6 Reasons to Use Green Cleaning Products for Your Home
There was a time when people wouldn't think twice about using household cleaning products containing toxic ingredients and chemicals to wipe down toilets, kitchen counters and floors throughout their home, to do the laundry, wash dishes and more. If it made things sparkle, shine and smell lemony fresh it was effective, right? Not always. As we've seen, many of those products with unfamiliar chemicals sometimes have negative effects on our health and people have started to seek out more natural cleaning products with ingredients you know like citrus oil, vinegar, beeswax, cleaning salt, coconut oil, baking soda and essential oils like lavender and rosemary. Many of these products are not only better for your health and safe to use around kids and pets, but they're also environmentally friendly.
So if you're still using harmful products, now may be the time to start thinking about making a switch. Below you'll find six reasons to dump your harsh chemical-filled cleaning products (and properly dispose of them in a safe manner ) and start using safer products from brands we love like Mrs. Meyers, Method, Eco Nuts, Molly's Suds, Daddy Van's, Grab Green, Eco-Me, CitraSolv and many others.
Chemicals May be Unregulated
Every time you use a cleaning product, you could be ingesting fumes from the chemicals. Did you know that since World War II, 85,000 new chemicals have entered the mainstream through various products and oftentimes those chemicals aren't approved by the EPA? That's a scary amount of chemicals, but what's even more scary is upwards of 70 percent of typical cleaning products often found in your home contain these harmful agents.
Phthalates, Sodium Hydroxide & Ammonia -- Oh My!
You grew up recognizing products your mom used, so when it came time for you to clean your own home, you instinctively remained brand loyal. But have you looked at the labels of cleaning products under your sink? Oftentimes a label will warn that a product can be harmful to people or pets so that could be a sign to ditch it. Also, experts say the average home has 62 toxic chemicals lurking about you may not even be aware of. Some potentially harmful chemicals you want to watch out for include phtalates (in fragranced products), triclosan (in liquid dishwashing detergent), 2-Butoxyethanol (in multi-purpose cleaners) and even chlorine (in laundry whiteners and toilet bowl cleaners).
Keep Kids Safe(r)
We can't protect our kids from all the evil in the world, but we can limit their access to harmful chemicals. Using natural cleaning products will reduce the chance of an accidental poisoning. In fact, it's shown that household cleaning products rank within the top 5 causes of childhood poisoning cases. So in addition to switching over to green cleaning products, be sure to keep the products stored in child-safe cabinets.
You May Be Poisoning the Water Supply
Various household cleaning agents can contain toxic chemicals like ammonia, phosphorus, alkyphenol ethoxylates and petroleum. So when you wash your clothes, do the dishes and even flush toilet bowl cleaner you may be sending these chemicals back into the water system and nearby rivers, lakes and streams. This could make its way back into your water, but it can also have a negative impact on wildlife and the environment.
Breathe Deep. Breathe Clean.
While they help make your clothes and rooms smell better, some fabric softeners and antibacterial spray cleaners contain quaternary ammonium compounds (a.k.a. quats), like benzalkonium chloride. These agents have been known to contribute to otherwise healthy people getting asthma. In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning about 53 percent of cleaning products they tested contain ingredients that can harm the lungs while 22 percent can cause asthma.
Keep the Air Clean
Many household products, especially sprays and aerosols, can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can have short- and long-term health effects associated with your central nervous system, liver and kidneys. When you use a spray, the chemicals can linger in the air long after the initial mist dissipates. Time to ditch 'em?
- The Daily Green:
What Toxic Chemicals Lurk in Your Household Products?
- Experience Life:
8 Hidden Toxins: What’s Lurking in Your Cleaning Products?
- National Geographic's Green Living:
How Does Household Cleaner Affect the Environment?
- EWG: Guide to Healthy Cleaning
- ABC News:
Household Cleaning Products Still Pose Risk to Kids
Introduction to Indoor Air Quality