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Archives: safety

Jan 30 2012

More On Chemical Free Cleaning With Myst Reutlinger

 

Last week, chemical free cleaning guru, Mysti Reutlinger gave me the lowdown on the dangers of chemical cleaners.  As promised, here is part 2 of my interview with the author of “The Pantry Cleaner: Chemical Free Cleaning“. Check out the great tips, advice, and even one recipe she is sharing with Crucial Vacuum first!

CV: Ok, so if I were to start by throwing out one chemical cleaner today, what should it be and why? 

MR: Oh, this is a hard question!  

I would have to say any chemical that is in an aerosol can. With aerosol cans, not only do you add the chemicals found in the cleaner into the air, you are risking the sight of your loved ones in addition to potentially causing damage to other body systems such as the respiratory and circulatory.  

In a study conducted at Brown University and released in 2011, children’s eyesight is most at risk from aerosol sprays. Just using a canned spray cleaner in the vicintiy of children can cause disruption to their vision. The chemicals burn and scar the eyes.  

The eyes have no protection from chemicals! The chemicals that touch the eye are flushed directly into the blood stream. This is why your eyes will burn when you clean your home. 

CV: What is one chemical free solution you would recommend for a beginner like me who is looking to venture into the natural cleaning world? 

MR: I have a few simple recipes that are easy to make and use.  

A lemon-fresh all-purpose spray cleaner:  

Mix 2 cups of water and 1 cup of lemon juice for a potent disinfecting kitchen and bathroom spray.  It’s simple, smells great, and you can even drink it without hurting your body.  

Another great one to start with is a hand sanitizer. This recipe is not included in The Pantry Cleaner, but will be in volume two, set to realease in winter 2012/spring 2013.  

1 cup vinegar, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil. Mix it together and spray on your hands, rub together, and allow to dry.  

Not only are you eliminating 99% of germs like commercial hand sanitizers, you are eliminating the dangers of ingesting those chemicals. This is especially important for young children who tend to put their hands in their mouths.  

CV: Like so many others, I’m on a budget. Is chemical-free cleaning really going to save me money? 

MR: I have a three-story home and clean every day. I only spend an average of $8 on cleaning supplies every couple of months. That includes washing clothes for my family of four.  

CV: Wow! I’m sold! So, what is your favorite natural remedy for getting rid of dust? 

MR: Keeping airfilters clean. We replace our furnace filter every three months. We only have to dust once a month. When we do dust, I use olive oil and lemon juice on natural woods and just a soft cloth on everything else.  

CV: Last but not least, do you vacuum first? Or dust first? 

MR: I don’t have a huge dust problem! I vacuum every day with a hepafilter vacuum and keep my furnace filters clean. I still only have to dust once a month. So I definitely vacuum first.  

 

Jan 28 2012

Author, Mysti Reutlinger Shares Crucial Information on Dangerous Chemical Cleaners

Mysti Reutlinger - The Pantry Cleaner

At Crucial Vacuum we know how important it is to keep our families healthy and breathing easy. Why else would we spend so much time cleaning and sanitizing? But lately there has been a lot of talk about the dangers of the chemicals found in common household cleaners and it got my attention. Am I doing more harm than good?

So I caught up with Mysti Reutlinger, author of “The Pantry Cleaner: Chemical Free Cleaning”, to pick her brain about the dangers of household cleaners and I was shocked by what she had to say.

CV: So, just to clear things up, what is chemical free cleaning as opposed to “commercial cleaning”?

MR: Chemical-free cleaning uses natural products that eliminate germs, grime, and all the goo any child (or adult) could produce without adding any chemicals into the home.  

CV: What first sparked your interest in chemical free cleaning?

MR: The short version; My youngest son.  My son arrived at 24-weeks in gestation. He was 1 pound, 7 ounces and 12 inches long at birth. He spent the first 115 days of his life in a Neonatal ICU and when he came home, he was on oxygen. I quickly noticed that he struggled breathing when I cleaned. Upon hours of research, including reading many medical studies published in accredited journals, I found the correlation between commercial cleaners and a host of problems occurring in people.

CV: Your book is described as teaching us how to clean without the use of harmful chemicals that can lead to respiratory distress, loss of smell, and even cause cancer… are household cleaners really that dangerous?

MR: In a word, yes. When we purchase food in a store that is processed and packaged, we have a list of ingredients on the side and can make reasonable decisions about the quality of the food in the package. Commercial cleaners (anything purchased) don’t have to follow the same regulations because their chemical formulas are considered “trade secrets.” Longterm exposure to some chemicals found in the most common of cleaning products leads to many disorders, diseases, and yes, even cancer.

A study published in the October 2007 issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine provides a good illustration. Over 3,000 people who did not have asthma or asthma symptoms at the start of the study were followed by researchers and their cleaning habits were evaluated. In the people who used commercial spray cleaners once a week, 42% had asthma symptoms at the end of the study. Those who cleaned more often were diagnosed with asthma and required medication.

CV: I was shocked when I read about the damage that chemicals in common cleaners can do. Like disinfectants are toxic to our respiratory and circulatory systems? Isn’t that a bit ironic?

MR: It is ironic. We want what is best for our families. We love them and want everyone to be safe. Cleaning shouldn’t be dangerous!

CV: Is it safer to not clean at all rather than use store bought chemical cleaners?

MR: Before there were commercial cleaners, people cleaned. They used vinegar, lemons, baking soda, corn starch, and regular lye soaps. Dishes were scrubbed and when someone was sick, rinsed with boiling water. Even without understanding the science behind having a clean home and eliminating germs and bacteria, our ancestors cleaned. Just like they knew what science has proven today, a clean home will keep our families from becoming sick. It is definitely not safer to live without cleaning.

CV: I tried! But what about allergy sufferers? Don’t we need something more powerful to clear the air?

MR: Allergy sufferers most certainly need clean air, not chemically-filled air.  

At one point in my life, I took prescription allergy medicines every spring and fall. I was convinced that the stuffy nose and burning eyes was a result of the seasonal plants growing and irritating me. When I changed how I cleaned, I still had the occasional stuffy nose and burning in my eyes, but I no longer needed medication to treat the symptoms.  

So now that I’ve got your attention, check back next week for Mysti’s tips for beginners like me who want to try their hand at chemical-free cleaning. Part two of our interview includes a couple simple chemical-free cleaner recipes, tips for getting rid of dust, and Mysti tells me what one item I should throw out today.