How to Clean Your House With Safe, Natural Ingredients
When most people clean their house, they’re actually doing more harm than good. While they may be killing off bacteria and germs, they’re actually exposing their families to harmful chemicals and toxins in the process. But thankfully, there are ways to clean without exposing your family to undue harm. It all depends on the ingredients you use and how you use them.
The Danger of Consumer Cleaning Products
For the most part, people assume that cleaning products are safe to use. It’s obvious that you don’t want to directly inhale or consume a bottle of all-purpose cleaner, however, it also doesn’t seem like a huge threat.
“Many of us have developed a positive association with the scents everyday household cleaning products leave behind, especially if this is the way our parents cleaned,” Hyperbiotics explains. “But the scary truth is that breathing in these chemicals year after year might make it a lot more difficult to breathe at all.”
Hyperbiotics points to a groundbreaking 20-year study of 6,000 people that shows a clear and decisive link between toxic cleaning products and the risk of developing lung issues. In particular, women who worked as professional cleaners – i.e. those with the chronic exposure – had as much lung damage as what would be expected in someone smoking 20 cigarettes a day!
It’s not just respiratory issues that we have to worry about, either. Different cleaning chemicals with antimicrobial properties – like triclosan and triclocarban – can be absorbed through the skin and upset your very delicate microbial balance.
“Triclosan and triclocarban turn up in human blood, mucus, and even breast milk—and they’re so prevalent that it’s estimated the odds are about 40% that they are in your body, too,” Hyperbiotics mentions. “The fact that these dangerous ingredients get into breast milk is particularly disturbing: one study found that the gut microbiomes of both nursing moms and babies were affected by Triclosan exposure, driving home how important it is to protect our guts by being mindful not only of what goes into our mouths, but also what we interact with in our environment.”
It doesn’t stop there, either. While consumer cleaning products are often vague about what actually goes into their products, research shows that many of the most popular products on supermarket shelves include toxic ingredients like perchloroethylene, quarternary ammonium compounds (QUATS), 2-butoxyethanol, ammonia, chlorine, and sodium hydroxide.
Ingredients That Are Safe to Use
Thankfully, you aren’t restricted to buying unhealthy and dangerous cleaning products. If you search carefully enough, you can find cleaning products that are made from all-natural ingredients. However, the even smarter approach is to make your own cleaning products using household ingredients. It’s cheaper and you’ll never have to worry about whether or not you’re exposing your family to dangerous chemicals and toxins.
Here’s a list of safe and effective ingredients:
- Baking soda. Every homeowner needs some baking soda around. It’s extremely versatile and inexpensive. You can combine it with different ingredients to create cleaning pastes.
- White vinegar. Another versatile and inexpensive ingredient, white vinegar is a nontoxic disinfecting agent that can be used virtually anywhere.
- Dish soap. There’s nothing fancy about liquid dish soap, but it’s great to have around. And since just one or two drops suffices in most cases, it’ll last you months.
- Salt. Salt not only helps clean, but the coarse texture also makes it good for scrubbing. Again, this is another inexpensive item to have on hand.
- Lemon Juice. Due to its low pH and antibacterial properties, lemon juice is one of the best natural cleaners available. It also smells good, which is a big bonus!
How to Use Safe Cleaning Ingredients
Now that you have an abbreviated list of some safe and effective cleaning products, here are some examples of how they can be used:
- Carpet stains. “Wipe over the stain with a mixture consisting of one part vinegar and two parts water,” Carpet Bright UK suggests. “Cover the whole mark with a wet cloth, and then run a hot iron over it for 30 seconds. Repeat the process if the stain is stubborn and doesn’t come out at your first attempt.” You can also try rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka, which has a way of lifting stains without discoloring the surrounding area.
- Dirty sink. To clean a dirty stainless steel sink, fill it with hot water and add a cup of vinegar. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before draining. Next, mix baking soda and water to make a thin paste. Use a soft sponge to scrub the sink with the solution. Finally, place a small amount of olive oil on a soft rag and run the sink down.
- Toilets. For toilets, all you need is a spray bottle filled with vinegar. Spray it into the toilet bowl and use a standard toilet brush to clean.
There are literally hundreds of different ways to use various natural ingredients to keep your home clean. Do some research and you’ll discover that you no longer need those dangerous consumer cleaning products that you used to rely on.