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Down With Toxic Cleaning Products

05/30/2013 05:36 EDT | Updated 07/30/2013 05:12 EDT
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In my transition towards the UnDiet lifestyle, one of the last things to click in for me was the importance of using clean products for cleaning. We inherently know that the food we eat affects our health, but the connection to our beauty care and home cleaning products seems to take a bit longer.

I have written about the chemicals we use everyday in our cleaning supplies in UnDiet in the chapter called "Au Naturelle." In the book I describe in detail the chemicals we use in our everyday self and home care.


Common chemicals found in everyday cosmetics and cleaning products are dousing us in poison. It's easy to get hooked on the stuff. Cutting out toxic nail polish will have no negative effects on your quality of life, nor will switching from a toxic cleaning spray to one that doesn't bare a skull and crossbones. The effect on your radiant complexion can be massive, in a good way... Imagine how your liver, skin and other detox organs would sing if they didn't have to be choking on the chemicals we throw at them daily. UnDiet, pg 206 


Taking your old multi-purpose kitchen cleaner and that nail polish remover and dumping it down the drain is not the solution to getting it our of lives. After all, there is no away. What we pour down the drain will eventually make its way back into our body through the water supply. Those chemicals are viscously strong little devils that persist in our environment and in our cells, being passed on from mother to child in utero. There are chemicals like DDT that were banned in the 70's that have been found in unborn children.

When you make the switch to natural cleaning products and cosmetics, do so responsibly.

The city of Toronto lists hazardous waste materials as "Paints, pesticides, propane tanks, batteries, syringes, used motor oil and many cleaning products". This includes your everyday makeup remover, shoe polish, laundry bleach and toilet bowl cleaners too.

Products that we use on our skin, our kitchen counters, and to unclog our drains, can't actually go down the drain because they are considered hazardous waste.

Think about that for a moment!

I go into a rage blackout when I see store owners carrying their bucket of bleach saturated water out to the drains in the street to dump their buckets. The chlroine and flouride in our water is bad enough on its own. No need to create a greater chemical cocktail.

Hazardous waste that should never be poured down the drain or Thrown "Away" with household garbage.

  • Cooking oil
  • Helium and propane tanks/cylinders
  • Medications
  • Solvents -- used in "everyday" cleaning agents for home and body.
  • Single use batteries
  • Paints, stains, coatings and their containers -- and this includes nail polish.
  • Paint thinners, strippers, degreasers and other solvents which includes oven cleaners, polish remover, some make-up removers, toilet bowl cleaners, bathroom surface cleaners, kitchen cleaners etc. 
  • Pressurized cylinders that held propane, oxygen, helium or other gasses- think cooking sprays, hair sprays, mousse and those disgusting air fresheners
  • Fertilizers and pesticides, including the ones on conventional produce... Hey, wait a second?!?! Right. 
  • Vehicle engine antifreeze/coolant and its containers
  • Empty lubricating oil containers, and lubricants. Yes this includes the toxic personal lubricants and petroleum jelly. Can't put it down the drain but you'll put up in those private spots.
  • Oil filters 

Cleaning up your clean-up regime is important. Simply getting rid of the goods and throwing them to the land of "away" is not an option. It's dangerous, irresponsible and criminal.

In Canada, we have a service you need to know about called Orange Drop, which provides pick-up service and drop off sites.

The city of Toronto has a service called the Toxic Taxi where they will come and do curb side pick-up of your toxic waste products.

The fact that the government provides free services to ensure these products don't end up in our landfills and water systems says a lot. For some reason though, it still doesn't seem to be enough to make people realize that these products have no place in our daily lives.

Natural Cleaning Options

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What  are your favourite natural cleaning options or recipes?

10 Toxic Things You Used This Morning