Living in a Chemical-Free Environment (Part Four: Everything Else)


Hand soap and dish soap become a constant source of skin irritation and chemical exposure because we access these items very often throughout the day. Your local health food store or even chains like Whole Foods and Wegmans as well as the internet provide unlimited opportunities to purchase SLS and chemical – free oil based natural products. Same goes for 100% natural household cleaners and degreasers. Laundry detergent needs to be changed as well, it never gets completely washed out of your clothes so you continue absorbing it through your skin. Kids have tried using laundry detergent instead of simple soap for their “Slip n’ Slide” and ended up with pretty bad skin irritation. There is a variety of ways to wash clothes without regular detergent. Mother nature provides oils that in combination are just as if not more effective as laundry detergent. For a few years I’ve been using “ECOS” brand detergent. It is mostly oil and coconut based and has a neutral pH which goes a long way to prevent skin irritation.

Dr.Bronners can also be used for properly washing clothes. It is very concentrated so just a little bit can wash a full load of clothes. Pick a different flavor and your laundry will smell like amazing essential oils!

Another important concept – filtering chlorine and other nasty chemicals from your drinking and showering water. When we shower we aren’t drinking the water but chlorine converts to its gas form at high temperatures and then is readily absorbed into your body. I have used a variety of shower filters over the years but the best one and the latest one I bought is made by Vitashower. They use pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C to de-chlorinate the water as it comes out of the pipe. As as result you feel much more refreshed after showering and dont have to expose yourself to chlorine. UPDATE: Recently switched to SPRITE Shower all in one head which has 7 spray modes and the filtering is also excellent. No chlorine smell even at the hottest temperatures.

For filtering drinking water there are a few good options. Best for their value are under the sink filters. They utilize multi-stage filtering with carbon and other technologies to provide more dependable water than “Brita” style carafe pitchers. Under the sink filters only need to be replaced about once a year or so with normal use and can be hidden for an aesthetic look. I finally invested into a full Artesian Reverse-Osmosis system under my sink. The water is completely reversed into H2O and then re-mineralized on the way out of the faucet into your glass. A new chemical chloramine has been introduced to our water supply recently and filtering it out is only possible with complex stage filters like reverse osmosis. It is good to keep Spring water around. Pay attention when you buy water because some of bottled water is purified and not spring, and it is unclear where it exactly comes from. Spring water or vapor distilled water is still a reliable source of clean water.

For now we finish with household products. By taking simple steps to exchange our shampoo, detergent and others, we reduce accumulation of chemicals in our bodies and prevent skin disorders and other types of long term effects. We need to be more conscious of what we put on or inside our bodies if we want to live long and healthy lives.