Like most homeowners, you take care to use the right cleaning products for the surfaces in your home. You use glass cleaner on glass, stainless steel cleaner on your stainless steel appliances, and upholstery cleaner on the furniture.
But are these cleaners the best choices for your family’s safety?
In recent years, Americans have become aware of the environmental and health risks associated with many commercial household cleaners. The chemicals and active ingredients in these cleaners that kill germs and molds so well also can have adverse effects on the people and pets in our homes as well as on Mother Nature.
With their newfound knowledge of dangerous cleaners, many households have begun seeking natural cleaning solutions that are environmentally friendly but still effective at cleaning and sanitizing. In turn, manufacturers have responded by creating and selling more nontoxic cleaners to meet the demand.
But many of these products still fall short. This leaves discerning consumers wondering how to know which household cleaners are safe and which ones are dangerous.
Only you can decide if you’re ready to switch to alternative cleaners, but here is the truth about the chemicals you’ve been using all these years and how to find the best safe household cleaners on the market right now.
What Makes Some Household Cleaners Unhealthy?
Many people know that typical household cleaners come with some risks. After all, most have labels warning users against ingestion and splashing into eyes. But surely they aren’t so bad when used correctly, right?
As it turns out, even the correct usage of these cleaners puts you and your family at risk.
Many cleaning supplies contain chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that irritate the eyes, sinuses and throat if inhaled. They can trigger allergic reactions, asthma and headaches. Since many come in spray bottles or create fumes, inhalation is very common.
Caustic cleaners can cause chemical burns to the skin. Many fragrances used in air fresheners and cleaning supplies can react to ozone and create the carcinogen formaldehyde in the air. If bleach and ammonia, popular cleaning ingredients, are accidentally mixed, the dangerous fumes can cause chronic breathing problems or even death.
While proper safety measures can prevent contact during cleaning, do you really want to leave these substances on the surfaces of your home that your family touches every day? Do you want them to come home to air that has those chemical compounds floating in it?
If the answer is no, read on to learn more about how to know which household cleaners are safe and to see a list of alternative products that consumers love.
With a little education, anyone can take steps to clean out their cleaning supply cupboard and replace toxic products with safe household cleaners for their family’s safety and comfort.
How to Know Which Household Cleaners Are Safe
With so many people looking for safe household cleaners, it seems that manufacturers would make it easy to find these products. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
U.S. law does not require manufacturers to list all their ingredients on household cleaners, so it’s impossible to tell what exactly you’re getting. To complicate matters, no one is regulating the use of words like “all-natural” and “green,” rendering them meaningless on bottles. If you’re looking for pet-safe or baby-safe household cleaners, don’t let the cute pictures on the labels fool you.
Instead, consumers have to use their own tricks to sort the good from the bad. When reading household cleaner labels, look for ingredients that are:
- Plant-based, such as castile soap, essential oils and other botanical products.
- Edible, such as baking soda, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and water.
- Mineral-based, such as borax.
- Known to be topically safe, such as hydrogen peroxide.
Avoid cleaners with ingredients that:
- Are known chemical compounds like ammonia, bleach, and formaldehyde.
- Come with warnings with words like “danger” and “caution.”
- Are long, unfamiliar words or sound like synthetic substances.
- Are listed as “fragrance,” which can mean anything.
If you are unsure of a cleaning ingredient, the best way to determine if it’s safe or not is to look it up online. The Environmental Working Group’s website is also a fantastic resource for looking up which household cleaners are safe.
Replace the Chemicals with These Safe Household Cleaners
Now that you know what kind of cleaning ingredients to look for and which to avoid, it will be easier to start stocking your home with safe household cleaners. To make it even easier, we’ve compiled a list of tried and true products to get you started.
All of these products have earned grade A from EWG, meaning they contain nontoxic ingredients but are still effective against household germs and grime:
- Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar Wipes
- Bon Ami Powder Cleanser
- Babyganics Floor Cleaner Concentrate
- Attitude Sensitive Skin Natural Window & Mirror Cleaner
- Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent
- Attitude Sensitive Skin Natural Bathroom Cleaner
- Aunt Fannie’s Bathroom Cleaner Vinegar Wash
- Dapple Baby Laundry Detergent
- Simple Green Naturals Carpet Care
- Babyganics Stain Eraser
- Truce Wood Cleaner
- AspenClean Kitchen Cleaner
Guaranteed Safe Cleaning Every Time
If you clean for your family’s health, pick cleaning products for their health too. Studies are still following the long-term effects of household chemical exposure, but in the meantime, you can reduce your loved ones’ risk of suffering known complaints by buying only safe household cleaners. You’ll rest easier knowing your family is safe from germs and poisons.
Looking for an easy way to enjoy green cleaning in your home? Save time and worry with the expert housecleaning services of Cimara Cleaning Services. Our green cleaning solutions eliminate dirt and bacteria from your Chevy Chase area home without leaving toxic fumes and residues behind.
We come highly rated by our clients, who love our dependability, affordability and convenience. Our staff is friendly and professionally trained to handle every cleaning challenge. Your home will never look or feel fresher than after we’re through with it.
For safe cleaning without the hassle, request an online estimate today, and let us know how we can make your life easier.