There has been much buzz over cleaning methods the past few years, so should you go all out green or stick to your good and faithful traditional cleaners? If the toxic odors of traditional cleaners are leaving you less than satisfied, you are in luck! There are great alternatives that we have found that won’t harm your body or your home. Are all of these harsh chemicals in our household cleaning products truly necessary? According to our research maintaining a clean home doesn't require toxin-rich disinfecting cleaners.
Many of your traditional household cleaners contain asthma inducing compounds and some include carcinogenic ingredients. True Green Cleaning products utilize non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning products that contain no disinfectants. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside a typical home is on average 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air just outside – and in extreme cases 100 times more contaminated – largely because of household cleaners and pesticides.
Phosphates can cause the eutrophication of rivers and oceans, which significantly decrease water quality. Because of the minimal regulation involved with cleaning products, many consumers are completely ignorant to what they are truly exposing themselves, their families and the environment to.
A representative of the National Environmental Trust claimed that, "as a general rule, people who are avoiding these very toxic chemicals are going to be healthier,”. Many components of household cleaners are included simply for cleaning power without any thought to their possibility to harm their users.
So when searching for new cleaning products you may ask: Are these products really better for my health? Do they actually work? Are they worth the money? Hopefully we can help solve your cleaning needs!
Tough Stain Removal
Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers have been revolutionary in the homes of those with small children or messy husbands. The magic behind these “erasers” is a material called melamine foam. Simply add a few drops of water, and this melamine foam square will go to work destroying stains that other products can't touch—especially the chemical-free ones.
These erasers are mind blowing with their level of effectiveness given their chemical-free nature. They can be used to fight that impossible to remove bathtub grime, magic marker on your walls, along with grease and paints from a number of surfaces!
Chlorine Free Bleach
Instead of using the hazardous chlorine-filled bleach that can cause serious injuries when used improperly, consider a hydrogen-peroxide-based bleach for your laundry. Hydrogen peroxide can kill both mold and mildew and has sanitizing components to clean counters and cutting boards once you chop your favorite meat. Another bonus is that it also serves as and excellent stain remover. One top-rated brand we found was the Seventh Generation™ Chlorine Free Bleach which lacks those icky fumes, and is a biodegradable, VOC-free formula made without fragrances, dyes or optical brighteners. So stop by your local Whole Foods Market a grab a gallon today.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Your average toilet bowl cleaners contain corrosive ingredients that can cause severe eye, skin and respiratory irritation. Sulfates, another common component in these cleaners, can elicit asthma attacks as well as cause burns. One great alternative is Eco-me Toilet Bowl Cleaner. It's 100% natural and safe because it is made with food grade ingredients. Another great benefit is that it has a fresh lemongrass scent and is cruelty free! The product only contains a handful of ingredients and all of them are natural. It works through using phosphate-free, sodium bicarbonates and essential oils and natural soaps.
18 in 1 Cleaner
If you have made your way to an organic grocery store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, you have likely stumbled across this multi-use magic cleanser wearing a label with over 3,000 words. Emanuel Bronner was a peculiar, German immigrant who escaped Nazi Germany and spent his life making his soap by hand in his California home.
His 18-in-1 Pure Castile Soap can work all sorts of magic, but for this blog we will focus on the household cleansing flexibility of the product. It also comes in an amazing variety of scents—from peppermint to citrus. You can use the soap for hand washing your dishes through diluting the soap 1:10 with water or for laundry. When it domes to household cleaning, use it to cleanse the hood or the inside of your oven, for mopping, cleaning your windows or make your own all-purpose cleaner with 1/4 cup of Dr. Bronner's soap and 1 quart of water in a spray bottle.
Through keeping the company independent while many other common organic small brands gone large have been purchased by much larger companies, Dr. Bronner's has committed to remain independent to maintain a pure and wholesome product that big businesses can’t change.
Carpet & Upholstery
Clean + Green Carpet & Upholstery Cleanser cleans and permanently removes stains and odor from pet urine, feces, or vomit and other organic substances, including red wine. It is made from non-toxic botanicals, is safe for pets, your children and the planet. Not only is it safe, it is powerful and effective and works quickly and without too much elbow grease. So toss those chemical-filled upholstery cleaners that are your go-to in a time of spillage or accidents and make use of this environmentally friendly substitute!
Wood cleansers also tend to be filled with chemicals, but Seventh Generation Strikes again with their biodegradable formula that restores wood's natural glow while it cleans, hydrates and conditions your wood. It also is build up free and leaves behind a lovely fragrance from essential oils of lemon & chamomile. The USDA has given it the stamp of approval as a certified bio-based product and it is also biodegradable and non-toxic! Its main ingredient is a non-yellowing, organic coconut oil that will brighten your kitchen cabinets, and any other wood furniture around the house. Reviews say that is works as easily as the more traditional Pledge alternative with a lighter, more airy fragrance! It can be purchased at Target or online!
All This To Say
With the scarcity of information or research of the over 80,000 chemicals that are commonly used, choosing between traditional and green cleaning products might be an easy decision. Labels that contain Warning! and/or Toxic! may clue you in to the danger of the product you are currently using and may encourage you to pursue a safer cleaning route. So keep your home unsoiled for less money, maintain you and your household’s health, and even save the planet by making a few simple changes.