Have you ever thought to yourself what’s in your cleaning products? Have you ever wondered why you get headaches or feel ill every time you clean even though you follow the directions exactly, you wear gloves, and you open the windows? No one should assume that their cleaning products are safe even with the words “fragrance-free”, “clean and fresh”, “eco”, and “green” on the label. Many cleaning products use chemicals linked to pregnancy complications, cancer, and asthma and these ingredients could be lurking in your favorite cleaning brand.
What exactly are the harmful ingredients in cleaning products?
A few of these harmful ingredients include phthalates (which can cause hormone disruption and pregnancy complications), toluene (which has been linked to pregnancy complications, birth defects, and developmental delays in children), and 1,4-dioxane (which has been linked to breast cancer). There are safer alternatives, but companies don’t choose to use them. And since cleaning product companies are not required to share all of their ingredients on the label, some of these ingredients will be hidden under a common term like “fragrance”, which is considered a trade secret in the industry, and as a result its contents do not have to be disclosed. Unfortunately, even if the label states “fragrance-free” these chemicals can still be found at harmful levels.
Use these 5 simple items to have a healthier (and more pleasant) cleaning experience:
#1 Baking Soda
#3 Tea Tree Oil
#4 Lemon Juice
#5 Liquid, Castille Soap
– Sprinkle baking soda on bathroom and kitchen tiles – scrub off with a wet sponge
– Sprinkle baking soda around the toilet bowl and bathtub – let it sit for a few minutes then scrub with the toilet brush
– Mix 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water OR just 2 cups of white vinegar into a spray bottle to clean mold and mildew stains
– Mix 1/4 cup liquid castille soap with 1/3 cup water until foamy. Spray onto a carpet stain, then rinse with vinegar.
– Mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid, castille soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil for a disinfectant.
– To fix a clogged drain pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain – follow with 2 cups of boiling, hot water – cover with a bowl, while the bubbly reaction occurs
– Mix equal parts lemon juice to equal parts water to remove grease from your stove and countertops.
– Pour 1 cup of lemon juice or 1 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle to whiten your whites during laundry time.
Not a do-it-yourselfer? Look for better alternatives to buy using the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning