The EPA has warned that the indoor air quality in many American homes is two to five times worse than it is outside—and toxic cleaning products are one of the main causes. We may assume they are safe, but in fact, they contain a host of hidden products, including phthalates, which are contained in most household products with fragrances (such as dishwashing soap and toilet paper). Phthalates are linked to a host of health problems, including asthma, breast cancer, obesity, and male fertility issues. They are also related to behavioral issues. Of course, phthalates are just one ingredient found in cleaning products. There are many more to be wary of. All of them are good reasons why you should consider toxin-free cleaning green products.
Ingredients to Watch Out For
In addition to phthalates, cleaning products often contain ingredients like perchloroethylene (found in carpet and upholstery cleaners and known to be a neurotoxin); triclosan (found in hand soaps and dishwashing ingredients and linked to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria); and ammonia (found in polishing agents and known to be an irritant for people with lung issues and asthma). The truth is that there are so many ingredients to watch out for that switching to eco friendly cleaning products is a great way to keep your home clean while knowing that the products you use have a short, easily identifiable ingredients list.
When Water is All You Need
Switching to green cleaning products can also cut down significantly on the amount you spend on other household products. A good steam vacuum cleaner may set you back a couple of hundred dollars but it will be a big saver in the long term. Powerful machines can clean various areas of the home effectively, removing grease and killing bacteria and bedbugs. If you have pets, look for a steam vacuum that contains apparatuses that are specifically created to pick up hair effectively. To add a pleasant fragrance to your home, use scented products made or recommended by the manufacturer of your appliance. Ensure these products are fragranced with natural products rather than synthetic ones.
Making Your Own Cleaning Products
One of the best things about switching to eco-friendly cleaning is that you can finally personalize your cleaning products to your needs. If you love essential oils, for instance, you can use your favorite bottles in your DIY surface and grease cleaners. To make an easy surface cleaner yourself, use a solution containing one cup of white vinegar, one cup of water, lemon rind, rosemary springs, and a few drops of your chosen oil. To remove grease, make a paste comprising three tablespoons of baking soda and two teaspoons of water in a bowl. Add a few drops of bergamot, lemon, or orange essential oil and spread over the surface. Spray over with a little vinegar for easier cleaning.
Of the many reasons why you should try green cleaning, health is arguably the most important. Numerous studies have shown that many of the ingredients we presume are safe are actually linked to health issues ranging from allergies to infertility. Going green has additional benefits though. It can reduce your monthly expenses on cleaning products and enable you to experiment with DIY items.