Minimize Toxins by changing the way you clean

Essential #5 is all about minimizing toxins in your life. This simple guide will empower you with tips and tricks to making changes in reducing toxicity in and around your home on a daily basis.

The Bathroom

Tiles – Steam the bathroom to loosen the dirt. Mix bi-carbonate of soda and lemon juice to form a paste. Rub the paste into the grout using an old toothbrush or your fingers. Leave for a few minutes or longer if they are very dirty then wipe off with a damp cloth.

The toilet – Wipe the outside of the toilet first using a solution of warm water and dishwasher. Then clean the lid – (don’t forget the inside of the lid) and clean the rim using the same solution. To clean the bowl use a good quality cleaner with a disinfectant. If the bowl is very vile and stained then take – ¼ cup of borax and 1/3 cup of white vinegar. Pour them into the toilet bowl and leave overnight. In the morning brush and flush.

The Bath and Basin – Clean with bi-carbonate of soda and a damp cloth. The bi-carb. is abrasive but gentle and will also remove odors so you don’t have that chemical smell. To make your taps sparkle, clean them with white vinegar, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly with warm water or the vinegar may eat the plating.

Showers – Clean the tiles as previously instructed. To clean the grimy film off the door use white vinegar then rinse, and shine dry.

Towels must be changed at least once a week but this will depend on the climate and the use. Hand towels should be changed every two days or daily if there is heavy use. Likewise face cloths must be washed daily and replaced every three months.

Paint the bottom of shaving cream cans with clear nail polish to prevent rust rings.

Keep a small basket under the basin with the cleaning cloths and products needed for the bathroom. This will enable each person to clean up after themselves as they will not have to go and look for the materials needed, as they will be on hand. This will eliminate all excuses!!

The Bedroom

‘A years bed making is the equivalent of a 4 mile walk!’

Your mattress can hold up to 2 million dust mites. They feed on the skin that we shed and sweat. A fully grown adult can sweat out ½ a pint of sweat each night, which goes into our pillows, sheets and mattresses. 1g of household dust can hold up to 500 dust mites! A dust mite is about 0,03mm in size. You can fit eight dust mites onto a full stop!

Vacuum your mattress every week, when you change your sheets and turn your mattress every six weeks. This will help it to wear evenly. If you are going away strip the beds and let them air while you are away. Once a month pull out all the beds and furniture so you can clean thoroughly.

Empty and clean inside your wardrobe every six weeks. We clean around them but never in them, yet when you are cleaning outside of them a certain amount of dust is going into them. Every school holidays I have my children empty and sort through their wardrobes. They remove all items that no longer fit and the good ones are sent to the orphanage and the things that are beyond use are cut up to make cloths for cleaning. They have done this since they were little and it teaches them to be a blessing and also not to waste anything.

Three times a year you should empty your bedside drawers and cupboards and give them a good cleaning and polishing.

More Kitchen Tips

‘Cupboard space is more important than the gadget you will never use.’

Ovens – When using any product with ammonia in it make sure that you use gloves and cover your mouth and nose. These products are so toxic and it is widely believed that you have a 55% chance of getting cancer if you use these products. Personally I try wherever possible to only use natural products and at all costs avoid any chemicals in my home. To clean my oven I use the following; 4 teaspoons bi-carbonate of soda and 1 teaspoon borax. Mix to a paste with a little water. Rub onto the oven, then wipe off with a damp cloth.

Microwaves – Place a lemon that is cut into two inside the microwave. Microwave on high for two minutes. Remove the lemon and wipe away the grease and grime.

Drains – To clear blocked drains – Put 1 tablespoon bi-carbonate of soda and 1 cup of white vinegar down the sink. Pour a kettle of boiling water down the sink. It will bubble and foam and sometimes spit back some dirt and slime. If it is very badly blocked repeat this a few times and massage the U pipe under the sink.

Place two teaspoons of white vinegar into your rinse water to sterilize and give sparkle to your dishes.

Instead of fabric softener you may use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

Add 1 teaspoon of bi-carbonate of soda to your laundry to make whites whiter.

To remove odors from a wooden chopping board rub with dry mustard powder, then brush off.

Dining room

This is often an underestimated room in the house. As I said in an earlier chapter, we are often too busy these days to sit down as families and share in the celebration of a meal together. We either eat in stages or, if we do sit down to eat together it is often in front of the television. There is a time when eating in front of the television can be appropriate but it must not become the norm. The first year the reality show ‘Survivor’ was shown, we as a family thoroughly enjoyed it as we are a family who is very at home in the great outdoors. ( though if the truth be told, that was a little too outdoors for me!) When it came to the grand finale it was going to be a two hour episode, so we decided to have a ‘Survivor party’. I made lots of finger foods and the children arranged the family room with blankets and pillows on the floor, ( no sitting on chairs was allowed.) and we watched and argued – in a kind way of course – about who was going to win. The children had a few friends over and it became a night of fun and hilarity. This is appropriate T.V. dinner viewing. Maybe there is a movie you want to watch as a family, that’s alright, but too often we eat in front of the T.V. and there is no communication at all and even if someone did try to have a conversation they would be told to ‘be quiet’ because we’re watching!

Meal times should be about quality time with family and friends. When you have people over for dinner, do you sit in front of the T.V. to eat and tell them to be quiet because you’re watching something? Of course not, and yet we do that to our own families! Who is more important – your friends or your family?

Encourage your children to be a part of meal times. Teach them how to lay the table and then let them do it.

My son loves to set the table and when he was little it became a production every time I asked him to do it. He would close the dining room door and it was off limits! He would be in and out, fetching and sneaking things in. When it was time to eat he would reveal his creation with a great flourish! Wow ! Usually the whole garden was on the table, and all the best china. There would be name cards and each persons serviette would be folded in a different way. It was a sight to behold and usually there wasn’t much room to put the food, but it was great. We never told him it was too much or it wasn’t what we wanted. We praised him and commended him for the effort he had made to make dinner time a celebration. Fortunately as he got older he toned things down, but he has a creative gifting in him that is phenomenal and we could have stifled that if we had criticized or not appreciated his efforts.

Learning to lay the table as well as clearing it is another basic life skill. Clearing the table is a chore in our house done by our children. To save time in the mornings it is a good idea to lay the table for breakfast the night before. Using a table cloth is a great way to catch crumbs and all you need to do is give it a good shake.

Mess happens! Use it as a teaching tool. Whoever messed gets to help clean it up and when they are old enough they get to clean it up by themselves! Don’t get all flustered and stressed. We use up more time and energy getting all flustered and stressed than we do by calmly dealing with the situation.

The dining room should be swept and dusted every day as this is where food is eaten, so it should be a clean environment.


Keep a notepad and pen in the kitchen so that you can make a list of things you need before they run out.

Dust with a damp cloth to prevent dust circulating in the air, especially if you have family members who have allergies.

Use old shoulder pads to wax and polish.

Rust; A moist ( not dry ) pumice stone can remove rust marks off baths and basins.

Windows; Take a bucket of warm water. Add 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water. Clean windows with a sponge. Buff with newspaper.

Or; Mix water and cornflour to a milky consistency. Use a cloth to clean and shine.

Or; Mix a quarter cup of white vinegar into a bucket of warm water. Wash windows with a soft cloth. Buff to a shine.

White vinegar can kill up to 92% of bacteria.

General Cleaner; 1 cup white vinegar – 1 cup water. Mix in a spray bottle. Spray and wipe. The odor will evaporate when it is dry. To remove stubborn marks, warm the mixture first.


Red Wine – Cover the spill immediately with salt or bi-carbonate of soda. Wash as normal. If the spill is on a carpet vacuum when the salt is dry.

Salad Dressing – Apply cornflour or maizena to absorb the grease. If an orange spot remains blot( don’t rub) with white vinegar until the stain disappears. Wash as usual.

Chocolate – Soak for 30 minutes in cold water then wash as usual.

Curry – Squeeze lemon juice over. Wash as normal.

Mud – Allow to dry. Sprinkle bi-carbonate of soda over the patch then vacuum.

To remove candle wax place a piece of brown paper over the spilled wax then iron until the paper has absorbed all the wax.

Air Freshener; 2cups cold water – 1 teaspoon bi-carbonate of soda ( to neutralize the acid smells) – 1 tablespoon lemon juice ( to neutralize the alkaline smells ) and a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Place all in a spray bottle and spray!

Cooking Vegetables

If the vegetable grows above the soil then place in hot or boiling water to cook.

If the vegetable grows under the soil then place it in cold water and let the water come up to the boil.

i.e. Once boiling – potatoes – 15 – 20 minutes; Carrots 10 minutes; Broccoli 5 minutes.

Don’t overcook vegetables. They should be crisp and crunchy not soggy!

Ironing; Always use a clean cloth to avoid scorch marks. Iron inside out first then finish off if needed on the right side. Clean the bottom of the iron with a paste of salt and vinegar. Rub onto the bottom of the iron. Wipe off.

By making simple changes in the way you clean around the house will dramatically minimize your daily toxin exposure. For me information and to sign up for local classes to help you get started visit a Maximized Living Doctor in your area.