One product I have an immediate reaction to every single time I come near it is Febreeze. I immediately get a tightness in my airway and itchy watery eyes. This summer, we were at an Airbnb that had covered every surface with it and I was getting nosebleeds and coughing all week. It's craziness. So I set out to find out -- WHAT is IN that stuff???
The first thing I learned is - Guess what? The Febreeze chemical DOES NOT EVEN REMOVE OR CLEAN the "odor molecules" it comes into contact with! The odor molecules are still there but your nose can’t perceive them because you smell the chemical product instead.
That alone is a red flag. We know inhalation of any chemicals is dangerous, and several of its ingredients listed below are known to irritate the lungs...but this is a chemical whose entire purpose is to be inhaled...
P&G only disclosed 3 ingredients in Febreeze:
1. BHT - Known as a neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, immunotoxicity, non-reproductive organ system toxicity, skin eye and lung irritator
2. Acetaldehyde - Known to cause cancer, toxic to reproduction and development, immunotoxin, non-reproductive organ system toxin, skin, eye and lung irritator
3. “Fragrance" - neurotoxin, immunotoxin and allergen. There are thousands of chemicals that hide behind this term. If you see it in any label put it back on the shelf!!
To top it all off, EWG's tests revealed 87 undisclosed chemicals...another red flag for your health.
I can't even, you guys.
It costs about $2 to make a cleaner alternative that can do more than just add scent to the air. Essential oils are non-synthetic and have therapeutic value and can actually clean the air. Citrus Fresh and Lemon from your starter kit work great for this, and Purification is another amazing blend. Check out this easy recipe that takes 1 minute to put together.
You can make small steps to have a big impact on your health.
Getting all those dishes clean can be a chore, but more importantly, leaving a harsh chemical residue on them from the dish soaps we use can be harmful to our health. You may think, “Why do I need to worry about the soap I use to wash my dishes? I am not eating them or putting them on my body.”
That is correct, you aren't eating the plate for lunch; however, you do put food ON your dishes, the food picks up the detergent residue on the dishes and then you ingest the food. That means that you ARE ingesting the detergent. You also inhale the chemicals as the dishwasher releases them during washing. The fact that the entire family uses dishes makes it very important to make sure your kitchen products are safe for everyone.
8 Toxic Chemicals In Conventional Dish Soap
Let’s face it, doing the dishes is a part of daily life and while that may be the case, exposure to some very common and toxic chemicals shouldn’t be. When was the last time you looked at the ingredients in your dish detergent? Can you not only pronounce, but understand what each one of them is and does? Odds are you’re like me and can maybe pronounce half of them, but that’s as far as I get. To help you live a greener and healthier lifestyle we’ve come up with a list of eight ingredients (aka chemicals) you should avoid in your dish detergents.
These are often used as a water-softening mineral and act as a fertilizer in water and are hazardous to consume for both ourselves and marine life. If concentrations of this type of chemical are too high in water, they can deplete oxygen levels and promote the growth of certain algae which are toxic to consume. Try switching to a brand that is phosphate free to avoid inadvertently raising the level of this chemical in our water supply.
This type of synthetic chemical is often added to dish detergents due to its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. This is the chemical that often qualifies a cleaner as “antibacterial”. However, this chemical is hazardous to our hormones and disrupts our body’s natural thyroid and endocrin systems. This chemical is also often attributed to the growth of “superbugs” since it bioaccumulates in the human body.
3. SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)/SLES (sodium laureth sulfate)
This type of chemical is what gives your dish detergent its foamy property and allows it to cut through grease. While the bubbles are nice to see, they aren’t nice to absorb. This chemical absorbs through your skin and can lead to 1,4-dioxane contamination. It’s also been known to cause rashes and allergic reactions.
Any given fragrance mixture can contain up to 3,000 chemicals. Which, over time can coat themselves onto plates, forks, cups etc. and eventually be ingested. We recommend going with a dish detergent that gets its fragrance from natural essential oils.
5. DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine)
These chemicals have been found to disrupt hormones in the human body and are known for creating nitrates and nitrosamines. There is also a risk of developing 1,4-dioxane contamination if you’re regularly exposed to these types of chemicals.
Also known as sodium dichloroisocyanurate, this chemical has ben listed on both the EPA’s Community Right-To-Know list and the 1990 Clean Air Act. It is extremely toxic to fish and releases chlorine into the air when it’s being used to clean your dishes.
This chemical is a known carcinogen and might appear on your detergent label as methanol, methyl aldehyde and methylene oxide. It’s added to detergents along with preservatives so that overtime it is slowly released as a preventative to bacterial contamination. However, concentrations of this chemical are toxic within the human body.
This chemical is extremely toxic and should be avoided. Many people aren’t aware that ammonia, even if in “trace” amounts, is present in their dish detergents. If combined with bleach to create a cleaning solution, the two will release fumes that can cause damage to your eyes, respiratory tract and skin.
A better option
Naturally derived and plant-based, Thieves Dish Soap cleans with the power of pure essential oils, leaving dishes sparkling clean with no residue. Enhanced with Jade Lemon and Bergamot essential oils, it has a fresh citrus scent that makes daily chores a little brighter. With no sulfates, phosphates, dyes, or perfumes, it’s gentle on your skin and won’t over-dry your hands.
Stretching the Thieves Dish Soap
Here’s an awesome trick I’ve learned to help make mine last a little longer. When my new bottle of dish soap arrives I divide it equally between three bottles. I also like to take it one step further and add 2 tsp of baking soda to each, fill with water and give it a gentle shake.
Still the same strong Thieves cleaning power we love plus the soapy suds to help out on those hard to clean yucky dishes!
Like to DIY? Here's another recipe.
Liquid Dish Soap
Bring water to a boil and slowly blend in the liquid castile soap and essential oils. Add the washing soda, allow to cool, then pour into your desired container, be sure to shake this mixture before using.
* 20 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
* 5 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
* 10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
* 10 drops of Thieves
* 1 Cup Liquid Castile Soap
* 1 Cup Water
* 2 Tablespoons Washing or Baking Soda
For the Dishwasher - Thieves Automatic Dishwasher Powder
Thieves Dishwasher Detergent is one of the most versatile cleaning products! It's not just for dishes, think of it as an all-around cleaning powder! You can use it in toilets, bathtubs, sinks, ovens, and the laundry! It's made with plant-based ingredients, no harsh chemicals, and the main cleaning agent is derived from soapberries!
Soapberries grow in the wild without the use of chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. They are hardy trees and are resistant to disease and insects.
The enzymes in the detergent help break down food particles and make it easier to clean!
When we say this detergent is clean, we mean it! It's formulated with:
-No synthetic surfactants
-No artificial fragrances
- No Phosphates
- No Chlorine
-Safe, sustainable formulation
-Environmentally friendly formula
Thieves Dishwasher Powder -- Grout Cleaner!
You can use this paste for grout in your shower, bathtub, around tiles, and in the sink!
Mix around a 1/3 cup detergent with 1 capful of Thieves cleaner and mix until it forms into a paste. If the powder is still dry, add more cleaner.
Tip: use the paste quickly after you make it because it will start to harden up! If your paste does start to harden while you are cleaning, try cleaning with a damp rag!
Let the paste sit for a few minutes and then clean! Using a damp rag helps!
I'm Lisa Yau, thanks for stopping by!