When it comes to household cleaning products, most of us will choose cleaning products that we think will make our homes shiny and clean, not really thinking about what the products are made up of.
But some of these products may pose health and environmental concerns.
The U.S. Poison Control Centers has shown in the past that cleaning products were responsible for many toxic exposures. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests you look for signal words, such as “caution,” “warning,” “danger,” or “poison,” that are required by law to be put on hazardous products.
Finding ways to reduce or eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in the cleaning products we use is important. Much of our household cleaning can actually be done by using natural ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, castile soap, water, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda.
According to the Household Products Database, from the National Library of Medicine, furniture polishes contain formaldehyde and can cause eye, skin, or respiratory tract infections. Try making your own furniture polish by mixing one teaspoon olive oil and one-half cup vinegar.
Air fresheners may contain tiny fragrance particles that can lodge in your lungs. They also can trigger allergic and asthmatic reactions. Instead of using air freshners, clean your indoor air with outdoor air by opening your windows. Or, place bowls of baking soda around your home to keep it fresh.
Some detergents have fragances in them that contain phthalates, which are chemicals that have been linked to cancer. Other detergents contain alkyphenol ethoxylates, which are suspected hormone disruptors. Certain fragrances in fabric softeners may also contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer. For a healtheir, more natural laundry detergent, clean your laundry with a mix of borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or washing soda.
Use a paste of water and baking soda or washing soda to scrub countertops, sinks and tubs.
Clean windows with a spray bottle mix of water and one cup vinegar.
Disinfect kitchens and bathrooms by applying a mix of water and baking soda, and use warm water and plain soap instead of antibacterial soap.
Using homemade, natural, non-toxic ingredients will lessen our exposure to toxic chemicals which will make our home safer for our families.