Create an eco-friendly home by switching to eco-friendly, organic and natural cleaning products which can be easily made at home.
Regular cleaning of the house with the store-bought cleaners containing many toxic and harmful chemicals might irritate even the most tough skin. However people with more sensitive skin are at an even bigger risk and can experience severe allergic reactions due to the chemicals present in the cleaners. Swelling, itchiness, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing and appearance of red areas on the skin, are only a part of the various unpleasant effects on your health. According to Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy cleaning, about 53% of the cleaning products contain ingredients that can harm the lungs while 22% can cause asthma. Who knew, simple tasks like wiping toilets, kitchen counters and floors could pose such serious health hazards?
Specific ingredients to watch out for in your cleaners and their harmful effects are-
- Alkylphenol ethoxylates– A synthetic surfactant, this chemical is an endocrine disrupter that interferes with or blocks hormones. They are banned in Europe
- 2-butoxyethanol– This solvent can damage red blood cells and cause eye irritation.
- Methoxydiglycol– Found in floor cleaners, this is another product banned in Europe and can cause birth defects.
- Dyethylene Glycol– Found in window cleaners and anti-freeze and is highly toxic to humans and pets. It’s been shown to create kidney and liver toxicity levels in rats (lab experiments) with prolonged exposure and inhalation.
- Silica– Used often in abrasive cleaners, this quartz dust is carcinogenic (causes cancer) when inhaled.
If you are still using the regular toxic cleaners, now may be a good time to start thinking about making a switch to natural home cleaning products. Apart from being great for your health, safe to use with kids and pets, they are also environmentally friendly. Apart from being equally effective, these cleaners also use essential oils, which smell great and have aroma therapeutic properties. The best part- they cost pennies!
Below are a few options of natural home cleaning products for a healthy and safe family:
Eco-friendly homemade detergent for the laundry
Harmful effects: Some laundry detergents and fabric softeners claim to be safe for sensitive skin. However, if you check their ingredients, you will notice ‘surfactants’ as a common ingredient in them. Apart from this, they also contain other hazardous ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, 1,4-dioxane, Nonylphenol Ethoxylate and phosphates. These ingredients are extremely poisonous and can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, endocrine system disruption and cancer. If your skin is itchy and prone to rashes after putting on a washed cloth, its time to cease the detergent use immediately.
Natural alternative cleaner: You can avoid all of this by making your own cleaning product for the laundry, mixing together washing and baking soda, baby shampoo, little white vinegar and some kind of essential oil. The final blend will gently wash your clothes and will protect your sensitive skin.
Non-toxic & natural homemade products for all types of cleaning
Harmful effects: Most of the cleaning supplies you buy for disinfecting your kitchen, bathroom are even worse than laundry detergents. In order to tackle extremely persistent stains and dirt from different surfaces and fabrics, the companies load them with toxic solvents that can cause respiratory problems, allergic reactions and are extremely poisonous if ingested. Not safe to have if you have kids or pets at home.
Natural alternative cleaner: To ensure the safety and good health for your family, its best to shift to natural home cleaning products. Baking soda is perfect for dried stains and other stubborn spots in the kitchen. Mix it with some vinegar to get foam, which can also be used for cleaning refrigerator and dishes. It works as an awesome disinfectant. A cup of vinegar mixed with water and frozen in an ice cube trade is the ideal solution for the cleansing of the garbage disposal. Hydrogen Peroxide is a safer alternative to bleach and doesn’t stink. It kills germs and is also great for cleaning molds in your shower. Add some essential oils to your cleaning mixture. Apart from having a great fragrance, they also have germ fighting, anti fungal and antibacterial properties.
Make cleaning your home an efficient, healthy and eco-friendly activity by using these natural cleaning products.
Are you still curious about the toxicity rating of your cleaners? Check out this website which can rank any product and give its safety rating.
From the author’s desk: Pheebs recommends using the best eco and steam cleaning methods for your home.