Through each post, my intention is to EDUCATE readers on ways to improve and live a healthy lifestyle, NOT to scare. Although, I will say, the research out there about our everyday household products is just plain scary!!Ok so what is Melaleuca? It is an American wellness company based in Idaho Falls, Idaho that manufactures and sells over 450 household products in their online grocery store at melaleuca.com.
I know what some of you are thinking… “wellness”, “specialty products”, “American made”, expensive and don’t work. NOPE!!!! Melaleuca’s products are sold at Walmart/Target prices and scientifically tested before they enter the market. (trust me I did the math down to the cent per ounce and tons of research) I’ll explain how they are able to do this.
First, let me digress…. Before having my first baby, I could CARE LESS about organic anything. I ate whatever I wanted, shopped anywhere and everywhere and bought whatever looked appealing to me. Then all of the sudden, I was responsible for this precious little life that was perfect in every way. It was up to me to preserve and protect him in the best possible way. In doing that, I want to give him the most wholesome life possible and allow him to thrive in every way.
As health conscious adults, we work out, take vitamins, eat healthy, and see doctors regularly for checkups. Before having to care for someone other than myself, I thought, “what else could I possibly do to take care of myself and be healthy? There isn’t anything.” WRONG! I didn’t realize that what I allow into my environment is a huge component of our well being and health. And that is where Melaleuca fits in. It is the missing piece to a healthy lifestyle.
According to the E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) the inside of our homes are 5-7 times more toxic than outside. These toxins come from cleaners, soaps, lotions, candles, sunscreens, makeup, shampoos and conditioners, ointments, laundry detergents, and more! The EPA also says cancer is 90% environmental. This means that the products we are using in our everyday lives contain toxins and when ingested, inhaled, and consumed over time, cause cancer.
So back to how Melaleuca is able to produce toxin free products that are 100% safe for our environment at Walmart/Target prices….
Up to 63% of name brand products produced by fortune 500 companies like Proctor & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson go to advertising and the middlemen (i.e. paying rent for shelf space in Walmart, Target, grocery stores, and shipping costs from their production warehouses overseas usually). This only leaves 37% of the cost to go towards ingredients. That’s not much at all! So as a result, you end up getting products with cheap ingredients. Cheap ingredients often times translates into cancer causing ingredients that are toxic to your body! I will give you a specific example in a minute.
SO, Melaleuca decided to use this 63% and put it toward fresh, organic ingredients. They are able to do this by using “just-in-time” manufacturing where every product they sell is manufactured in their own US facilities within 3 weeks of a customer’s order, and shipped directly to the customer’s door within days. Think about that!?! When I purchase my hand soap from Melaleuca.com, I know for a fact that it was MADE within the last month with the freshest ingredients possible and without any carcinogens! This means I am guaranteed higher quality products, at the same price as going to Target, and all I am doing is switching stores. Even better, I didn’t have to leave the house!
At first when someone pointed this out to me, I could really care less. I didn’t have time to be concerned about where my soap was coming from, I just needed something to wash my hands! But after I started reading and researching information about common ingredients in household products that have been proven to cause cancer (triclosan, parabens, formaldehyde, etc.) along with other toxic chemicals, my thinking totally changed. Prior to becoming a Melaleuca customer, I had no idea that my Dial soap had a hormone disrupting chemical in it called triclosan, that has been directly linked to cancer, particularly liver tumors. Now I am absolutely amazed and relieved that Melaleuca is able to provide product replacements that are safe AND effective at a Walmart/Target price!
The Melaleuca product I want to focus on today is their hand soap. EVERYONE needs and buys hands soap, especially during cold and flu season. (we are not out of the woods yet even though it is spring) So hand soap is something we’ve been blowing through like bottled water lately. We use several different scented hand soaps by Melaleuca and have been pleased with all of them!
|Sol-u-Guard Botanical Tropical scented Hand Wash by Melaleuca.
Also comes in Citrus scent. Pump available for individual bottles as well as value size refills (not shown).
This soap does not include triclosan, parabens, or formaldehyde and is scientifically proven to clean hands.
It is made with thyme and citric acid to scientifically clean bacteria from your hands.
The Tropical scent is a subtle blend of jasmine, pineapple, and coconut. I use this one in my kitchen.
|For those of you who like to use an old fashion bar of soap to wash your hands, the Melaleuca Bath Bars are great! They are french pressed so they last MUCH longer than a traditional bar of soap. We use to go through 1 Dove soap bar a week, now we replace our Melaleuca Bath Bars once a month! They come in several scents: The Gold Bar (citrus scent), Platinum Bar (sweet apricot scent), Exfoliating Bar (almond vanilla scent), Alloy Cleansing Bar (light marine scent), Pineapple Mango Bar (pineapple scent), Pink Grapefruit Bar, (grapefruit scent)|
Kids Hand Wash
Melaleuca makes a specific line of products for kids called Koala Pals. This line includes hand wash, tooth paste, hair wash, body wash, bubble bath, and body paint! Having a kids hand wash is important because their skin is much more delicate than an adults.
Mopping Solutions– Melamagic and Tough & Tender
Before I found out about Melaleuca, I was using PineSol to mop our tile floors. PineSol contains an ingredient called “toluene” which has been linked to pregnancy complications, birth defects, and developmental delays in children. You can read about it and more products that contain this ingredient HERE.
Then, I found the Swiffer Wet Jet. If you have never seen this mop before, it has a solution bottle attached to it that dispenses the cleaning solution via a button on the top/front of the handle. All you have to do to mop your floors is attach a cleaning pad to the head of the mop, push the button to release the cleaning solution, and mop! No bucket of water, no mess, throw the replaceable cleaning pads away when you are done! The only negative is, the solution bottles come in 2 scents, Gain and Febreeze.
Febreeze contains an ingredient called “galaxolide” which is a known hormone disrupter and has also been known to decrease a cell’s defense mechanism against another toxic chemical. Read more about it here.
Knowing this made me VERY uncomfortable, especially being of child bearing age. So I figured out a way to hack into the Swiffer Wet Jet solution bottle and refill it with a much safer alternative!!!
**sidenote, some variations/formulas of these products may not list these harmful ingredients on their labels because they are not required to by law. (crazy but true!) According to the WVE (Women’s Voices for the Earth) who commissioned an independent laboratory test, these toxic chemicals I mentioned above were detected in these products!! This is just one of the MANY studies out there on the internet that prove the same to be true. Get to googling, it will blow your mind!
|Original tutorial was found here. Make sure your water is at a full boil before submerging the cap.
Also, before you pour in your new solution, thoroughly clean out the bottle’s old solution first!!!
A very close friend of mine use to use Pine Sol to mop her floors until one day she realized that every time she mopped, her cat would have to be rushed to the vet for intestinal problems! She switched to Melamagic by Melaleuca and her cat hasn’t had any intestinal issues since!
Melamagic is a heavy duty cleaner that has multiple uses. It’s great for mopping linoleum or tile floor, cleaning greasy oven tops or hoods, garage messes, mechanical parts, barbecues, concrete, outdoor furniture, and more! It comes in a concentrated formula so you can decide how strong you want it by diluting with water. The suggested amount is 1/2 oz of solution to 1 gallon of water. I usually poor a cap full into the wet jet bottle and fill the rest with warm water.
I love that it comes in a concentrated bottle so I can mix it with water and create whatever strength I feel necessary for each job. It smells great but is not too overwhelming and gets the job done every time! I’ve also used it to clean food stains and grime off of our kitchen cabinets before painting and I use it to clean my paint brushes every time I have a painting project!
Another healthy alternative for wood floors is Tough & Tender byMelaleuca. Tough & Tender is strong enough to clean and deodorize but gentle enough to preserve wood and porous surfaces. (I also use it for my granite in a spray bottle but I will talk about this in a future post) Another friend of mine, Chesha, mops her wood floors with Tough & Tender and her husband noticed a difference the first day! She said its the only solution she’s been able to find that doesn’t leave streaks in the floor or make their feet squeak when they walk across it.
Laundry Detergent- Melapower
Shortly after bringing home our first child from the hospital, we discovered that the Dreft Laundry Detergent and ALL Free & Clear we were using, was making our son break out bad! I was SO upset after finding out about all of the harsh chemicals and toxins found in name brand laundry detergents that we had been using for years…
The following facts about laundry detergents were found here.
1. Surfactants Cause Skin Irritation
2. Many are Endocrine Disruptors
3. They’re Bad for the Environment
4. Laundry Pods – A Higher Health Risk for Children
5. You Only Need a Little
6. Laundry Detergent Allergies are on the Rise
Not only did I no longer want our skin to be exposed to these harsh chemicals and toxins but I did NOT want to take the chance of our child accidentally ingesting them! I’m sure you have all heard stories on the news of numerous kids getting a hold of a laundry pod, putting it in their mouth, and ending up in the hospital because of the chemicals they ingested. Why would we keep something like this laying around our homes if it isn’t necessary!?! Here is a story that was on the Today Show about a little girl that this happened to. So sad and scary! (Warning, the picture of her laying in her ICU hospital bed is heart breaking!)
After reading all of this, it was very clear to me what changes I needed to make to protect my family and our health.
|We use the Scent Free MelaPower detergent (great for our baby’s eczema!) and the Pre-Spot stain remover for our laundry.
(I plan to do a future post on the stain removers, fabric softeners, fabric fresheners, and wrinkle releaser)
|Island Breeze (my favorite!!!)|
I’m not going to lie, at first when we made the switch, I was concerned that because we were choosing to use something less “harsh” and more organic, there was a chance it wasn’t going to work as well. But I have been pleasantly surprised! Take a look at this “head-to-head” study that Melaleuca did comparing how well Melapower, Tide, Method, and Green Works detergents removed soils from clothing….
|Image found on the Melaleuca journal. Click here for full article|
The following information came from Melaleuca’s website..
Some leading “color-safe” bleaches fade and wear out your clothes. Not MelaBrite. Even after 25 days of soaking in pure MelaBrite 6x, a wool sock is still as brilliant as ever. Clorox® 2 faded and deteriorated the sock. Chlorine bleach dissolved the sock completely! Bleach is a popular way to brighten clothes and keep odors at bay. In fact, almost 250 million gallons of chlorine bleach are sold in the U.S. every year. But chlorine bleach takes its toll in your home and on your clothes. It eats away at fabric, wearing it out fast. And Poison Control Centers receive more calls about chlorine bleach than about any other household cleaning product. With no chlorine bleach, MelaBrite 6x is safer for your home and won’t wear out your clothes.
|Disinfectant||Sodium hypochlorite||Corrosive; irritates or burns skin, eyes; may cause pulmonary edema or vomiting and coma if ingested.|
|Phenols||Flammable; very toxic; respiratory, circulatory, or cardiac damage.|
|Ammonia||Vapor irritating to eyes, respiratory tract, and skin; possible chronic irritation.|
• Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner—This product is anything but green. It contains 2-butoxyethanol, a solvent that soaks through the skin and damages red blood cells; even more dangerous is that some people miss the fine print and don’t dilute it.
Concentrated products and reusable mixing bottles save you money. For as often as a disinfectant is needed in the home, concentrated Sol-U-Guard-Botanical 2x is an incredible value. Your family can save more, breathe easier with botanical ingredients, and still thoroughly eliminate germs. Now that’s a formula for success! (found on Melaleuca.com)
I’m sure you have all heard of the dangers of microwave popcorn on the news. If you haven’t it’s all over the internet for you to Google. Here are SEVERAL links to news articles about the various risks to buying name brand microwave popcorn…
Melaleuca makes their own brand of popcorn called Simply Fit. It’s microwave popcorn that does not contain Dactyl or PFOA. It also contains ingredients from certified organic growers. The corn is grown on land farmed without chemicals, synthetic pesticides, or fertilizers. It contains no trans fats, cholesterol, artificial flavors or colors, or preservatives. BUT it still tastes DELICIOUS and comes in 2 flavors!!!
*Sidenote- For a complete list of over 1,000 ingredients that are banned in Europe because they are proven toxic and bad for your health, click here. The FDA has only banned 9 ingredients in the US.Back in 2010, many states enacted a ban on detergents that contained phosphates, this included laundry and dishwasher detergents. So, as of 2010 Cascade with phosphates has been banned in 16 states and climbing. You can read more about that here. But in 2011 as the new phosphate free replacement formulas were hitting the shelves in these states, people started to notice that their dishes were not coming out of the dishwasher as clean. So basically Cascade did not improve their formula for consumers but removed the phosphates because they were forced to.
Cascade received an F rating by the Environmental Working Group because it contains ingredients that are known to cause asthma/respiratory problems, skin allergies & irritation, developmental & reproductive toxicity, cancer, and environmental concerns. You can read the full report here.
Melaleuca makes their own brand of dishwashing detergent called Diamond Brite. It is phosphate free and works GREAT!!! Even before when I was using Cascade because I didn’t know any better, my dishes had white residue on them and cloudy lines leftover from the liquid. Also, our wine glasses smelled very strongly of bleach because it was obviously still clinging to the glass after washing. Sidenote* Any kind of chemical smell left over on your dishes will be ingested into your body if you eat or drink from them, especially if and when the dish is re-heated by either warm food or the microwave. Ever since switching to Diamond Brite, I have not seen 1 streak or smelled a harsh bleach or chemical smell on any of our dishes. This goes for the liquid and the pods.
|This liquid gel dishwashing detergent is highly concentrated and only requires half the amount of detergent per load as Cascade.|
|I also use the pods in the washing machine for really gross loads like kitchen towels or sweaty gym clothes and socks.
I plan to do a separate post on this later.