Pregnancy is a perfect time to begin to take a look at your cabinets and cupboards and take stock of the type of cleaning products you have. Many of the products you use likely have harmful chemicals, containing ingredients that have teratogens and carcinogens. When you are growing your baby prenatally, everything in your environment can have an impact on how your baby develops. In fact, not only can certain chemicals have an impact on your baby’s genes, they can also impact your baby’s epigenome.
What is the epigenome? When your baby is conceived, he gets genes from both mom and dad creating his DNA, or his genome (like a blueprint). Every cell in your baby’s body reads the DNA and uses it according to plan. For example, a liver cell needs to read DNA differently than a heart cell does. The translators of your baby’s genes are called his epigeneome. The epigenome tells every cell in the body how to use DNA. New evidence now shows that a mother’s environment can influence not only her baby’s DNA but also the epigenome. Toxic ingredients found in many home cleaning products can harm your developing baby.
This makes it even more important to begin to create a non-toxic environment in your home, from the products you use on your body, to the products you clean your house with. Another great benefit of switching to homemade non-toxic cleaners is that it saves you a significant amount of money. Who doesn’t want to save money as your family is growing? Additionally, making cleaning products at home using essential oils leaves your household surfaces germ free and smelling amazing! Many essential oils have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties which make them perfect additions to homemade cleaning products.
Gather up the following basic ingredients for creating your baby friendly cleaning products: baking soda, white vinegar, essential oils, grapefruit seed extract, liquid castile soap, course ground sea salt and washing soda (sodium carbonate).
Here are some recipes for healthier cleaning products:
Dishwashing soap: mix together 2 cups liquid castile soap with 30-40 drops of citrus essential oils (such as mandarin orange, grapefruit or lime), a few drops of eucalyptus or thyme essential oil and 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract. Mix together. Squirt in hot water to wash dishes.
Counter top cleaner: 2 cups water, ¼ cup washing soda, 10 drops grapefruit seed extract, 20 drops essential oil of your choice (thyme, citrus, eucalyptus, bergamot). Mix together and store in spray bottle.
Cleansing scrub: 2 cups baking soda, 20 drops essential oil of your choice (eucalyptus, citrus oil, peppermint), ½ cup castile soap, ½ cup sea salt. Mix together and store in glass jar.
Toilet cleaner: 3 cups water, ¾ cup castile soap, 10 drops grapefruit seed extract, 20 drops citrus oil, 10 drops eucalyptus oil. Mix together and store in spray bottle.
Window cleaner: 2 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar, 10 drops peppermint oil. Mix together and store in spray bottle.
Tips on essential oils:
Purchase only Grade A organic essential oils. Only Grade A and organic oils are pesticide free. Non organic actually may contain extremely high amounts of concentrated pesticides. You can find high quality essential oils at most natural food stores.
Some essential oils can be caustic if they come in direct contact with your skin, so use caution when mixing your cleaners. If you experience a slight burning sensation or skin irritation you can rub the area with olive oil.
Even natural cleaning products should be kept out of the reach of babies and children. Just because something is natural does not mean that it won’t irritate the skin or that it is safe for ingestion.
Replacing the toxic commercial products in your home is a one way to protect your family and become a non toxic momma.