Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. And I’m pretty sure you’ve already felt those hazards. For example, how many times have you felt lightheaded or suffered from a headache after you’ve done some light house cleaning even though you follow the directions exactly, you wear gloves, and you open the windows??
Did you know that within 26 seconds of exposure to some of the compounds used in standard cleaning products, they can be found in every organ of the body? Yikes!
What exactly are the harmful ingredients in cleaning products?
A few of these harmful ingredients, which can be lurking in your favorite brand, 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), and many more that can be linked to asthma and additional health issues.
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.
There are safer alternatives, but companies don’t choose to use them.
No one should have to assume that their cleaning products are safe, even when the words “fragrance-free”, “clean and fresh”, “eco”, and “green” are on the label.
The good news is some companies have now started being more transparent with their ingredients due to public pressure. There’s still a lot more work to do, but it’s a very good start.
In the meantime you can make your own cleaning products and not have to worry about second guessing what’s in them.
All you need is 5 basic ingredients.
Use these simple cleaning items to have a healthier (and more pleasant) cleaning experience:
- Baking Soda
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lemon Juice
- 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.
– Soak your produce in 4 parts water to 1 part plain white vinegar in a large bowl for 20 minutes to reduce pesticide residue & bacteria, then thoroughly rinse with water.
Not a do-it-yourselfer? Look for better alternatives to buy using the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning
Cheryl Smith says
I love this post! I just recently started mixing vinegar and Dawn to clean literally everything in our house, and I absolutely love it. i am trying not to buy any more of the other cleaning chemicals. I also started making our own laundry detergent, so at least, I have made a start. I admire you and the way you have completely converted over to living clean and free from chemicals…one day, maybe I will get there!!! LOL! At least, I am taking steps in that direction, right? So thankful for your beautiful blog and all of your wonderful ideas. You make such a positive difference! I also want to thank you for every encouraging comment you leave on my blog. It truly means so much!
Thank you so much Cheryl. Baby steps is all it takes, trust me it took me a while to get to where I am and I am still changing how I do stuff everyday. Thank you for having such an encouraging blog – you make it easy.