To clean the house, start with the bedroom. Remove everything that has any smell to it whatever: candles, potpourri, soaps, mending glue, cleaners, repair chemicals, felt markers, colognes, perfumes, and especially plug-in air “fresheners”. store them in the garage, not the basement. Since all vapor rises, they would come back up if you put them in a downstairs garage or basement.
Do not sleep in a bedroom that is paneled or has wallpaper. They give off arsenic and formaldehyde. Either remove them or move your bed to a different room. Leave the house while this is being done. If other rooms have paneling or wallpaper, close their doors and spend no time in them.
Next clean the kitchen. Take all cans and bottles of chemicals out from under the sink or in a closet. Remove them to the garage. Keep only the borax, washing soda, white distilled vinegar and homemade soap. use these for all purposes. For exact amounts to use for dishwasher, dishes, windows, dusting, see Recipes. Remove all cans, bottles, roach and ant killer, moth balls, and chemicals that kill insects or mice. These should not be stored anywhere. They should be thrown out. Remember to check the crawl space, attic and closets for hidden poisons also.
To keep out mice, walk all around your house, stuffing holes and cracks with steel wool. Use old-fashioned mouse traps. For cockroaches and other insects (except ants) sprinkle handfuls of boric acid (not borax) under your shelf paper, behind sink, stove, refrigerator, under carpets, etc. use vinegar on your kitchen wipe-up cloth to leave a residue that keeps out ants. Do this regularly. To wax the floor, get the wax from the garage and put it back there. A sick person should not be in the house while house cleaning or floor waxing is being done.
Remove all cans and bottles of “stuff’ from the bathroom. The chlorine bleach is stored in the garage. Someone else can bring it in to clean the toilet (only). Leave only the borax soap, homemade soap, and grain alcohol antiseptic. Toilet paper and tissues should be unfragranced, uncolored. All colognes, after shave, anything you can smell must be removed. Family members should buy unfragranced products. They should smoke outdoors, blow-dry their hair outdoors or in the garage, use nail polish and polish remover outdoors or in the garage.
Do not keep new foam furniture in the house. If it is less than one year old, move it into the garage until you are well. It gives off formaldehyde. So does new clothing; it is in the sizing. Wash all new clothes before wearing. If you have a respiratory illness, move all the clothes in the clothes closet out of your bedroom to a different closet.
Do not use the hot water from an electric hot water heater for cooking or drinking. It has tungsten. Do not drink water that sits in glazed crock ware (the glaze seeps toxic elements like cadmium) like some water dispensers have. Do not buy water from your health food store that runs through a long plastic hose from their bulk tank (I always see cesium picked up from flexible clear plastic). Also ask them how and when they clean their tank. Best is to observe that it is done with non-toxic methods.
If your house is more than 10 years old, change all the galvanized pipe to PVC plastic. Although PVC is a toxic substance, amazingly, the water is free of PVC in three weeks! If your house has copper pipes don’t wait for cancer or schizophrenia to claim a family member. Change all the copper pipe to PVC plastic immediately. If the pipes are not accessible, ask a plumber to lay an extra line, outside the walls. This is less expensive, too.
If you have a water softener, by-pass it immediately and replace the metal pipe on the user side of the softener tank. softener salts are polluted with strontium and chromate; they are also full of aluminum. The salts corrode the pipes so the pipes begin to seep cadmium into the water. After changing your pipes to plastic, there will be so little iron and hardness left, you may not need a softener. If the water comes from a well, consider changing the well-pipe to PVC to get rid of iron. While the well is open, have the pump checked for PCBs. Call the Health Department to arrange the testing. If you must have softening after all this, check into the new magnetic varieties of water softener (although they only work well when used with plastic plumbing).
The cleanest heat is electric. Go total electric if possible. If you must stay with gas, have a furnace repair person check your furnace and look for gas leaks before the heating season starts. Don’t call the gas company even though it is free. The gas company misses 4 out of 5 leaks! The Health Department does not miss any; call them! House builders and contractors are also reliable in their gas leak detection.