Recent years have seen many Kiwis trying to reduce the chemical or "toxic" load in their homes whether that be through their daily beauty routine, cooking products or cleaning products.
The term "toxic load" sounds a little scary, but basically it refers to the chemicals, toxins and other substances in the body that are ingested or absorbed through the skin on a daily basis.
If you're one of the many Kiwis trying to reduce the toxic load in your home, you're likely looking at your cleaning products - one of the easiest things to adjust with the amount of chemical-free options on the market.
The main issue is, of course, that a lot of 'natural' cleaning products aren't very effective. It was certainly a qualm for Kiwi mum of three Stephanie Duvander, who recently brought cleaning range 'YOURS' to market.
"I spent years frustrated by supermarket cleaning products that were environmentally friendly but completely ineffective and watered down, they just didn’t cut the mustard," she said.
Her answer? Essential oils.
You may have popped essential oils in your diffuser to make your house smell divine or added some to your relaxing pre-bed routine.
But Duvander says they can also act as super effective cleaners, while the scent gives your mood a boost.
"Instead of inhaling chemicals, you breathe in scents of lemongrass, sweet orange and pine. So you can receive the benefits which include but aren't limited to the promotion of relaxation, the relief of headaches and tensions, and the oils can even act as a natural air deodoriser to kill airborne pathogens like the common cold virus," she says.
The scientific consensus on essential oils is evolving, but there is research that backs up Duvander's claims.
If, like me, you're doubtful that something like lavender can work as well as Jif or Handy Andy in cleaning your home, Duvander says the products have been tested by commercial cleaners.
"The quality is there, we have run road tests with the products including a blind test on our laundry powder against brands that use chemicals and we know that ours removed the dirt
and stains equally as well. The range is also used by commercial cleaners who've been trying and testing the range commercially over the past 18 months," she says.
As for Dunvander's favourite oils?
"My first favourite was definitely lavender, the smell is gorgeous and I love the natural benefits, but now I love all the different oils from Kawakawa, Ylang Ylang, to Bergamot."
She hopes the products might help Kiwis reduce the toxic load in their homes without sacrificing sparkling surfaces.