Are your home cleaning chemicals causing illness?
Do you think you are doing a good thing by cleaning your home and office with those cleaning products “guaranteed to kill germs”? Think again. And the scent, oh my… we will get to that later.
Did you know most cleaning products can release toxins into the air even when they are simply being stored? Yikes. Imagine what they are doing to the quality of your environment when being used!
Cleaning and laundry products are not only some of the worst offenders to indoor air quality; they can cause irritation to the eyes and throat, headaches, asthma, respiratory illness, and more. And after years of exposure there is often a risk of heart disease and even cancer. What’s more, if you currently suffer from any health ailment, you can be sure exposure to toxic cleaning products is not helping you recover.
So when we are talking about “toxic cleaning products,” what does this include? Well, everything you might imagine plus some highly toxic ones you might not think about: detergent and dishwashing liquid, spot cleaners, furniture and floor polish, and oven cleaners.
And did you know dry cleaning chemicals are dangerous too? If you need to dry clean, remove the plastic wrap and let the item(s) off gas in a ventilated location.
Now for the cleaner everyone loves: Bleach. You don’t need a chemistry degree to know that bleach is highly toxic. The irritation in your eyes and nose is usually proof enough.
Need we say more? Yes actually, dryer sheets are one of the worst offenders. They contain numerous chemicals, even a couple on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste List. (Source: http://healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2013/04/healthy-body-7-toxic-reasons-to-ditch-dryer-sheets.html)
Back to fragrance. Generally speaking, if you can smell it, it’s probably toxic. Sadly, there is little to no FDA regulation concerning the ingredients covered under the umbrella term “fragrance” on the label. And might we say, yes, this does include perfumes, body lotions, cosmetics and more.
So What Do We Do?
You can make your own cleaners from natural, healthy ingredients. If you want to do your own thing, believe it or not, old-fashioned soap cleans really well! Vinegar is another great cleaner. You can also use borax, tea tree oil, and a personal favorite (especially for mold) is hydrogen peroxide. Here are two home-made cleaner recipes to get you started:
DIY Laundry Cleaner
DIY Cleaner / Disinfectant
Healthy Cleaning and Laundry Products Offer Alternatives to Toxin-Laden Options
If you don’t want to make your own, the Shaklee Healthy Home Products are what I would recommend. They are so concentrated that a bottle will cost you as little as 2 cents per bottle, and one quart of their Basic G® Germicide will make over 500 bottles of antibacterial cleaner similar to Lysol® and Clorox®. And their Basic H2® will make an all-purpose cleaner, a window cleaner, and a degreaser.