Monday, 22 March 2010

Chemical Clear-out

Lately, I've been doing a bit of research into all the lotions and potions we use in the house. It started when I was wiping down Alice's highchair and just couldn't stand the idea of her eating off something sprayed with disinfectant. After a bit of investigation on-line and some experimentation, I've started making my own solution. It's made up of crushed soap nuts, boiled for ten minutes in water, then strained with a few drops of tea tree oil. I pop that all in a spray bottle and away I go. I also use chamomile tea and washable wipes when changing Alice.

So far so good, but that got me thinking about all the stuff I use. The stash of moisturisers, hair products, cleansers and make up that I own is unbelievable and actually quite embarrassing. I can't even pronounce most of the ingredients that make them up. I am not a chemist, but I'm pretty convinced that I don't want to risk using these sorts of cosmetics on Alice, or myself. Having done a bit of research I found a few key things to look out for - parabens, parfum, triclosan and sodium lauryl sulphate for starters. I couldn't believe how many of my products had these potentially toxic chemicals in them. A little more investigation revealed that by-products of the manufacturing process even of products designed for babies include chemicals like formaldehyde.

I have always been a little sceptical of scaremongering stories, but I just don't think it is worth the risk of using these unappealing cocktails of chemicals, especially on my baby. I'm going to be replacing them with home-made or natural alternatives.


  1. I agree that it's kind of icky to think about cleaning things like high chairs with icky chemicals. I feel that way about floors when there's a baby crawling around. Since moving into a new home last year, I've used vinegar to clean the hard floors and just Dawn dish soap and water to wash things that potentially get eaten off of (counters, tables, ect.).

    Soap nuts sound pretty cool. I didn't realize you could make cleaning solutions with them!

  2. Vinegar is amazing stuff isn't it? I've used it on glass for years after a window cleaner told me he swore by it.

    I am a bit of a soap nut obsessive at the moment (I'm so cool). I found a recipe on-line for making shampoo with it, but that could be a step too far...