What’s lurking in your cleaning products?
You buy the product off the shelf. You spray the product on your counters or cabinets and see that the surface looks clean. You’re happy with what it looks like, so you don’t give it a second thought. Unfortunately, you could be putting yourself and your family in danger. There are several very toxic chemicals in most cleaning agents today and unfortunately, there is no national safety standard for cleaning products and they don’t have to be human-safety tested before being sold. Here are some of the most commonly used chemicals in commercially sold cleaning products.
- Phthalates – Found in detergents, adhesives, lubricants, perfumes, soaps and shampoos. Considered to be a carcinogen and has been linked to reproductive issues in humans.
- Triclosan – Found in most products claiming to be anti-bacterial. Currently considered a “public health risk” and there is now evidence that it may cause certain cancers.
- 2-Butoxyethanol – Found in aerosols, foam cleaners, detergents and de-greasers. Linked to anemia, kidney damage, liver damage, and has been linked to issues with the reproductive system.
- Chlorine – found in bathroom and laundry cleaners. Chlorine is well known for being dangerous to the respiratory tract. Can cause asthma, lung irritation, scarring in the lungs or respiratory system and damage to the esophagus.
Luckily, there are several much better options. And not only are these options cheaper, they are also just as, if not more, effective than what you can purchase at the store. And the fact is you probably already have most of the ingredients in your house already.
Mix 1 part water to 1 part white vinegar. That’s it! If you want a better smelling option, you can add a few drops of lemon, orange, mint or grapefruit essential oil. Or, if you have some orange peels, soak them in your vinegar for a week to get orange-infused vinegar.
Don’t worry – the vinegar smell can be a little overwhelming as you spray, but it usually dissipates rather quickly.
If you need an anti-bacterial option, clean with the vinegar option first and finish with a spray or two of hydrogen peroxide.
Use ½ cup baking soda mixed with just enough water to make a paste. Add in a few essential oils, such as tea tree oil, cinnamon, wintergreen or lavender to help the bathroom smell better and to help kill bacteria and germs.
If you have a super greasy spot to clean up, switch to the washing soda (often called the baking soda on steroids) and let soak for an hour or so before wiping up.
Air freshening spray
Fill a spray jar with distilled water. Add in 50-80 drops of essential oils, such as lavender, rosemary, chamomile, ylang-ylang, sweet orange, cinnamon, or your favorite scent. Spray around the room.
Wood Furniture Polish
Mix one part vinegar to three parts olive oil. Use a soft cloth to lightly wipe over furniture. Don’t use this on wood floors as it might make the floors too slippery.
 Safety data retrieved from public warnings available at http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/