Longing for a kinder, gentler world? As the old saying goes, everything begins at home, and odds are, if you live in the all-American household, the air inside is more toxic than the air outside, even if you live in the most polluted of cities. You regularly handle the filthiest object in your home -- the kitchen sponge -- and put the same chemicals on your face that are used in brake fluid and antifreeze.
The cleaning agents and personal care products commonly marketed to and used in American homes contain not only some very dangerous, toxic chemicals, but they also create an "overly clean," chemically bombed-out house that compromises immune systems. And with more than fifty million Americans suffering from allergies and other autoimmune diseases -- not to mention the developing and fragile immune systems of children and seniors -- large numbers of people are actually being made sicker and sicker by their homes.
Learn to live a clean, healthy, more economical way with Ellen Sandbeck, the nontoxic avenger. In this must-have book for the twenty-first- century home, this passionate, witty advocate of all things organic will teach you how to maintain every part of the home -- from living room to septic tank, kitchen floor to bathroom sink -- using safe, simple cleansers and quick preventative measures as well as the most effective organic products on the market to get the job done.
Learn time-saving, preventative housekeeping, such as taking thirty seconds to clean the shower while you shower. Take care of bathroom stains with baking soda and vinegar rather than commercial, toxic bathroom "bombs" peddled to you with such force by manufacturers. Need whiter whites? There is no bleaching power on earth stronger than the sun. Snow clean your fine rugs. Choose fruits and vegetables from the relatively pesticide residue-free list. Clean felt-tipped pen stains with vodka. Make furniture shine with olive oil and lemon. Your house will also smell as great as it looks.
According to the EPA, "the air in the average American home is between two and ten times more polluted than the air just outside the threshold." Sandbeck, a onetime housecleaner and roofer, explains why a homemaker must avoid toxins and pesticides if the home is to maintain a balanced, healthy ecosystem. The first chapter touting the benefits of tidying up and getting organized is tedious, but the book hits its groove in a chapter on "Organic Cleaning." Here, readers learn that all too often the very products we trust to keep our homes clean contain toxins and antimicrobials that kill beneficial organisms. Sandbeck touches on a wide array of housekeeping issues, sometimes almost straying dangerously off-topic. From preventing mold and mildew and controlling garden pests, to computer care and avoiding electrical fires, Sandbeck doles out knowledge with an easy-to-digest blend of authority and humor.