastic garbage bags. Use the bags that you get from the grocery store to dispose of household garbage. (Try to recycle as much of this as possible)
  • Invest in your own heavy duty shopping bags to use for grocery shopping, and take only 1-2 plastic or paper bags from the grocery store to use as trash bags.
  • Minimize your use of plastic in whatever form it comes - bags, packaging, bottles etc. It is the least degradable form of packaging on earth.
  • If you need to use sprays in your home for whatever use, make sure you use pump action sprays.

Other organic household ideas: safe non-toxic alternatives you can use.

Here are few more household tips to minimise your need for toxic chemical based preparations:

~ For ants, sprinkle red chilli powder at entry point.
~ To remove perspiration stains, white vinegar and water works well on fresh stains on cotton.
~ Polish chrome or remove pet odour with cider vinegar.
~ For automatic dish-washing detergent, try ½ cup baking soda with liquid dish-washing detergent.
~ Repel moths with cedar chips or cedar essential oil.
~ Remove oil stains by rubbing white chalk into the stain before laundering.
~ Equal parts of vinegar and salt with a little elbow grease will remove mould and mildew stains but will not eliminate the problem. In this case treat the cause, which is usually a need for better ventilation or reduce moisture in the atmosphere with a dehumidifier.
~ Clean your drains by pouring ½ cup each of baking soda and vinegar into drain. Wait two minutes, add two quarts boiling water, and repeat.
~ Throw away your air freshener and try herbal bouquets, pure vanilla on a cotton ball, essential oils used with a special burner, or perhaps try opening the windows - even if it is a bit chilly. Let you home breath every now and then.
~ Clean window/mirrors/glass by adding a little vinegar and a little liquid soap to a spray bottle of water. Shake mixture a little and spray on surface that needs cleaning, and clean/polish with soft cloths.
~ Drains - pour a cup of baking soap and a cup of vinegar down the drain followed by a quart of boiling water, to deodorise and keep flowing freely.

This is just a few of the ways you can use simple safe ingredients to keep your home clean. How do you think our Grandmothers managed ….. easy, by using the methods above.

Chuck out all those bottles of toxic cleaners. Your basic cleaning shopping list will be as follows:
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
I have said this before above – you can put any of these things in your mouth without fear of poisoning. Which means they will be safe for skin contact, safe for your family and much, much better for the environment.

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Global warming is happening much faster that was originally estimated. In fact, it is happening TWICE as fast. We can all do our bit. It does not matter how small - every little bit of effort done by everyone will add up to one BIG difference. We just have to change the way industry operates, and the way we live our lives - even in small ways, is a start in the right direction!!

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