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Step 4: DIY Cleaning

There’s something so satisfying about making something yourself, whether it’s a meal, a craft, or in this case, DIY cleaning products. 

I have some experience in this department, but since my last post have been spending a lot of time online researching. A truly fantastic resource for all things DIY is of course Pinterest.

But if you are like me, you never accept anything blindly. Just because you can make it at home does not mean it is free from all things harmful. 

For example, let’s take Fels-Naptha. This stuff (basically a bar soap) has been around forever. It is in A LOT on Pinterest  DIY cleaning recipes. It’s also not entirely safe.  Just pop over to TOXNET and view the Hazardous Substances Data Base (HSDB). 

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/hsdb.htm

This database searches case records of individual chemicals. So if you plug in titanium dioxide, a chemical found in Fels-Naphtha, you can read about the lung issues, cancer in animals (listed as potentially carcinogenic to humans) and so on. 

For those of you that don’t have all the time in the world and are curious about common household products (rather than each individual ingredient), use the US Department of Health’s Household Products Database.

https://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/

Fels-Naptha here gets a health rating of 1, which is slight concern. But you know what doesn’t even register on this database? Castile soap*. A perfectly good alternative to Fels-Naptha in creating washing products. It shows up with an A rating on the Environmental Working Group’s Database, another great search tool. 

https://www.ews.org

So in doing my DIY homework I’ve learned to NEVER accept someone else’s DIY cleaning recipe at face value. Use what you can find as inspiration, but create your own. Do your research on all your ingredients and then play chemist putting together different formulations.

My DIY series is in the works as I assemble my ingredients and create my recipes, so stay tuned! 

– Amanda

* One brand comes up on HHPD. Merton’ Castille (notice spelling difference) Liquid Soap. This gets a 0 rating for no concern.

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