Thursday, October 4, 2012

Natural Soap for a Healthy Home

Since the 1900’s homes have become increasingly toxic due to a number of elements outside the control of a homeowner. Construction laws mandating use of unhealthy materials (ex. asbestos and, more recently, fiberglass) and lead-containing paints (now banned) are now more or less known by most as items to avoid.  
But what might be more surprising is where cleaning chemicals rank. Per theAAPCC one of the 3 types of substances “most frequently involved in poison exposures” are cosmetics and personal care products like soap! Oddly enough, prior to the 1900’s, most households made their own soaps, and because they only had natural ingredients, these natural soaps were normally toxin free. During theVictorian Era, Women actually washed their hair once or twice a month with egg whites. Also toxin free, but I doubt we will be going back to that method anytime soon!
Would you have a healthier home if everything in it were handmade? Yes! Is that practical? Probably not, just due to the amount of time it would take to accomplish. But if I were to start with one toxic cleaning substance to replace, toxic cleaning chemicals would be the first to go. After all, soaps are a daily-use kind of item. Shouldn’t the substances we put on our skin every day be toxin free?

So if you’re going green in your home, consider starting with making your own natural soap. There are many recipes online, and some of the sites provide interesting background information on both the history of soap-making as well as useful tips.  Of course, there are also plenty of organic cleaning products on the market today, but learning what the toxic cleaning chemicals are is an important step in avoiding unhealthy choices. 
If you use a natural or homemade soap, we’d love to have your feedback on your favorite brand or even better, your own personal soap recipe!

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