How Your Cleaning Products Are Affecting Your Home

A clean home is a happy home, unless you’re cleaning with chemicals that is. We all love that fresh feeling when we clean our home, but when your cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals they might be affecting your home and your family’s health. There are potentially dangerous chemicals in every room of your house and they can be threatening to children and pets. Let’s name a few:

Laundry Detergent

Even though laundry detergents sound harmless, you might be using a detergent that contains formaldehyde, which is a chemical that is used to preserve dead bodies in forensics. This chemical can cause problems with breathing and it’s a class B1 carcinogen. Not exactly worth it, right? But there's pleanty of other chemicals in detergent that can cause more harm than good. Try switching to a natural laundry detergent that is non toxic and you won’t have to worry about these dangerous chemicals in your clothes at all.

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Bleach

You might have heard that bleach is concentrated chemical that brightens your clothing and disinfects your home, which is why a lot of homes have a bottle in your cleaning stash. Totally harmless right? Because of it’s fumes, bleach is a toxic chemical that can cause skin, throat and eye irritation. Be careful when mixing it with other cleaners that contain ammonia, this can produce serious gases that are extremely poisonous. A great alternative for disinfecting can be white distilled vinegar. It’s great against e.coli, salmonella and viruses like the flu. Vinegar will be your best when it comes to a natural disinfectant.

Mold and Mildew Remover

Have you ever sprayed this cleaner in your bathroom and had to walk out to take a breather? The fungicide chemicals found in mold and mildew removers are known to cause respiratory problems. To avoid this, tea tree oil can be a great natural alternative. To remove mold, just mix two tablespoons with two cups of water to a spray bottle and you’re ready to clean.

Window Glass Cleaner

This cleaner is a common one in households and one of it’s ingredients is ammonia. This chemical is highly irritating to the throat, nose and eyes. The more you can avoid irritating ingredients the safer your house will be. An awesome natural DIY alternative is mixing vinegar with water in a spray bottle and your good to go. Having a big bottle of white destilled vinegar in your home will help you with a lot of your chores and help you save money since it's used in a variety of natural ways.

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Antibacterial cleaners

These types of soaps and cleaners are actually quite misleading. By the name you would think that antibacterial is best at removing harmful bacteria from surfaces and our hands, but they're actually not much more efficient than regular cleaners (or soap). In fact, antibacterial soap can create antibiotic-resistant bacteria, making the actual antibacterial soap ineffective. Don't be afraid to stick with tradictional soap, it's cleans your home and hands just as well.

When it comes to cleaning your home there’s a lot to take into consideration and there is always going to be something we can improve on. Don’t feel overwhelmed and replace everything right away, try doing small steps that contribute to a healthier home. Natural cleaners are different than conventional ones and you can actually DIY plenty of cleaners for your home. Feel free to experiment and try out a few.



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* Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation