Understanding The Cleaning Products You Use - Chemical vs. Natural Cleaners
Chemical-laden cleaning products can cause many immediate health problems, including headaches; dizziness; skin, respiratory and eye irritation; and asthma attacks. Some cleaners also contain known or suspected carcinogens, neurotoxins, reproductive system toxins and hormone disruptors. Many manufacturers claim that in small amounts toxic ingredients aren’t likely to be a problem, the bigger concern is what happens when we are exposed to them in combination, and how they may build up in tissues over time. A major issue lies in the ongoing “toxic load” which can contribute to chronic disease.
Children are specifically vulnerable because of their smaller size, and because their vital organs are still developing, children have a reduced ability to eliminate toxins from their body and are at greater risk of being affected by toxins over the long term.
Some of most toxic household products are drain, oven and toilet-bowl cleaners; chlorinated disinfectants; mildew removers; and wood and metal polishes. Even seemingly simple products, such as dish-detergent, can contain toxic chemicals.
We can all agree, the goal in cleaning our homes is to remove dirt and contaminants, sadly we often end up replacing them with allergens and poisons. Thankfully, there is a myriad of alternatives to toxic commercial cleaning products, effective DIY products and store-bought natural solutions that will leave your home clean, fresh and chemical free.
Read the Labels - They Can Be Tricky!!
Manufacturers aren’t required to disclose all the ingredients in their cleaning products. However, safety labeling in the form of “signal words” is expected of them and required. For example:
- “Danger” or “Poison” indicates that a product can be lethal when ingested in very small quantities.
- Products with “Warning” labels are dangerous but only slightly less.
- Those marked with “Caution” are the least harmful of the three, they are still very often hazardous.
- Avoid cleaners labeled “Corrosive,” “Severely Irritating,” “Highly Flammable” or “Highly Combustible.”
Consider Non-toxic Alternatives
Nontoxic cleaning products are available, and many of these are just as effective as their toxic counterparts. You can either buy ready-made nontoxic cleaners at most grocery stores on of course on Amazon.com or mix your own combinations using household staples.
Here are a few simple DIY substitutions you can try:
- Clean mirrors and windows with newspaper & diluted vinegar.
- Use baking soda, vinegar, and your favorite essential oils to make your own multipurpose cleaner.
- Clean toilet bowls with vinegar.
- Microfiber cleaning with just water and no chemical cleaners, for instance, e-Cloth.
- Soak and wash white clothes with Borax powder.