I encourage everyone to use a holistic approach to their dermatology conditions.
Reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals is a great way to do that. It can be a challenge at first, but your health is well worth the effort.
Here are some simple cleansing substitutes you can make yourself. They’ll help you avoid bleach, ammonia, alcohol, dyes, fragrances, and detergents, and save money. Be sure to try cleansers on a small, hidden spot of what you are cleaning to make sure it does not cause fading or discoloration of the fabric before more widespread use.
Laundry Detergent: If you use liquid detergent, add half a cup of baking soda at the beginning of the wash. If you use powdered detergent, add half a cup of baking soda during the rinse cycle. You can then reduce your detergent by about half. Try different amounts to see what works best for you.
Fabric Softener: Put two cups of white vinegar in your rinse cycle. Note that vinegar can cause colors to fade a little.
Window Cleaner: Mix three tablespoons of vinegar and one quart of club soda in a spray bottle. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime to air freshener, laundry detergent, and kitchen and tile cleaner for a blast of freshness.
Tub & Tile Cleanser: Mix 1 2/3 cups baking soda, a half cup high-quality liquid soap, a half cup water, and 2 tablespoons vinegar (if you add the vinegar too early it will react with the baking soda.)
Carpet Cleaner: To absorb big spills, spread cornmeal over the spill. Wait about 15 minutes, then vacuum it up. For stains, a quarter cup biodegradable liquid soap with a third of a cup of water into a blender to make a foam. Put the foam on the stain and rub. After rinsing, splash vinegar to finish.
Air Freshener: You can absorb odors in the fridge and in your home by putting cups of vinegar or baking soda around the house (on high surfaces to keep out of the reach of kids.)
Drain Clearing: Pour half a cup of baking soda down the sink, add a cup of vinegar. Cover the drain, and then rinse the drain with boiling water and salt. Repeat if it doesn’t work immediately.
There are also a lot of non-toxic household cleaners which are healthier for both your skin and the “skin of the earth” than the traditional cleansers on the market. Be sure to read the label to avoid being a victim of “greenwashing” (when a product’s label is designed to look environmentally friendly, but the ingredients are the same old toxic mess.) And as always, keep all cleaning products away from pets and children.
To your health,
Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD
New York, New York
As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.