Welcome to this Detox Series, where we give you tips on how to cleanse your home from harmful chemicals and conditions, so that you can enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
We know about detoxing our bodies on a regular basis. But what about our kitchens? In the same way that our bodies need to be cleansed from toxins, the place where we prepare our food should be just as safe and hygienic, and most importantly, toxin-free.
What do we mean when we say our kitchens are “toxic”? Usually it means that there are harmful chemicals present in our normal kitchen aids, such as dishwashing detergent, all-purpose cleaners, stovetop cleaners, and the like. There could be moldy areas which we cannot see, which contribute to allergies and other conditions.
Here’s how to begin (and maintain) a regular “kitchen detox” schedule.
- Read the labels on your cleaning products. Get rid of cleaning products that release dangerous fumes, for instance. One of the most toxic places in the home can be the kitchen, because of the ingredients found in the cleaning aids we use.
- Don’t blindly throw things out. Throwing out toxic cleaning aids will only result in all that gross stuff being released into the environment somehow. Bring it to a local hazardous waste disposal service, the same place you would bring dead batteries, dead light bulbs, and that sort of waste. (Locally, you can get in touch with All Waste Services, which handles the proper disposal of hazardous waste in Metro Manila. Visit their website here.)
- Be wary of buying “eco-friendly” and “green” products in the supermarket. It’s highly likely that the brand you are buying that is “green” or “eco-friendly” is under the same umbrella brand or corporation that produces toxic cleaning aids. The safer route would be to buy from smaller shops where cleaning products are created by small enterprises, who use safe ingredients such as essential oils, toxin-free cleansers, produced in small quantities.
- Make your own cleaners. Ultimately, detoxing your kitchen of harmful cleaning aids means buying less off the shelf and making more of your own cleaning aids. Making your own cleaners is simple, and often uses ingredients that we already buy for our pantries. (Yes, pantries, you heard right! Because our cleaning aids should be safe enough that our bodies can technically ingest them without harm.) For instance, you can make an anti-allergy mold cleaner by combining distilled vinegar, purified water, and lemon essential oil. (Essential oils are readily available in small local eco-friendly stores and from network marketers.) You can make an all-purpose scrubbing cleaner (for kitchen tiles and sinks) by making a baking soda cleaning paste. Just combine a 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of purified water (about 3 tablespoons). Add a few drops of peppermint and thyme essential oils (like peppermint and thyme, which have antimicrobal properties), and use this paste to clean mildew and dirt off tiled surfaces and sink grout. You can also combine distilled vinegar, purified water and lemon juice in a spray bottle to clean kitchen counters and stove tops.