This article was written by Rachel Tomsick.
Have you ever hit pause in your cleaning routine to consider how “clean” the products you are using to disinfect your home really are? Just over a year ago, I decided to start taking a deeper look into the products that I was using in my home. You see, I had been struggling with an auto immune disorder that really left me feeling fatigued, miserable and in pain most of the time. I had changed my diet and taken a closer look at my habits as part of a focus on my overall wellness. I watched the Netflix documentary called “Stink,” and my mind was blown! When I began to do my own research about fragrances, I found that manufacturers of most of my favorite “clean smell” products were routinely concealing thousands of potentially toxic ingredients. These toxic ingredients hide under the flower-printed umbrella of the word “fragrance.” We inhale, consume, and absorb these poisons everyday without really thinking about it.
The “Fragrance Loophole” Should Concern You
Almost any chemical compound can lurk under the term fragrance on an ingredient list. To protect trade secrets, hundreds if not thousands of known carcinogens and toxins do not need to be disclosed by manufacturers. The result of these hidden toxins on the human body is—as one can imagine—not great. Birth defects, chronic disease (enter my Lupus), asthma, infertility and even cancer can be tied to many of the components that make the word “fragrance.” How far do you have to look to see someone struggling with health problems like the ones listed above?
As I gradually began ditching products with mysterious “fragrance” listed on the ingredient lists, my health began to improve. That improvement was faster than any other lifestyle or eating habits I had incorporated. Undoubtedly, the products I was using to clean my home and my body (and those of my children) were confusing my immune system and wreaking havoc on my everyday life!
With an increased focus on sanitization and a resulting uptick of household cleaners like bleach and ammonia that cause severe skin irritation, respiratory problems and even blurred vision, we need to rethink how we clean. According to an ABCNEWS report, “a CDC study published on April 20, the CDC and the American Association of Poison Control Centers surveillance team examined the number of phone calls reported to the National Poison Data System regarding harmful exposures to cleaning agents. Researchers compared the number of phone calls due to disinfectants and cleaners in January-March 2020 to the number reported during the same time period in 2018 and 2019.” They found that, “In the first three months of this year, they experienced a 20% increase in calls related to cleaners and disinfectants compared to last year.”
So, what is your option? My favorite all-natural, plant-based household cleaner is Thieves. The Young Living Thieves blend of essential oils is made up of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary. The legend is that 15th century thieves rubbed these oils on themselves during the plague so as not to contract disease while robbing the dead and dying. Interesting tale behind a memorable name! I love that I do not have to sacrifice “the smell of clean” in order to get my surfaces disinfected. Using the proprietary blend of pure essential oils (no oils cut with fragrance, ever), Young Living has helped me successfully ditch fragrance from my cleaners and made our home that much “cleaner.” It is a much safer alternative for your family as well– I also love that right on the bottle it says “if ingested, drink plenty of water.”
[Note you can get the Thieves Cleaning supplies as a kit. Click here.]
TIPs for Implementation: The places I have listed are areas that need DAILY attention. Incorporating these habits will benefit you and the people who live in your home. Many of them you are likely already doing, but if there are a few that need to be added, consider keeping a bottle and a cloth in the PLACE IT WILL BE USED or tying the new routine to something you are ALREADY doing. Brushing your teeth? Sanitize the bathroom at the same time. Buckling your seatbelt? Spray down the car, etc.
Daily Habits to a Clean Home, Naturally:
Wash your hands- The moment you walk in the house, wash your hands. We use Thieves foaming hand soap to kill germs naturally. When out and about, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Open a Window– Now that the weather is warming up, it is a great time to let that fresh air in. Enclosed areas should be ventilated periodically to get rid of air-borne germs.
Diffuse- Add a few drops of Thieves or Tea Tree oil to your ultrasonic diffuser with water and send those particles airborne to keep the air fresh and clean in your home.
Wipe Down Surfaces– Your counter tops in kitchens and bathrooms are prime real estate for germs and bacteria. Spray down with Thieves Household cleaner, let it sit on the surface for a couple of minutes, and then wipe down with a hot cloth.
TIP: When looking to get rid of bacteria and germs, quickly wiping after you spray your cleaner, won’t do the trick. Let your disinfectant cleaner sit on a surface for a minute or two before wiping.
Light Switches, banisters and doorknobs- These fall under the category of “surfaces” but deserve special attention since they are touched and handled all day, every day.
TIP: Use a FRESH rag for each area of your home. You can this will limit the spread of germs from area to another.
Your VEHICLE– Some of us are great at keeping the surfaces inside our homes clean and disinfected, but overlook an area where we likely spend a large portion of our day: the car! Focus particularly on the places your hands touch most frequently: the steering wheel, console, door pulls, gear shift, control knobs and buttons, etc. We keep a small bottle of Thieves disinfecting spray in the car. This works well as a daily cleanup tool. Spray on surfaces, let sit and then wipe up.
Keyboards and Cell Phones– Did you know that USA Today reported that your smartphone is likely SEVEN TIMES DIRTIER than your toilet?? Yuck! It makes sense, because we take them everywhere! A daily habit of disinfecting your phone is definitely worth adopting. Most commercial disinfectants are abrasive and can damage your cell phone. See phone cleaning recipe below:
Thieves to Clean Every surface
To make these disinfecting recipes, you will want 70% isopropyl alcohol, white vinegar, distilled water, glass spray bottles, Thieves essential oil blend and Thieves household cleaner. See some of our recommended tools here.
Thieves Cleaning Spray: Grab a 16 oz glass bottle and fill it to the top with water. Add to the water, one capful of Thieves household cleaner concentrate. (The cap on your bottle is your measuring tool). **For added disinfecting power, consider adding 1/2 cup white vinegar to the water before the Thieves cleaner concentrate.
Thieves Disinfecting Spray: Fill a 2oz or 4oz glass spray bottle about 25% with rubbing alcohol. Add 5-10 drops of Thieves essential oil, and then fill the bottle the rest of the way with water. Shake well before using. The advantage of this sanitizing spray is that it evaporates quickly into the air due to the finer mist of this type of spray bottle and the inclusion of alcohol. Thus, you can let it air dry without wiping it off, and you might even be able to use it on some upholstery and other fabrics (test a small spot first).
Fill a 16 oz spray bottle with the following:
- 1/3 Thieves Dish Soap
- 1/3 Thieves Laundry Detergent
- 1/3 Distilled Water
- 2 drops of lemon or eucalyptus oil per ounce
love using this in my sink, to clean my stove, and really anything that you might have used soft scrub or a magic eraser on!
Combine equal parts Bon Ami and Thieves Cleaner Concentrate *you might need a little more Bon Ami if it is too runny.
Add tea tree oil for mold issues, citrus oils for a fresh smell, or oregano for extra cleaning power
Mix well and store in an airtight container
Toilet Bowl Cleaner:
Mix all the ingredients below, then put into an empty Thieves dish soap bottle or other plastic squirt bottle.
- 3/4 cup Baking Soda
- 3/4 Warm Water
- 1/4 Cup Castile Soap
- 1/4 Cup Vinegar
- 1/8 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
- 2 capfuls of Thieves Cleaner Concentrate
- 5 drops of essential oil of your choice for scent
Shake well before each use
Wood Furniture Cleaner
- 1 capful Thieves Cleaner
- 1 cup olive oil
- Optional 5 drops orange oil
Mix all ingredients into a 16 oz glass bottle. Spray cleaner on cloth or directly on wood and polish.
Fruit and Veggie Wash
- 3 cups of Water
- 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner
Let veggies and fruit sit in a bowl with mixture (or the sink for a big produce haul) ***Young Living sell a Fruit and Veggie Soak #5352
Diffuser: Use an ultrasonic diffuser such as this one to really get the bacteria-nabbing oil into the air. This type of diffuser works by filling the small chamber to the fill line with water, then adding a few drops of oil. Replace the lid and turn it on. To see a complete list of the diffusers in my home and how and why we use them, see this post.
Cell Phone Disinfectant Spray: In a spray bottle, fill halfway with 70% isopropyl alcohol and the rest of the way with distilled water. Using a lint-free or microfiber cloth, spray the CLOTH and wipe the phone with the cloth. (Bonus: this is the same mixture I would use to clean my diffusers!)
Ready to Get Started?
You can buy Thieves at retail from Young Living OR better value is to grab a starter kit so you get wholesale! Easy as that! And just by getting your starter kit we will send you monthly Newsletters with ways to use Thieves and oils to make your house smell good without using candles, for wellness, cleaning, beauty, and so much more! Go HERE to get started!