The Dangers of Household Cleaners

Are you too clean? Do you use bleach and harsh chemicals to disinfect your home? Do you use dish soap to wash your dishes? Fancy detergent to wash your clothes and sheets? Air fresheners?

If you do, you could be causing creating an environment for lowered IQ and lowered health for your child.


Well, firstly, the harsh chemicals may seem like they disappear from the window surfaces, or the countertop, plates, or even worse, the high chair, but they don’t. Even the slightest amounts accumulate slowly over time in the body and can be harmful t the brain and body organs. Also, your child breathes in these volatile chemicals that linger in the air. There are very few regulations as to what chemicals can be used in these products to get the scent that seems so nice. Unfortunately for us, these chemicals can have quite the detrimental effect on brain development, hormones, the lungs, and health. Because the effects are very slow, it is often not attributed to cleansers so most people keep on using them.

Dr. Mercola recently compared the effect of cleaning your house with chemicals once a week to smoking a pack of cigarettes per day! And all for what? A fake pine smell? Certainly these chemicals are NOT AT ALL necessary to get your house clean. And, is it worth the negative health repercussions even if it were the only way to clean? 

Then, secondly, there is the fact that we want some “dirt”. Too clean means we are not exposed to the bacteria and “dirt” we evolved with. Sure, we can take probiotics, but there may be elements missing that we should be exposed to for optimal brain and body health. We are only just beginning to understand our relationship with the bacteria in our environment. We do, however, know that if our gut flora gets out of whack, as it tends to do in sterile homes, it negatively affects the brain as discussed here. This is vital. When I meet parents with children that have mental issues of any sort, my first response is to add in probiotics and drastically reduce exposure to anything that kills these bacteria, such as bleach, chlorinated water, fluoride, and all cleaning solutions.

Now, I am not saying to just let the house go to disaster. Not at all. A tidy, well organized house is important to a child for focus and to reduce unknown stress. Clutter and mess is stressful and distracting, and is a source of lowered cognitive function. Very rarely do you see a fortune 500 leader have a messy surrounding.

What I am suggesting is that water works wonderfully well for actual cleaning! Just plain old water. I use the ENJO system of clothes and floor fibers so that everything, including mirrors, shines and no trees are destroyed making paper towels so that I may clean my counter top. Norwex is another great company that sells fibres that clean exceptionally well using just water. (They even have awesome toothbrushes!)

If something, however, needs a little extra help, I use baking soda. If the shower tiles start to mould, I use hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar with baking soda. All these things are safe cleaning solutions.


For the dishes, water works perfectly well. For any oily dishes, baking soda or a little piece of lemon removes the oil beautifully. It actually makes it shine like a crystal! If you are worried about the transfer of viruses through your home, use a bit of castile soap on the silverware.

Laundry? Just a bit castile soap and borax is good enough to get the clothes and sheets/towels clean. I occasionally put vinegar into the rinse cycle for towels to add extra freshness. Do I miss the fancy smells of detergent, or miss having the whitest of whites? Sure, but I know I am putting health and brains first, as I think everyone should.

My advice:

If you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t use it on your body or for cleaning.


Starting TODAY, throw away (safely) ALL your cleaning supplies so that your child can grow up happy, smart, healthy, and


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