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  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    8 Simple Non-Toxic Swaps To Live Healthier

    Create a healthier life for your family by making simple changes in your day-to-day life and switching to safer alternatives at home is a great start. With that being said, I know first hand how overwhelming it can be, so I’ve created this list to get you started.

    1. Swap Out Your Non-Stick Kitchen Cookware

    Make the switch to a safe alternative like stainless steel, glass, or cast iron. If you can’t switch out all of your non-stick items, replace a few of the most used ones. Teflon is known to cause a host of health problems including cancer, birth defects, reproductive harm, and so much more. Avoid as much as possible. I recommend and use these brands in my home: Calphalon (stainless), Pyrex (glass), Lodge Cast Iron (although I de-seasoned and re-seasoned it due to their current use of GMO oil). Finex Cast Iron is an excellent pan, but you should be aware that the brass handle contains the neurotoxin lead. Consider purchasing the Instant Pot. We use ours all the time and once you get the hang of it, you really become a pro! Plus, it is one of the healthiest ways to cook. Learn more about toxic non-stick (PFOA chemicals) as I explain here.

    2. Ditch Plastic Baggies for Reusable Ones

    Plastic sandwich bags are one of the largest sources of waste for many people. You use it once and it ends up in a landfill. Think about a family of 4 eating lunch on-the-go. A baggie for each sandwich, a baggie for a cookies, a baggie for berries… that is 12 plastic bags per day that ends up in a landfill or 4,380 plastic baggies per year! Switch to non-toxic Stasher Reusable Silicone Bags. Made of platinum grade silicone, they come in a variety of sizes and colors and are free of BPA, PVC, latex, lead, cadmium, and other toxins. You can cook, freeze, store, and more with this safe, eco-friendly option!

    3. Switch to Safe Plates and Cups

    This may sound silly, but did you know plates, bowls, and cups are legally allowed to contain toxins like lead and cadmium? Although over 90 ppm of lead is illegal to use in children’s toys, there aren’t regulations like this when it comes to dinnerware. Glazes, designs, and logos, often do contain high amounts of lead ranging from into the thousands. Clear glass (like Anchor Hocking) or plain white new Corelle dinnerware are safe options. Be aware, older Corelle plates do often contain lead (as confirmed by the company), so it is best to use something no older than 4 or 5 years old. We choose this Corelle set and love it! Learn more about dishes that are free of lead and other heavy metals as explained by Tamara Rubin, Lead Safe Mama here. Tamara has personally tested dozens of my items and is an excellent resource!

    4. Swap Plastic Water Bottles For Stainless or Glass

    Think about how many one-time-use plastic water bottles go into the trash each day. You can easily save money and the environment by ditching the plastic water bottles and using a reusable glass or stainless version instead. Plastic water bottles also have the potential to leach chemicals, especially if exposed to heat. Our favorite bottles: LifeFactory, Contigo, ThinkBaby, KleanKanteen. Be sure to use filtered water too!

    5. Stick to Natural Cleaning Supplies

    Ditch all of the toxic ingredients found in traditional cleaning supplies and air fresheners and opt for safer options. Vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, lemon, tea tree oil clean just as good! There are also several non-toxic brands you can purchase as well. Be aware of greenwashing from companies and be sure to avoid artificial fragrances. Check out the What Mommy Knows Amazon Storefront for recommendations.

    6. Use a ‘Free & Clear” Natural Laundry Detergent

    Please, pleaseee do this – especially if you have little ones at home! Many of the chemicals in traditional detergents, even Dreft, have ingredients that are toxic or known carcinogens. Be sure to always use a ‘Free & Clear’ detergent, although they can also be greenwashed by companies, so you really want to look at the ingredients (I know, I know… why is it so difficult to find safe products?!?) Looking for something now? In my home, we switch between Better Life, Molly’s SudsMeliora, and Eco Nuts (made from just soapberries!)

    7. Replace Soaps and Personal Care Products

    Chemicals lurking in soaps, lotions, shampoos, makeup and other personal care products can wreak havoc on your body. They often use harsh chemicals like triclosan, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, methylisothiazolinone, and fragrance (which may contain up to 3,000 unregulated chemicals!). These are some of my favorite soap and lotion products from clean brands I trust: Better Life, Dr. Bronners, Earth Mama, and Carina Organics.

    8. Switch to a Natural Deodorant

    Traditional deodorants contain chemicals like aluminum and fragrance which have been hotly debated in relation to their health concerns. Opt for natural deodorants instead. After trying quite a few, this one is my absolute favorite – and it actually works!


    Our personal home favorites are linked below.

    P.S. And remember, living cleaner doesn’t happen overnight – so be patient!

    Thanks for reading!

    Looking for more swaps and safe products for your family and home? Check out our Amazon Storefront for personally vetted recommendations.

    Check out these other articles to help you live as clean as can be!

    This post contains affiliate links. Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Clean Living, Healthy Home

    Top 10 Tips to Detox Your Home

    Simple changes can help you to “breathe a little easier” leading to healthier home life for your and your family!

    Environmental pollutants are a part of our every day lives. Cleaning products, pesticides, synthetic building materials, furniture, paint, and an abundance of other chemicals can wreak havoc on your home and your health.

    According to the EPA, “Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors,1 where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.2

    Take steps towards a healthier, happier home with


    1. Open windows and air out house daily.

    This is a great way to release harmful chemicals from the interior of your home. Plus, who doesn’t love the benefits of fresh air!? Airing out new furniture is another great way to lessen the effects of chemicals which may enter your home – a few days outside or in the garage will do the trick. And lastly, if you’re looking to really take your indoor air quality to a whole new level while eliminating allergens, viruses, and pollution you can purchase a high quality air purifier like the Austin Air or Air IQ.

    2. Do not wear shoes inside.

    Wearing shoes inside brings in all sorts of “yuck” including pesticides, bacteria, feces, dirt, allergens, neurotoxins like lead, and so much more. This is one rule I am so glad I have in place.

    3. De-clutter your home.

    If you haven’t used it in 2 years or more, donate it! It’s basically just a dust collector at this point. Household items, flooring, cleaning products, and furniture all shed chemicals that end up in dust throughout our home. We breathe these chemicals in or may even ingest them accidentally by touching a contaminated surface, and then prepping food.

    4. Avoid plastic cookware and non-stick pans (AKA Teflon).

    Cook with stainless steel, cast iron, and glass instead of plastic or non-stick. Both plastic and non-stick pans are not only bad for our environment, but can leach harmful chemicals known to cause birth defects, reproductive harm, impair immunity among other health problems. Additionally, non-stick pots and pans, contain harmful PFOS chemicals which are known to leach during the cooking process. Learn more about safe dinnerware here.

    “The Devil We Know” is an award-winning documentary on Netflix which exposes the chemical industry’s cover-up of the detrimental effects of the chemical. And if you’re into documentaries, check it out! It is very informative and interesting!

    5. Eliminate disposable products from your home and switch to reusable alternatives – including water bottles!

    Globally, more than a million plastic water bottles are sold every minute! In the U.S., only 30% ever end up getting recycled which means the rest are tossed into landfills or pollute our ocean and waterways. Plastic bottles are known to leach chemicals too – use glass or stainless reusable water bottles instead. Plastic sandwich baggies, utensils, straws and takeout containers are great things to eliminate as well! All of these items can be replaced with eco-friendly, non-toxic versions – such as Stasher Bags, Glass, Silicone, or Stainless straws, and reusable glass containers, like Pyrex.

    6. Invest in a water filtration system.

    Drinking Water / Sink Filtration | A good water filter, filters out heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and an abundance of other chemicals. Most important of all is to be sure your home has a quality drinking water filtration system. We have the Pure Effects Ultra Under-the-Counter System, which filters out an extensive amount of contaminants and with every component made in the USA. The owner, Igor, is also very knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions you may have.

    Whole Home Filtration | Chemicals in your city’s water can irritate your skin causing eczema and other skin problems. Both Aquasana and Friends of the Water have excellent systems that I’d recommend for Whole Home Filtration Systems.

    Water Pitchers | Just looking for a good water pitcher rather than a whole system? Check out on Zero Water 10 Oz. Pitcher or this Zero Water 40 Oz. Pitcher!

    PRO TIP: If choosing between a whole house or sink filter, go with the sink (since it is most important to filter out what we are ingesting). Another good option is to use a bath filter or shower filter like these in addition to the sink filter if you cannot add a whole home system.

    7. Vacuum often to keep dust and dirt at bay.

    A true HEPA vacuum encapsulates the smallest amount of dust in a bag, forces all of the air through the HEPA filter, and allows none of the air to exit the vacuum. Dustless and VacMaster are two great options! We personally own this VacMaster which has a certified HEPA filter that is 99.97 percent efficient up to 0.3 microns and complies with the EPA’s new Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Act (RRP). While the vacuum is larger (and heavier) than a commercial vacuum, I do lug this thing up and down the stairs at least once per week – once you try it, you’ll know why! It really picks up every single speck of dust. P.S. Don’t forget to vacuum furniture and mattresses too! Dust often “traps” chemicals so be sure to dust with a wet rag rather than a traditional duster or dry cloth which will cause the dust to disperse back into the air.

    8. Use a VOC-free paint.

    Here’s the thing: just because a paint says “low VOC” or “no VOC” doesn’t mean it truly is and also doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain other chemicals which may be harmful to our health.

    Ecos Paint is my #1 pick and the cleanest I’ve found. Ecos also has safe varnishes, stains, and more. Plus, it is virtually odorless!

    Benjamin Moore Natura line is another good option that I use from time to time in my home. Just like Ecos paint, the Natura line is virtually odorless.

    Milk paint is harder to work with in my opinion, but usually very clean in terms of chemicals as it is made with casein.

    9. Replace your air filters in your furnace and maintain your humidifier.

    Air filter replacement should be at least every 2-3 months to keep energy bills low, prevent damage to your furnace, and discourage buildup in duct work, and effectively filter particles and contaminates. If you have allergies, pets, live in a larger home or polluted city, consider changing every 6-8 weeks. Additionally, it is important to ensure proper working order of your home humidifier since moisture causes mold growth and bacteria which is not only dangerous to your health, but can worsen allergies and cause an even bigger problem down the road.

    10. Test home for radon, mold, and other toxins.

    Fix accordingly. Radon is a odorless, colorless gas that is known to cause cancer and is the second leading cause of lung cancer is in the United States. Mold can cause allergies, asthma, and other ailments. The best way to control mold is to control moisture. Purchase home radon, mold, and lead test kits to ensure the safety of your family. Then, re-mediate, if necessary. Always consult a professional to be sure.

    Practice natural lawn care & safe pest control.

    Use alternatives instead of highly concentrated chemicals like the cancer-causing glyphosate that contaminates our soil and our food. Pesticides are harmful to not only the person spraying the chemical, but also to children, pets and people who play on the surface. Chemicals in pesticides often contain ingredients that are banned or restricted in other countries and are a threat to our environment in addition to being suspected endocrine disruptors, reproductive toxins, and probable carcinogens. For ways to practice ‘greener’ lawn care consider a rain barrel, composting, over-seeding and purchasing an electric lawnmower instead of gas. Be sure to check out my posts Natural Weed & Pest Control for a Sustainable Lawn and The Ultimate Natural Gardening Guide for Busy Moms.

    “If just 20% of US homeowners switched to electric mowers, 84,000 fewer tons of carbon monoxide would be emitted into the air each year, saving the average user 73% in total energy costs.” – GreenSeal.Org

    Looking for eco-friendly, non-toxic replacements to commonly used items, but don’t know where to start? Check out my recommendations on my Amazon Storefront here.

    Additional Reading:

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Therefore, if you click on a link and purchase the item, we may receive a small commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we use personally and have extensively researched. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.