Did you know that over 50% of commercial cleaners have ingredients that are harmful to the lungs? Not only that but also 1/5 of them had substances that can trigger asthma. These products are harmful, not only to our health but also to the environment. The plastic used for packaging commercial cleaners is also an offender.
Most of us are aware that commercial cleaning products are not good for our health. However, we still choose to use them, despite what the warning labels say. It’s time to learn how to make homemade cleaners and ditch the toxic products for good.
Most Dangerous Ingredients Found in Commercial Cleaning Products
Formaldehyde can be used as either a preservative or a disinfectant. It is known to be a human carcinogen. In 2015, it was voted as the “Allergen of the Year”.
“Quats” or quaternary ammonium compounds have a variety of uses. They are used as disinfectants, sanitizers, fabric softeners, and even as personal care products. However, they have known triggers for asthma, even in healthy individuals.
Dioxane is found in many commercial detergents. It is a known carcinogen for animals, and possibly to humans too. Nonetheless, it is a confirmed irritant and should be avoided.
Bleach is a name used for many products. Usually, they are used for whitening clothes and removing stains. Bleach has properties that kill bacteria, so it is useful as a disinfectant. However, it contains chlorine, a toxic gas. Exposure to chlorine is linked to cancer, respiratory issues, and neurological effects.
Ammonia solutions are used as cleaners, usually for glass. It is harmful to your eyes and can irritate your skin. While it might seem safe to use, it is classified as an extremely hazardous substance.
Note: Ammonia should never be mixed with bleach, as the compound forms chlorine gas. The gas is highly toxic and the exposure to it can lead to nausea, vomiting and even a coma.
Fragrances, also known as aroma compounds or odorants, are common ingredients that contain a lot of different compounds. They are found in food, perfumes, essential oils, and most cleaning products.
The ingredients for most fragrances are not listed on the products, which is the reason why they can be so dangerous. Fragrances were voted as the “Allergen of the Year” in 2007.
While these are the most common toxic cleaning products, there is no reason to believe that there aren’t many, many more whose hazardous properties haven’t been discovered yet. As a result, your safest bet is to make your own, natural cleaners.
On the other hand, if making your own cleaning products does not spike your interest, you’re in luck! People are becoming more and more aware of the dangerous properties of commercial cleaners. As a result, the demand for toxic-free cleaning supplies is on the rise.
Many of the largest cities in the world, including London, have eco-friendly house cleaning companies. These companies use products that are completely safe not only for your health but also for the environment.
However, as great as that sounds, there simply aren’t enough eco-friendly cleaning companies, particularly in smaller areas. In that case, the best thing you can do is make your own natural cleaners.
Home-Made Eco-Friendly Alternatives
There are plenty of inexpensive, common and versatile things you can use for cleanings, such as lemons, baking soda, vinegar, and corn starch. The combinations of these and a few more items result in cheap, safe, and eco-friendly cleaning products that can be used as:
- All-purpose cleaners
For an all-purpose cleaner, all you need is vinegar, baking soda, and water.
Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar into 2 liters of water. That’s it! You can use the mixture to clean windows, mirrors, or the shower glass.
- Air fresheners
Have you noticed that commercial air refreshers mask the smell but don’t get rid of it? A mixture of baking soda (or vinegar) absorbs and removes the odor entirely.
- Carpet stain removers
To remove a stain from a carpet, you will need baking soda, white vinegar, and water.
Mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and baking soda in a spray bottle. Cover the stain with baking soda, then thoroughly spray the stain. Let the mixture sit for a few hours, then scrub it with a nylon brush. Leave the carpet overnight to dry and you’re done! Vacuum the carpet and it should look as good as new.
- Deep cleaners for your toilet
Cleaning the toilet usually uses the harshest chemicals. By using this mixture, you can avoid the toxicity entirely. Yet again, you will need baking soda, white vinegar with the addition of tea tree oil.
The process is quite simple. Mix one cup of vinegar with half a teaspoon of oil and spray the mixture on the lid, seat and in the bowl. The next step is to sprinkle half a cup of baking soda on the around the bowl and scrub it with a toilet brush. Lastly, wipe the vinegar solution with a cloth.
- Grease remover
Did grease stick on your pots and pans after cooking? No worries! The following solution will take care of that for you.
Fill the pots with hot water and place a dryer sheet in them. Let them sit overnight and scrape them with a hard spatula. If the stains are too hard to remove this way, spray the pots with baking soda and try again.
Make the Switch
While it might not seem like it, switching toxic commercial cleaners for natural mixtures is one of the best things you can do for your health and for the environment. This way, you are helping yourself, your pets, your family and the Earth itself.
The ingredients for homemade products are cheap, available and completely safe! Not only that, but they are also very effective at cleaning. There are no downsides to switching, so give it a try!