Modern day cleaning products are a major health hazard. Most people don’t realise this. We’re so sold on the belief that germs are bad for us, germs are what make us sick. Did you know, that if your immune system didn’t have to deal with germs on a regular basis, you could fall and scrape your knee and die from that tiny scrape wound? All because your immune system hasn’t been exercised properly by dealing with some germs now and then!
Any conventional cleaning products that you use to kill the germs in your home will contain toxic substances and they leave a film of very unhealthy chemicals on the surface where you use them. In my opinion, these chemicals are even worse for your health and wellbeing than the germs you were getting rid of to begin with!
Imagine you’re using Pino Cleen to wipe down your kitchen bench. Next thing you make your kids’ lunch sandwiches on that same surface you just wiped. Guess where the chemicals from the Pino Cleen end up? Yup, that’s right, in the sandwich. So commercial cleaning products really make no sense, at least not to me.
Add to that the fact that cleaning products are not governed by any regulatory body at all, and manufacturers do not need to disclose their contents (Benis 2009). This means that by using conventional cleaning products at home you can be spreading an unknown number of health hazardous chemicals in your indoor environment, and you don’t even know what they are or what effect they may have on you. If you don’t know what’s in each separate product, there is no way of telling the compounded effect of these products used in your home. You could be mixing up a cocktail of unhealthiness in the effort of “cleaning”.
One of the most common house hold cleaners used in Australia today is bleach. According to Bijlsma (2010) bleach gives off toxic fumes which irritate the eyes, lungs, nose, throat and skin and may even cause burns and death. She continues to explain that when mixed with acidic cleaning products bleach may form chloramine gas which is lethal. I would recommend everyone to avoid using bleach at all costs due to this.
And it doesn’t stop there. As I mentioned, most (if not all) conventional cleaning products contain toxic substances. Some of these substances can leach through the container in which the product is stored and contaminate the indoor air, even if the container is stored in a cupboard (Benis 2009). So you don’t even have to actively use these products for them to be able to get into your indoor air and pollute your home environment. You only need to have them in a cupboard.
So what can you do? Luckily, there are some great, healthy and environmentally friendly alternatives to use for cleaning your home. The below is all I use in my home, and it works a treat. It’s sparkling clean, smells fresh (not that chemical smell from the perfumes in the conventional stuff) and healthy!
1. Microfiber cloths
Use damp for dusting. Keep separate ones for toilet and kitchen. Rinse in hot water after every use.
2. White vinegar
For decalcification and cleaning of toilet bowl. Mix with Baking Soda for cleaning of drains, add to hot water to clean hard floors. Can also be used as rinse aid in your dishwasher. Ensure you only use naturally fermented white vinegar as cheap imitation vinegar made from acetic acid is not effective. White vinegar will also kill mould.
3. Baking Soda or Bicarbonate of Soda
For stains, to clean toilet bowl, to shine up appliances.
Use for carpet cleaning, to make your own dishwashing powder, with hot water to clean hard floors.
5. Eucalyptus oil
Smells great and is a disinfectant and antiseptic too. Great for cleaning the bathroom and hard floor surfaces.
So there you have it. No need to use those nasty chemicals in your home any more. There are alternatives that are better for you, your family and the environment.
Please feel free to share what you use to clean green at home. I’d love to know!
Happy Feng Shui Friday,
Benis, K. 2009, Air Pollution – Cleaning Products, (DVD), Australian College of Environmental Studies, Melbourne.
Bijlsma, N. 2010, Healthy Home Healthy Family, Joshua Books, Buddina Australia