Keep the Household Fresh With Organic, Non-GMO Cleaners
September 4 2018
GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are not just a problem when they occur in food. They can also cause issues when they show up in everyday household cleaning products. These healthy recipes can create GMO-free solutions for keeping the home clean.
When most people begin to focus on an organic and GMO-free lifestyle, they tend to primarily think about the foods they eat and the lotions or soaps they use. However, basic household items like cleaning products can also be a huge source of chemical exposure. Many common cleaners have been linked to various health problems and other issues because they contain toxic chemicals and GMO ingredients. Fortunately, people do not actually need to use most commercial cleaners that are on the market. There are some simple ways to combine organic ingredients and create a homemade and safe household product.
Reasons to Use Organic Cleaning Products
Conventional cleaning products may kill germs and make a home look shiny, but they can also be loaded with ingredients that can cause problems. These ingredients include toxic chemicals and poisons. Many cleaners, even if they are organic, use corn-based starches and other GMO ingredients, so it is almost impossible to avoid GMOs in daily life unless a person specifically sets out to find products that do not contain GMOs. Though it might seem tough to get rid of normal cleaning products there are many benefits of switching to GMO-free, organic cleaning products.
Organic Household Cleaners Use Safer Ingredients
Even those who do not avoid all GMO products on principle are beginning to switch to natural cleaners because of fears about the ingredients used in non-organic cleaning products. Conventional cleaning methods end up coating the surfaces of a home with toxic substances. In households with younger children, there are also concerns about accidental consumption of the cleaning product. A toddler who accidentally handles a homemade cleaner made with vinegar is far safer than a toddler who accidentally gets a hold of a detergent with bleach in it.
Attempting to list all of the dangerous chemicals in normal household cleaners would take far longer than this article, but a few of the most problematic ingredients include butoxyethanol, nonylphenol, butoxydiglycol, ethoxydiglycol, toluene, and benzene. Long-term exposure to these products, either by breathing them in or getting them on the skin during cleaning, has been linked to asthma, cancers, and kidney damage. These sorts of chemicals can be particularly harmful to overall wellness in households with pregnant women and children. Exposure to some chemicals found in household cleaners may cause birth defects, and these chemicals may also disrupt hormones and keep children from developing normally.
GMOs May Be Linked to Some Health Issues
GMOs were initially engineered because scientists wanted to create sturdy and nutrition-filled crops that could feed the world. Unfortunately, there have been some unintended consequences to this hopeful project. Though some GMO foods may be safe to eat, there can be surprising health problems that may not be initially evident. One concern is that modification involves taking genes from one plant and introducing them into another. This can end up causing an allergic reaction if a person unknowingly comes in contact with a GMO that contains genes from another item that the person is allergic to.
Many GMO plants are modified to contain a pesticide, which can potentially be as problematic as actually consuming a pesticide. Studies have found that if an expectant mother is exposed to Genetically Modified corn, her fetus may have an established level of the Bt toxin. Though the results have not been replicated in humans, some research suggests that rats who eat GMOs are more likely to have liver damage, kidney damage, and tumors.
Homemade Cleaning Products Are More Affordable
A great benefit of switching away from normal cleaning products is that they can be quite pricey. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on name-brand detergents, soaps, bleaches, and cleaners, a thrifty housekeeper can make cleaning products at home. Most household cleaning products rely on affordable ingredients like white vinegar or castile soap. The priciest ingredient in a homemade cleaner is normally just the essential oils. Fortunately, these oils are so concentrated that one only needs a drop or two to get their anti-bacterial or deodorizing advantages.
Using Non-GMO Products Could Help Keep the Environment Safe
Going free of GMOs is not just a good idea because it protects one's family. It is also a good idea because otherwise, a person will be supporting GMO farmers when they purchase products that contain GMOs. There are many concerns that GMOs can harm the overall habitat they are grown in.
For example, there are types of corn that are modified to contain Bt toxins that protect them from pests. Though this is a good idea in theory, pollen from these types of corn can harm local populations of monarch butterflies and other wildlife. There have also been problems in the past with modified crops escaping past farmlands and choking out native plant life. Those who wish to support the environment and avoid contributing to the spread of GMO usage can help the cause by not buying anything with a GMO in it.
Homemade Products for Non-GMO Cleaners
There are many ways to include organic home products and cut out cleaners that include GMOs. Keep in mind that a product is not GMO-free simply because it is organic. A person planning on shopping for organic and GMO-free products will need to carefully read the label to see if the cleaner has any problematic ingredients. Many companies create products that are completely organic, chemical-free, and GMO-free. It is also quite simple to create DIY cleaners that are just as effective. For quick and simple cleaning tasks, one can use food-grade hydrogen peroxide to disinfect, baking soda to scrub and deodorize, and apple cider vinegar to clear away grime. When a more serious cleaning task occurs, make one of the following homemade recipes to thoroughly clean without having to use unhealthy products.
Basic All-Purpose Household Cleaner
This convenient cleaner works well in countless situations. It can be put in a spray bottle for easy application, or it can be applied with a sponge. The ingredients allow the cleaner to dissolve grease, and they also ensure that it leaves behind a streak-free surface once it dries. This makes the cleaner useful for countertops, mirrors, windows, floors, and more.
- ½ cup organic apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups distilled or purified water
- 20 drops tea tree or other antibacterial essential oil
- 1 GMO-free, organic lemon
- 1. Juice the lemon and strain out all of the seeds.
- 2. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice with all the other ingredients.
- 3. Use whenever cleaning a home is needed.
- 4. Store in an airtight container when not in use.
Non-GMO Laundry Detergent
Many normal laundry detergents contain GMO corn and other problematic ingredients. This natural detergent combines essential oils and washing soda to create a detergent that lifts stains and odors without adding any harmful chemicals. Since the soap is low-sudsing, it can be used for HE washers.
- 3 cups washing soda
- 8 ounces grated coconut soap
- 15 drops lemon essential oil
- 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar
- Place the organic soap and the washing soda in a food processor.
- Gently pulse until a fine powder forms.
- Store the powder in a clean container.
- In a small jar, mix together the essential oil and white vinegar.
- When ready to wash clothes, add 3 Tbs. of soap mixture to the load and put ¼ cup of the vinegar mixture in the fabric softener compartment.
- Wash and enjoy fluffy, clean clothing.
Homemade Disinfectant Wipes
Disinfectant wipes are one of the quickest and most convenient modern inventions. Unfortunately, they are loaded with chemicals, and these one-time-use products quickly clog up landfills. This homemade version of disinfectant wipes uses a natural solution that kills germs and bacteria, and it is far more eco-friendly.
- 20 squares of fabric, at least 6 inches square
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 8 drops tea tree essential oil
- 8 drops lemon essential oil
- Fold the fabric squares into small sizes that can easily fit in an airtight container.
- Blend together the water, vinegar, and all essential oils in a small bowl.
- Gently pour the mixture over the fabric squares. They will soak it up as they sit and wait to be used.
- Pull out a cloth whenever a mess requires a disinfectant wipe.