If you’ve ever been posted a status update about your concern for exposure to toxic chemicals, you’ve likely attracted at least one troll talking about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide. “It can cause severe burns and erodes our landscape,” they type. Then they’re all, “You know what it is? Water.” At which point you curse all people of the internet, throw your computer out the window and vow to become Amish.
Most people agree chemicals make our world. However, there are some you’d rather not drink on a hot summer’s day. And there are many more you don’t want in your house when you have a newborn kid. So go ahead, unfollow your crappy cousin and peruse these tips for detoxing your hacienda before your little rascal arrives.
Purge The Phthalates (And Other Nasties)
If you’re having a son and are concerned about how they’ll, uh … “measure up” in life, phthalates should be your enemy number 1, literally!
The best way to get this stuff out of your life (along with it’s nasty cousins PVC and BPA) is to look at the recycling code on any plastic packages you pick up. The numbers 1, 3, 6, and 7 link to BPA, phthalates, or styrene.
This will, of course also limit your storage options. But you’re totally in luck, because you can replace the plastic with glass, cardboard, or stainless steel containers. And just think how much more hip you’ll look packing your entire lunch in canning jars. Including the sandwich!
Finally, watch out for the sneaky-Peets know as thermal receipts. They’ll leak BPA into shopping bags and your wallet, which you’ll probably be checking every time you pick up your baby. Because babies are expensive.
Remove the Kicks
Shoe free houses are always weird for visitors. Sometimes they enforce it, sometimes they don’t. And hopefully you’ve got some dope socks on. Well get ready to be weird!
The good thing about kicking off the kicks is that you’re not tracking stuff like dirt and dust and pollutants like pesticides and lead into your house. If you want to be really serious about this go ahead and be a clothes-free house. Then you’ll really see how weird it can get.
Ditch The Antibacterial Soaps
The Feds are already helping you out on this one with a recent ban of triclosans, which are the main ingredient in many antibacterial soaps. And there are a couple good reasons for this, including their possible contribution to creating antibacterial resistant superbugs, none of whom are as awesome as Paul Rudd.
Regular soap is pretty okay to protect your kid from most stuff. And if some things get through? That actually might help their immune system.
Do DIY Home Cleaners
This might seem a bit crunchy for a lot of people, but there are some effective ways to clean without bathing your home’s surfaces in man-made and carcinogenic chemicals. And one of the best natural cleaners is vinegar. Yes, it smells like vinegar. But vinegar smells better than cancer feels.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making your own (and saving some scratch, BTW), there are folks who’ve gone to the trouble for you and placed them in pretty packages. For a premium.
Go Chemical Free Outside
Because you’ll actually want your kid to get dirty. It’s good for their health. But in the meantime, you don’t want to be dragging the chemical sludge found in herbicides and pesticides into your house. Because those things are actually engineered to kill biological things.
If you’re truly bummed out by the weeds, help a local parent out and hire their kid to pull them. And if your freaked out by bugs, there are plenty of non-toxic alternatives that your local hippy swears by. Like diatomaceous earth for slugs, hot sauce for mites, baking soda for fungus and a whole gang of others that these hippies can explain.
In terms of chemicals that are pretty easy to jettison from your life, consider opting out of dry-cleaning, or go with a green cleaner that doesn’t use harsh dry cleaning chemicals. Also, shy away from chemical laden room deodorizers and scented candles, despite how crazy sexy they are, Mr. Moonlight Tropical Mist.
For non-chemical considerations, beat the dust and mold with natural cleaners like vinegar and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Likewise, before your kids arrival, make sure you have working exhaust fans and clean ducts.
Finally, your baby will both breath and chew on your house, even if they’re not named Hansel or Gretel. So, test your domicile for lead and radon.