I am so excited about this post! It’s normally all about food around here, but living in a healthy environment is something VERY important to me. With the coming of the new year, one of my goals for 2019 is to start making the switch to non-toxic living.

I’m not perfect, but I want to make myself informed about any toxic products that might be in my home and gradually replace any of these items with products that would be healthier for my family. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the awesome gift offer!

woman unpacking box of cleaning essentials in the kitchen

I partnered with Grove Collaborative, which is a company that prides themselves on having products that are healthy, effective, eco-friendly, and affordable. I have used many of their products to replace the toxic items I was using daily in my home. For those that don’t know, they deliver safe and natural cleaning products, baby products, and even beauty all to your door!!! How good is that?!

I have loved using Grove not only because I can feel good about all of the products they offer, but also because using Grove saves me time, money and often times I can order items that I’m not able to find at local stores.

First, I just want to let all of you know that I’m not perfect, but I am trying and making myself informed. I am also not judging anyone who has any of these items, because I totally had ALL of them! Let’s learn and become more knowledgeable together! My advice is to start off slow, if this list seems overwhelming. Start by choosing one or two things a month to change for something less-toxic.

I will also say that while I’ve done quite a bit of research on the items included in this post, these are just my personal findings and the research I’ve read. Many people have their own opinions and studies sometimes show different findings. Feel free to do your own research and formulate your own opinions. What I’ve listed in this post is just what I am changing.

woman at sink with dishtowel

TOP 10 TOXIC ITEMS TO CHANGE!

PLASTICS // Studies show that the use of plastic storage containers, plastic wrap and plastic water bottles is not only harmful to the environment, but also harmful to our bodies.

Plastic material contains chemicals such as phthalates, which can interfere with the body’s endocrine system to produce adverse developmental, reproductive and neurological effects in humans and since the plastic breaks down over time it can cause the release of these dangerous chemicals into your food/water.

Instead of using water bottles, try carrying your own water in a glass or stainless steel bottle. I have also been using these Bee’s Wax Food Wraps (search this on the Grove site) on my glass containers and bowls. For food storage and cooking, I love this Anchor 15-piece set and it’s such a great value.

two water bottles near the lake

CLEANING PRODUCTS // Many kitchen cleaners contain harmful ingredients. The Consumer Products Safety Commission regulates these items and has lax guidelines for ingredient disclosure.

So lax, in fact, that manufacturers can disclose all, some or none of the ingredients. So, even if you do a good job of label reading, you could still be using a product that produces harmful fumes.

It’s disturbing, isn’t it? This is the main reason I’ve chosen to purchase my cleaning supplies (and other items) from Grove. Grove is committed to being a one stop shop for clean, quality products, that you can always trust will be safe for you and your family. Use this offer to get a bundle of my favorites for FREE with your first $20 Grove order!

woman in kitchen mixing up cleaning solution in glass bottle

PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS // Let’s start with antiperspirant. Aluminum is found in most deodorant brands. Questions have been raised about aluminum in deodorants and if they contribute to breast cancer (studies are in-conclusive). The Food and Drug Administration even requires a warning label on all antiperspirants. That is enough of a reason for me to look for an all natural deodorant. You can find several options at Grove. The only one that I’ve tried is Native and I really like it, so I haven’t tried any other brands. I use the coconut vanilla scent.

Aside from deodorant, research shows that harmful ingredients from your personal care products like phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and sunscreen ingredients are commonplace in the bodies of men, women and children. Luckily, Grove offers a wide variety of personal care items from sunscreen to hand sanitizer and soap. They even have medications available and toothpaste.

body wash and bath scrub on the side of the bathtub

NON-STICK COOKWARE // Non-stick pans are the most popular cookware and also the most controversial. According to the Environmental Working Group, nonstick coatings can “reach 700 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 3-5 minutes, releasing 15 toxic gases and chemicals, including two carcinogens.” I found this article extremely helpful in identifying the safest cookware to use for my family. I just purchased this Cuisinart 12-piece stainless steel cooking set and I already own a set of Vision Cookware and a cast iron skillet.

woman's hands using stainless steel skillet to cook scallops

PERFUMES AND CANDLES // Perfume scented paraffin candles have a few strikes against them.

First, most candle makers use paraffin, a petroleum by-product that is chemically bleached and hardened. Burning paraffin pollutes your air. Second, these candles are typically synthetically scented. These synthetic perfumes are not well-regulated so you have no way of knowing what substances are released into your home. Perfumes can contain any one of 3,000 or more ingredients; many toxic, unregulated and synthetic. Third, some candle wicks contain lead. Enough said.

Look for candles made with bees wax or soy wax. I LOVE burning candles, so this one was tough for me. Grove offers several soy candle varieties and as for a good bees wax candle try Fontana Candle Company. They are a great small business offering the “cleanest” candle I’ve come by. I love the apple cider and gingerbread fragrance!

garden rose candle near roses

SHOWER CURTAINS // This is the next change in my home I’ll be making. I had no idea how bad these were until I started researching cleaner living.

Plastic shower curtains made with Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) are toxic to your health. You probably noticed a strong smell when you first opened your vinyl shower curtain.

A study showed these PVC shower curtains release as many as 108 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) some of which cause developmental damage as well as damage to the liver and central nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems.

In addition to VOCs, the shower curtains were also found to contain phthalates and metals. The study found some of these chemicals lingered in the air 28 days after a curtain was hung. Clearly, this is a significant contributor to indoor air pollution that is easily avoided.

Your best bet is to look for shower curtains with a vinyl-free or PVC-free label or ones made of organic cotton. This mildew resistant, non-toxic shower current is the one I just purchased.

Also, many bath mats are made with vinyl, so shop for mats made with silicone instead of vinyl.

FABRIC SOFTENERS + DRYER SHEETS // Softeners work by coating your clothes with a thin layer of potentially toxic chemicals, such as quaternary ammonium salts. These can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems and headaches. Dryer sheets also contain harmful chemicals, which adhere to your laundry AND filter into your air.

I have been using wool dryer balls from Grove for about a month and have been completely happy with the results. They come with essential oils to make your clothes smell wonderful. You can use half-cup white vinegar in the final rinse cycle to soften fabrics and leave no residue at all.

non-toxic Mrs. Meyer's laundry detergent

PILLOWS // If you are using a pillow made with synthetic materials, you could be sleeping with any number of dangerous chemicals like toluene diisocyanate, formaldehyde, PBDE’s just to name a few. There are actually many options for all natural pillows without flame retardants like natural latex, lambswool, buckwheat, and kapok. You may even find you have less neck and shoulder pain sleeping with a new all natural, well-made pillow. I’m thinking of ordering this all natural latex pillow from Amazon.

white bedding and pillows

AIR FRESHENERS // The Environmental Working Group tested Febreze Air Effects and found 89 airborne contaminants including acetaldehyde which the EPA considers a likely human carcinogen.

In 2010, a University of Washington study found that eight widely used air fresheners released an average of 18 chemicals into the air. On average, one in five of these chemicals were hazardous substances. Half the air fresheners tested released acetaldehyde, a likely carcinogen. By using air freshener chemicals, you are releasing carcinogens and hormone disruptors into your home. Luckily, I’ve found several non-toxic air fresheners offered by Grove.

non-toxic dryer balls in a wicker basket

INSECTICIDES // Insecticides and bug sprays should really be avoided inside and outside of your home, as researchers have linked the chemicals to neurological damage in children. Scary!!

Grove has a natural non-toxic bug spray and mosquito repellant candle for outdoors that is non-toxic and free of D.E.E.T or petroleum.

And for outside around the house, try using Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to control ants, roaches, and spiders. Sprinkle DE in problem areas under sinks, garages, basements, attics, and behind appliances.

DE is a white powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. When a roach (or any bug with an exoskeleton) comes into contact with DE, it gets under the shell, punctures the body, and kills the bug.

DE is completely non-toxic. While it certainly is dangerous to bugs with exoskeletons like roaches, all mammals are safe from its effects. It’s the perfect all-natural insecticide. No harm to humans, your pets or the environment, but deadly to bugs.

non-toxic bug spray options on a wooden table near flowers and a window

Check out Grove Collaborative for a special gift!

If you are new to Grove, you’ll receive a free gift (when you spend $20) included with your order. 

Here are the free products that you can get as a new customer!

  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface spray
  • Free Grove Collaborative caddy
  • Free Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges
  • Free shipping & free VIP trial

So many free goodies!

products offered as a gift with Grove Collaborative orders

How does Grove work?

[1] Subscribe here – it’s super easy and FREE to join!

[2] Shop away! Place the items you’d like in your cart and each month you will receive a new shipment.

Box of Grove Collaborative items on a kitchen counter

Note: Grove Collaborative is a fully customizable auto replenishing service, shipping out every month. And don’t worry, if you’re not ready for your next shipment it’s easy to push back  – 2 weeks up to 2 months. If you’d prefer to shop on an as-needed basis, that is available too. They understand subscriptions aren’t for everyone!

As you can probably tell, I’m super excited about making my home as clean as possible this year! I’m so happy to have found Grove Collaborative to deliver everything right to my door. Please leave a comment if you have any questions. I highly recommend trying Grove and their products in your home!