While we all want to keep our homes as clean as possible, there is no avoiding the fact that many cleaning products are harmful to both ourselves and the environment. Regular use of some cleaning products can contribute to an increased susceptibility to breathing issues like asthma and some cancers. That’s obviously something that we all want to avoid, especially when we have children in our home, but how can we keep ourselves safe while still maintaining a clean household?
I’m here with this blog to give you a few tips and tricks that should help you to protect yourself while still achieving that squeaky-clean home that you’re used to.
Check the Ingredients
Your first line of defence is to check the ingredients of any cleaning products that you are using. Products that are high in chlorine-based chemicals like bleach should be avoided, as well as any products that contain “fragrance”. “Fragrance” is usually a backdoor way that companies can get away with including chemical without disclosing them fully on the ingredients list, so it is best to avoid them entirely.
Unfortunately, there are a number of ways that companies can hide or downplay the different chemicals on the ingredients list, and it is entirely likely that you might not be able to recognise what is and isn’t dangerous at a glance. Luckily there are a number of organisations that provide data and rank how dangerous individual products are, like the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
Research “Natural” Products
As you might have gathered from the use of quotation marks, “natural” products aren’t necessarily the paragons of mother nature’s goodness that you think they might be. “Natural” products can often contain chemicals that are naturally occurring but still dangerous, and the “natural” label might, in fact, come with a small disclaimer somewhere on the bottle explaining that it contains 5% natural ingredients so that still counts.
To stop yourself from being duped, make sure that you treat “natural” products with the same care as any other cleaning product and do some research into just how safe it really is.
Use Traditional Tricks
One of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid using dangerous cleaning products is to stick to traditional cleaning tricks. Things like baking soda for scouring, distilled white vinegar as a general-purpose cleaner, lemon juice for grease and the heavy duty caustic washing soda for deep stains (make sure you wear gloves with this!). These are all very effective cleaners that will perform the same function as bottled cleaning products, but without putting your health and the environment at risk – what’s not to love about that?