I first came to Norwex about 10 years ago because I was looking for ways to reduce the number of chemicals in my home. A lot has been written about how toxic many household chemicals are to humans and pets. And after battling cancer, I didn’t want anything in my home that could put my family’s health at risk.
Just last month, I read about an alarming new study concerning the impact of chemical cleaners that, to me, makes the strongest case yet for choosing a new way to clean. The study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that regularly using home cleaning products can be as damaging to your lungs as a pack-a-day smoking habit. (Watch this video about the study.)
Scientists at Norway’s University of Bergen tracked 6,200 people over two decades and discovered that women who used the products regularly, such as those who work as cleaners, experience the same decline in lung function as someone who smokes 20 cigarettes daily. The study also found increased rates of asthma among these women.
To me, that is shocking — and reason enough to break a toxic cleaning habit, especially when there are so many safe alternatives available!
Easy steps to cut out the chemicals
- Make the switch to microfiber. The scientists who worked on the University of Bergen study agree. They recommend avoiding chemical cleaners altogether and using microfiber cloths to clean instead. Well, that’s where Norwex comes in. You don’t need harsh chemicals to get your house clean. By using just our revolutionary microfibers and water, you can remove up to 99 percent of bacteria in your home when following proper use and care instructions. Norwex’s tried-and-true trio (the EnviroCloth, Window Cloth, and Dusting Mitt) will get the majority of cleaning jobs done. Wipe-up just about any mess with a damp EnviroCloth. Make appliances, windows, fixtures, and countertops shine with the Window Cloth. Wipe away dust and grime with the Dusting Mitt. In other words, stop spending money on paper towels, window cleaners, cleaning sprays, furniture polish and dusting sprays. And, don’t spend time and energy lugging all those supplies around the house, when these three cloths will do it all! Plus, our exclusive BacLock formula and the quality of Norwex mean that your cloths won’t get stinky like store-brand sponges and cloths, and will last for years! (Save money by buying all three cloths together in our Household Package.)
2. Use green cleaners. I’ll admit there are some messes and some areas of your house (think kitchen and bath) that need a little extra cleaning power and elbow grease. Fortunately, as people have become more aware of the hazards of chemical cleaners, more eco-friendly, toxin-free solutions have become available. What I love about my Norwex cleaners is that they are powerful and effective, but toxin-free and safe. I have a few favorites: For the kitchen consider giving the Norwex Cleaning Paste or the Oven & Grill Cleaner a try. Both are incredibly versatile and will dissolve the most stubborn grease and food spills when you let them sit on the stain for a few minutes and then scrub with a Norwex Spirinett or Spirisponge. For the bathroom, our Descaler and Blue Diamond are magic when it comes to hard water and rust stains.
3. Rethink laundry. Some of the most toxic household products can be found in the laundry room. Most store-brand laundry detergents contain fillers, phosphates, and fragrance that research suggests can be harmful to your health. Look for biodegradable detergents free of fragrance and fillers, like Norwex Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent. (UPP also makes for an amazing all-purpose cleaner that you can use in any room of the house when diluted with water.) Ditch the dryer sheets, RIGHT NOW. They have been found to contain the highest levels of phthalates of any product in your home. These are chemicals that have been linked to cancer and that you and your family do not need to wear! Plus, after just one use they get thrown away to fill up the landfill. A better alternative is dryer balls. Norwex Fluff and Tumble Dryer Balls soften fabric, reduce static and drying time by up to 25 percent. You can add essential oils to them to add fragrance to your laundry naturally! Finally, the smell of bleach alone tells you that it can’t be good for your lungs. Instead, make your own stain lifter using baking soda or try Norwex Stain Remover. It’s biodegradable, non-toxic, and free of phosphates and other harsh chemicals.
4. Go natural. There are tons of cleaning tips on the internet for vinegar, lemons and baking soda. These are great non-toxic alternatives for cleaning anything from floors to grease stains on clothing.
If you don’t want to inhale the equivalent of a pack-a-day of cigarettes, get in touch with me to find out about Norwex’s healthier (cost-effective and time-saving) alternatives.