With television ads constantly bombarding us about the virtues of traditional cleaning products it’s no wonder we all bought into the idea that unless we used products containing bleach and ammonia for wiping down kitchen countertops, to clean our toilets and floors, and even in our laundry, we would be living in an unsanitary, unhealthy home. We went along with what we were told and if our dishes, pots and pans got sparkly clean and our windows shined, we thought we were doing everything right. Wrong!
Cleaning with products containing unfamiliar toxic chemicals, which many household products have, can detrimentally affect our health and the health of our families, especially young children. Informed consumers have started seeking healthier alternatives. These cleaning products are usually more natural, containing familiar ingredients like vinegar, cleaning salt, citrus oil, baking soda, coconut oil and certain essential oils like rosemary and lavender. Natural products are better for our health and perfectly safe to use in a home with children and pets. Chemical-free non-toxic cleaning products are also environmentally friendly, something we all should be concerned about.
If you’re one of those who are still cleaning with the traditional products that have proven to be harmful, you may now be ready to think about switching over to healthier, more natural alternatives. Below I have listed half a dozen reasons to get rid of your toxic cleaning products by safely disposing of them, and to begin using products that are a lot safer for you and your family. There are many brands we can recommend like CitraSolv, Daddy Van’s, Eco-Me, Eco Nuts, Grab Green, Method, Molly’s Suds, Mrs. Meyers, The Laundress and more.
Protect Your Children & Pets – There’s no foolproof method of protecting our kids and pets from all the dangers in life, but we can certainly keep them away from toxic chemicals that can be harmful to them. By using cleaning products made from natural ingredients we can lower the risks of a child or pet being accidentally poisoned. Studies have shown that among the top causes of children being poisoned, household cleaning products are among the top 5. We recommend safely tossing the old and embarking on a lifestyle that includes using green non-toxic and safer cleaning products in your home. Even these products need to be safely stored in childproof cabinets.
The Air in Your Home Should be Chemical-free – Many aerosols and spray cleaning products contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These can detrimentally affect the health and functioning of the kidneys, liver and central nervous system, causing both short-term as well as long-term damage. When you spray a cleaning product into the air it can linger there for a good long time after its initial mist disappears.
Do Not Contaminate The Air You’re Breathing – Antibacterial sprays and certain fabric softeners may help your home and clothes smell better, but they often contain toxic ingredients known as “quats” (quaternary ammonium compounds). One example of this is benzalkonium chloride, which has been shown to be a contributing factor in healthy people coming down with asthma. According to the Guide to Healthy Cleaning, published by the Environmental Working Group, 53% of the household cleaning products that were tested were found to contain ingredients harmful to the lungs and 22% of these ingredients can actually cause asthma.
Ammonia, Chlorine & Phthalates – We all probably grew up in a home full of name brand cleaning products that our mom always used. When we became adults, we just naturally stuck with the same brands out of loyalty and familiarity. But the laws these days require that labels list all the ingredients, so have you been reading the labels of the products you’re using? Put your reading glasses on and you will often see warnings that a certain product may be harmful to humans or pets. This is a red flag and it may be time to just get rid of it.
Environmental and health experts estimate that the average home may be harboring up to 62 different toxic chemicals in cleaning products stored under kitchen sinks. Some of the most harmful of these include triclosan (commonly found in dishwashing detergent), phthalates (fragrance additive), chlorine (in toilet cleaners and laundry whiteners), and 2-Butoxyethanol (common ingredient in multi-purpose cleaning products).
Unregulated Chemicals – Whenever you pour or spray a cleaning product, you can’t help but breathe in the fumes emanating from the chemicals. The truth is that in the past 70 years approximately 85,000 totally new chemicals have been developed and entered mainstream life through various cleaning products. Very often these new chemicals have never received approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Studies show that up to 70% of the typical household cleaning products on the market today contain these toxic and harmful chemicals.
Avoid Poisoning Your Water Supply – Many household cleaners contain toxic chemicals like phosphorus, petroleum, and ammonia as well as alkyphenol ethoxylates. When you do your laundry, wash the dishes, and flush the toilet after cleaning it these toxic chemicals are being rinsed down into the drains and pipes that lead to nearby streams, lakes and rivers. The water system is being poisoned. The contaminated water could somehow get into your drinking water and it is certainly having a negative affect on the environment and the fish and wildlife whose lives depend on it.
Why risk your family’s health and that of the environment by continuing to use cleaning products containing toxic chemicals? Isn’t it time to make a change and start using green non-toxic household cleaning products?