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The following was contributed by Laura Hodges.

Author Laura Hodges

I have been a mother for 18 years.  That sure makes me feel old saying that.  I have tried my best to keep my kids healthy and happy.  My home isn’t perfect, but I have strived hard make it a place where my children and family will thrive. 

Although I always wanted to help my family be healthy, clean and well; I found it overwhelming to think about making my home environment a little less toxic.  It seems like we hear of new things that are harmful to us everyday and for a while it seemed I could stick my proverbial head in the sand and keep with the status quo.  The more I learned about the different options to some of the traditional methods of cleaning, laundry and household products, I thought maybe I could make some changes.  It hasn’t happened over night and I don’t pretend to do everything right.  However, I have done some things differently that I feel really good about.  I hope to continue to make my home a non-toxic, more sustainable environment.

With that being said, I wanted to share 5 of the most toxic things in most homes, that you may be using today and some easy alternatives. 

1.Fabric Softeners

Softeners work by coating your clothes with a thin layer of potentially toxic chemicals, such as quatenary ammonium salts. These can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems and headaches. This information was so new to me! I decided to bounce from using dryer sheets and fabric softeners.  I have been using wool dryer balls for several months now and have been completely happy with the results. I drop my favorite Young Living Essential Oil on my dryer balls and my clothes come out smelling fresh and clean and not covered in chemicals. Additionally, a ½ cup vinegar added to the washing machine replaces liquid fabric softener like a dream.  It’s way less expensive and much more natural.

Ready to join and become a Wholesale member and save 24% on all Young Living Product? Click HERE!

2. Plastic Food Containers, Plastic Water Bottles, Plastic wrap

This one can be so hard, but it’s important.  Many plastic containers are made from chemicals such as phthalates, which can interfere with the body’s endocrine system to produce adverse developmental, reproductive and neurological effects in humans and since the plastic breaks down over time it can cause the release of these dangerous chemicals into your food. I switched to metal water bottles and glass food containers, but my hold out was definitely the plastic wrap.  I found Bees Wax wraps that can do the same job and they are washable and reusable. Yes, please!


Who doesn’t love a yummy smelling candle? Whether it is a fruity floral one to make your home smell like spring, or a woodsy pine scent for the holidays, many of us love the way those candles make our home smell.  Aroma is powerful and can evoke feelings of happiness, traditions, and memory. However, a quick google search got me this information:  The Environmental Protection Agency found that potentially hazardous chemicals can be found in fragrances.  Causing major side effects.  Most candles are made of paraffin wax which creates highly toxic benzene and toluene when burned. In fact, the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes. YIKES!! 

I have replaced all my toxic candles and wax melters with oil diffusers.  There are so many natural essential oils to choose from that provide some great benefits while helping keep my home smelling wonderful.

4. Air Fresheners

Air fresheners help keep our homes smelling nice, but a study by the University of  California at Berkeley found that when used excessively or in unventilated area they release toxic levels of pollutants. If you use them make sure the room is well- ventilated. For me, I have opted to get rid of traditional air fresheners and now scent my home with essential oils.  I have made room sprays for many different functions.  Lemongrass to freshen the kitchen, to remove the stench of little boy’s soccer shoes, and lavender spray for calm in our bedrooms.  I have made these myself using oils from Young Living Essential oils. 

5. Cleaning Products

I used to think, if it smelled like the cleaning aisle at the grocery store, it must mean my home is clean.  I have come to think much differently.  There are so many cleaning products on the market today that can be really harsh or even dangerous with kids around.  I have seen so many products that claim to be natural, but I now know that just because something is labeled natural doesn’t always mean that it is.  I have ditched most of the products that I used to use and have opted for much more non-toxic cleaners.  My favorite is Thieves Cleaner from Young Living.  It comes in a concentrate, so I can make it as strong as I want depending on what job I am tackling.  This stuff is amazing. 

As I mentioned earlier, it can feel overwhelming to change everything all at once.  I have taken it one step at a time, and I am still on my way to a more non-toxic, environmentally friendly home.  I love how Young Living Essential Oils have helped me enhance my home.  Choose one thing today that you can change to improve the health of your home.  It’s easy and you can do it!

Ready to join and become a Wholesale member and save 24% on all Young Living Product? Click HERE!

When you join with our Meridian Living Well community, we send you five recipe cards including a “12 Ways to use Your Thieves Cleaner” card that is pretty enough to frame!

Join us on instagram @meridianlivingwell to see daily, practical ideas for oils and non-toxic living!

See previous articles on the ways we are using Oils in our homes and families HERE.