HEALTH

When you next clean the house, con­sider what it would be like to get the same re­sults with­out us­ing harsh chem­i­cals.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Sim­ple ideas to detox your home.

IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST AUS­TRALIANS, you prob­a­bly have kitchen and bath­room cup­boards over­flow­ing with sprays, scrubs, wipes and dis­in­fec­tants. While you may use some or all of them to get your house clean and fresh, there’s a real chance they’re not do­ing you or your fam­ily much good in the long term.

Ac­cord­ing to The En­docrine So­ci­ety of Aus­tralia, there are more than 80,000 known chem­i­cals in our ev­ery­day en­vi­ron­ment, some of which are thought to cause re­pro­duc­tive, neu­ro­log­i­cal or im­mune dis­or­ders in hu­mans. Luck­ily, there are some sim­ple and quick steps you can take right away to be­gin detox­ing your home.

1 CHANGE HOW YOU WIPE KITCHEN SUR­FACES

It may take some get­ting used to but Laura Trotta, founder of Home Detox Boot Camp (home­detox­boot­camp.com), rec­om­mends sim­ply us­ing a

There are more than 80,000 known chem­i­cals in our ev­ery­day en­vi­ron­ment.

mi­crofi­bre cloth with wa­ter to wipe down kitchen benches. “For stub­born stains, use a com­bi­na­tion of wa­ter, lemon oil and Castile liq­uid soap [see recipe, right]. It’s re­ally ef­fec­tive in cut­ting through grime,” she says. A good-qual­ity mi­crofi­bre cloth can last up to two years if cleaned reg­u­larly to get rid of the bac­te­ria build-up, prefer­ably by putting it through the dish­washer and dry­ing it in the sun.

2 AVOID HARSH OVEN CLEAN­ERS

The gloves re­quired for most oven clean­ers is an in­di­ca­tion of their tox­i­c­ity, but they’re not the only op­tion. Laura rec­om­mends Young Liv­ing’s nat­u­ral Thieves House­hold Cleaner (youngliv­ing.com) for big jobs. “I use it neat and put a cap­ful in­side a ramekin in the oven at 180°C for 40 min­utes un­til it starts to evap­o­rate. It cre­ates a fine mist on the oven walls and lifts off grime eas­ily, with­out leav­ing streaks.”

3 CON­SIDER NEW FOOD STOR­AGE TECH­NIQUES

When you buy flour, freeze it for 24 hours as do­ing this will kill any germs that may al­ready be in the flour, says Laura. “And scat­ter dry bay leaves through­out your pantry or in rice, flour or pasta con­tain­ers as this will kill off any wee­vil eggs as well. If you live in a hu­mid cli­mate, con­sider keep­ing your flour in the fridge all the time.”

4 USE BICARB OF SODA AND CIT­RIC ACID TO CLEAN

To get rid of soap scum in the bath­room, use bicarb of soda sprin­kled on a wet mi­crofi­bre cloth and wipe over the af­fected area. If your loo needs a re­ally deep clean be­cause the bowl is dis­coloured, Laura sug­gests adding three-quar­ters of a cup of cit­ric acid to the toi­let and leav­ing overnight (turn off the cis­tern). This will also help get rid of bac­te­ria such as E. coli. “Give it a scrub the next morn­ing – that brings it up bet­ter than any­thing,” she says.

5 GET RID OF MOULD WITH WHITE VINE­GAR

Naturopath Ni­cole Bi­jlsma from

Build­ing Bi­ol­ogy (build­ing­bi­ol­ogy.com.au) says mould is a health is­sue for more than a mil­lion Aus­tralians. It can cause a mul­ti­tude of con­di­tions, such as in­som­nia, re­cur­ring colds and flu and si­nusi­tis. Get­ting rid of mould in your home de­pends on find­ing and treat­ing the sources of mois­ture. To clean non­porous sur­faces, Ni­cole sug­gests us­ing a so­lu­tion of 80 per cent white vine­gar to 20 per cent wa­ter. For por­ous sur­faces, such as un­treated tim­ber, use a 70 per cent al­co­hol so­lu­tion.

6 VEN­TI­LATE YOUR HOUSE AND BED­ROOM REG­U­LARLY

Pull your sheets back ev­ery day and air pil­lows in the sun as of­ten as pos­si­ble. Dr Mark Donohoe, from Syd­ney’s Mos­man In­te­gra­tive Medicine (mim­prac­tice.com), be­lieves you need the right equip­ment if you have car­pet in your bed­room. “Or­di­nary vac­uum clean­ers just send the dust into the air, which is the worst for peo­ple with asthma,” he says. “Use one with a HEPA fil­ter and vi­brat­ing power head.”

7 SAY GOODBYE TO TECH IN YOUR BED­ROOM

Ni­cole says sen­si­tiv­ity to elec­tro­mag­netic fields is some­thing few of us think about yet we of­ten have power points close to our beds with all man­ner of de­vices plugged into them. “These tech­nolo­gies were in­tro­duced with lit­tle re­gard for their im­pact on hu­man health,” she says. If this is too hard to avoid, try turn­ing off all your ap­pli­ances at the wall and leave your phone in an­other room overnight.

Keep it sim­ple Adopt­ing a nat­u­ral ap­proach to clean­ing is sur­pris­ingly easy.

CLEAN, GREEN AND SAFE FOR THE WHOLE FAM­ILY

J. R. Watkins all pur­pose cleaner, $9.86, from Vi­ta­min Gro­cer. Pure Castile pep­per­mint liq­uid soap, 946ml, $28.95, from Dr Bron­ner. Counter in­tel­li­gence all sur­face spray, $13.60, from Murchi­son-Hume. The Aro­mather­apy Com­pany “Ther­apy Laun­dry” linen mist spray, $22, from In Home­wares.

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