Most of us only know that when we wipe a countertop or wash a few dishes, a few seconds later they turn shiny and clean (except perhaps for that stubborn bit of dried food.) Cleaning with certain household products is actually a more harsh, and physically harmful, process than you might think.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) has a guide to the secrets of the cleaning chemical world. Here’s a bit how it goes: Thousands of children and adults are harmed each year through contact with regular household cleaners. Each time you wash your dishes, cleanser residue containing chlorine is left to eventually consume come next meal. Laundry detergents containing phosphorus, enzymes, ammonia, and phenol can cause rashes, sinus problems, and a collection of other complications.
Then comes furniture polish, oven and toilet cleaner, carpet and upholstery shampoo, and more- all containing potentially harmful chemicals that are often than not, overlooked.
We often use what’s convenient. So those who shop at regular grocery stores, you’d think, choose the chemically-driven supplies due to their availability. But that conventional way of shopping could no longer be a viable excuse.
While the cleaning supply business is one the few industries that consists of shelves stocked with toxic materials, that may be changing due to the increasing amounts of safer, affordable alternatives. Manufacturers like Earth Friendly Products and SimpleGreen offer products marked with the guarantee of environmental responsibility. Some states are even starting to restrict the use of certain cleaning chemicals in dry cleaners and public laundromats.
Is it finally time to ditch the old, familiar cleaners? Research continues to back up this notion. Though for many of us in the past, clean has meant fresh scents of pine or fresh lemon, real clean is far from a scent definition. The actual act of cleaning, may in fact, be what is causing several of experienced health problems.
Put your home in environmental rehab by replacing familiar store brands with a fresh supply safe supplies. Here are 7 basic do-it-yourself cleaning ingredients that are found right on the shelf:
- Baking Soda- It’s multipurpose, cheap, and non-toxic. Provides grit for scrubbing, reacts with lemon or water by fizzing.
- Borax- Disinfects, bleaches, and deodorizes. A laundry-booster as well as multi-purpose cleaner.
- Distilled white vinegar- Breaks up dirt, disinfects. Effective in killing most mold and bacteria.
- Lemon- Cuts grease. Carries a natural disinfectant.
- Olive Oil- Picks up dirt, polishes. Even makes a great facial and skin conditioner.
- Hydrogen Peroxide- Disinfects, bleaches. Can be used to destroy many harmful germs, bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Washing Soda- Stain remover, general cleaner, helps unblock soap (caustic so wear gloves!!)
Everyone – whether or not they’re the ones cleaning in the household – need to learn about healthy living and optimal chemical safety. The health of your family, especially young children, is just one of several reasons to switch from toxic to non-toxic.
Sandra Harris is a writer for all things family-oriented. She also helps seniors findHoustonassistedliving.