Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to consider natural cleaning and personal care products – in a thoughtful, in-depth way.
Because sometimes…”natural” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Welcome Back to the Monday Missions
It’s been a long time since I typed those opening lines! We let the Monday Missions have a summer vacation, but they’re back in force for the fall, with teaching kids to eat real food, lunchbox transformations, real food on the go, grain-free baking, homemade tortillas, natural parties, vaccinations and more.
I’m ready to continue taking baby steps to the natural, real food life – are you?
This week’s theme is personal products and cleaning, which we’ve touched on many times here at Kitchen Stewardship.
If you’re still baby stepping your way through this category, that’s okay – today’s mission will extend the thinking of those of you who already use all-natural products and only enhance the goals of those who are still transitioning from toxic products. (I am trying hard not to say “chemical-laden” because of course everything is made of chemicals!)
Natural Living Resources
A quick review, for those on the journey, or those for whom this step has been their “one more thing” that they’re finally ready for:
I’m pretty sure all my posts in this category have been archived there, whether they were written before or after those roundups were posted, so you have the whole world of KS natural living in one place.
Natural Isn’t a Magic Word
The Monday Mission today is a caution, a call to slow down, to re-assess, to make sure you’re doing what you say you want to be doing.
The lesson is:
Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you.
We’re going to cover three different subjects this week Tuesday-Thursday, and you’ll see examples of short-sighted thinking, both my own and potentials for others:
- I used a completely natural, harmless product to clean carpets because it seemed to make sense in my mind and I had found it on a Google search. As multiple commenters pointed out in my natural homemade steam cleaner for carpets post, that substance is used to set pigments and dyes into fabrics. Even though it’s natural and safe, you still have to be cognizant and do your research before jumping in. Here’s our better solution for spot cleaning and deep cleaning carpets.
- Perhaps you make homemade dishwasher detergents or laundry soap. This week we’ll explore the reasons why “DIY” isn’t always enough to truly achieve a safe, non-toxic clean. (Here’s that post on contaminants in personal products)
- Have you ever tried homemade natural deodorant or the “no ‘poo” shampoo method and experienced horrible results? Sometimes, the natural solution just isn’t right for you. Sometimes you need to tweak the recipe a bit to make it work. And other times – an awful mess is exactly what you’re supposed to experience on the way to success, much like “no pain, no gain” in exercising. Here’s this week’s exploration of the causes of and solutions to “pit detox”.
- Essential oils are natural, but they’re not always used in a safe manner and can sometimes do more harm than good. We explored how you have to go deeper than just “I use all-natural essential oils” in this post about different grades of lavender essential oil, and I don’t think I’ll have time this week, but realize that you need to be well-informed about how to use essential oils, which ones to use, and under which circumstances, and also what to do to combat some of the effects of EOs.Even though oregano oil is “all natural,” for example, if you use it as an internal natural antibiotic, you still need to follow up with strong probiotics (that link goes to the brand my family uses, and I do earn commission on it but wouldn’t recommend it if we didn’t take it daily…or more often in certain circumstances).
- And sometimes it’s just not right for you. If you try a natural method like the no ‘poo shampoo thing (or any other natural method of getting things done) and you absolutely hate it and it causes more problems than it solves (cranky Mommy or Daddy, family or marital strife, feelings of low self-worth, etc.), then it’s really okay to rewind and revert. The world will not end if you use a conventional shampoo, and it’s possible to find other natural shampoos beyond skipping it altogether. There always needs to be a solution that doesn’t push you over the edge. (You might guess that I’m not doing no ‘poo anymore. I am trying various natural shampoos – NaturOli, Miessence – and am much happier.)
Of course, don’t forget that many products are greenwashed, meaning that they’re labeled with “all natural” or “chemical free” when really they’re not.
Take a few moments today to reassess the natural products in your cupboards and drawers:
- What was your initial motivation for using the product?
- What do you know about its sourcing? Efficacy?
- Is it a good thing for you and your family? Is it working, in more ways than one?
Tune in all week as we explore this topic in more detail. The current giveaway for Molly’s Suds will give you a leg up on the laundry topic, and the giveaway coming Friday is another awesome natural product feature.
I’d love to hear your stories – did you ever use a natural product that either turned out to be “not so natural” or just didn’t work at all for you?
Share with others who are dipping their toes in the natural life:
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Mountain Rose Herbs, NaturOli, and my own Miessence store from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.