Healthy Home Cleaning

Sometimes all your home needs is a deep and thorough house cleaning because it’s been so long since the last proper one but household cleaners have a ton of chemicals in them. So today I wanted to talk about healthy home cleaning. If you don’t want to clean your home by yourself then you could always get someone else to do it for you. For example, I understand how hard it is to clean the outside of your windows and that’s a task that you should probably give to window cleaning people. But I do think that besides that you can easily clean the inside of your house by yourself.

I for one do not like to clean but I like living in a clean home. Cleaning is necessary to maintain a healthy environment but cleaning products should not to expose you to harmful ingredients. Have you ever coughed while cleaning? This is no surprise. Healthy home cleaning is important for your health.

The problem often is though, that cleaning can be a difficult task. Luckily, Home Automation has improved significantly over recent years, and acts almost as an aid to help you control the home easier without worrying about things like turning the lights on/off.

Let’s review some facts and see why healthy home cleaning is important

  • We know that the fumes from some of the cleaning product ingredients can trigger asthma attacks and cause headaches. In addition, some cleaners can burn and irritate the skin. You know I am all for healthy skin. Healthy skin means avoiding harsh ingredients.
  • Studies have shown that children born to women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant have an elevated risk of birth defects 
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for overseeing household cleaning products. They have focused on child-safe packaging more so than banning products that have been shown to be harmful.
  • Research suggests that exposure to cleaning products or air fresheners that contain a certain volatile organic compound (VOC) also called 1,4 dicholorobenzene (1,4 DCB) can reduce lung function by 4 percent. It is always important to open windows and doors while cleaning, consider changing to safe cleaning products.

Healthy home cleaning ingredient concerns.

Perchloroethylene  has been shown to affect our nervous system, it is considered a neurotoxin. It is found in carpet and upholstery cleaners. According to the NYC Environmental Protection Agency there are,  “detailed requirements for when and how perc dry cleaning machines shall operate. The proposed amendments prohibit new dry cleaning machines from operating in residential buildings. In addition, existing dry cleaning operations shall stop cleaning with perc or move to non-residential buildings by 2020.” Consider using liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) which can be an alternative.

2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol is a preservative which can potentially release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

1,4 dioxane  is listed as a probable carcinogen.

Boric acid may have detrimental effects on the reproductive system. The European Union considers it toxic to human reproductive systems.

Diethylene glycol monomethyl ether also known as DEGME or methoxydiglycol is also considered toxic to human reproductive systems.

Triclosan is an antibacterial agent. It is used in some toothpastes and hand cleaners. Antibacterial hand cleaners have not been shown to provide better outcomes and there is a risk of developing antibiotic resistance. Triclosan has also made its way into our waterways where it can harm wildlife.

Phosphate and APE have also been shown to contaminate our waterways.

2-Butoxyethanol is another household cleaner ingredient with health concerns, it can irritate the lungs.

Lye  can be found in oven cleaners. Fortunately, a lot of ovens on the market today are self cleaning. You may still have to use an oven cleaner if you have an older model. It can be harmful to your eyes, skin and lungs.

Ammonia  is an irritant when it is inhaled, it can lead to lung damage which includes asthma and bronchitis.

Bleach is an irritant to the lungs, it can also damage our skin.

Some of the byproducts that are formed from these ingredients may release formaldehyde. This is especially true of pine and citrus smelling cleaners that are made with synthetic components.

Drain cleaners usually contain harmful ingredients.Corrosive chemicals can cause severe burns on the skin and if ingested can lead to esophagus injury.

Other household products such as fabric softeners have concerns as well. Some fabric softeners contain quaternary ammonium compounds  which are thought to increase the risk of asthma and skin allergies.

Healthy home cleaning made simple

  • healthy home cleaningAvoid cleaners that have danger warnings on them.

Healthy home cleaning products should have ingredients you can pronounce.

Use natural oils to polish the furniture rather than furniture polishes.

Make your own cleaning products, there are some recipes down below.

  • If you are using harsh chemicals dilute them with water. The lower concentration poses a potentially lesser risk of unwanted exposure.
  • Always wear a mask and rubber gloves when cleaning to avoid injury to your skin and lungs.
  • Ensure the area is well ventilated  to allow for sufficient airflow.
  • Never mix chlorine bleach with any other household cleaners.

Healthy home cleaning and labeling

Many household cleaners contain fragrances. Labeling of fragrances is different than other ingredients. The actual fragrance does not have to be listed even though they may contain ingredients such as phthalates which can be harmful. The FDA‘s website lists the  “Fair Packaging Labeling Act”. This law protects the manufacturers. The manufacturer cannot be forced to share their “trade secrets.” Fragrance and flavor formulas are complex mixtures of many different natural and synthetic chemical ingredients.

Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors. According to a 2003 study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Harvard School of Public Health, men with higher phthalate compounds in their blood were also noted to have lower sperm counts.  Although exposure to phthalates usually occurs through inhalation, it can also occur through skin contact and absorption when using personal care products that are scented with phthalates.

The Consumer product Safety commission’s website reports, 

“The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) requires precautionary labeling on the immediate container of hazardous household products to help consumers safely store and use those products and to give them information about immediate first aid steps to take if an accident happens. The Act also allows the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban certain products that are so dangerous or the nature of the hazard is such that the labeling the act requires is not adequate to protect consumers.”

Healthy home cleaning tip, avoid those cleaning products with danger labels on them.

Healthy home cleaning recommendations

Have you ever smelled Mrs. Meyers lemon verbena? I love this smell.

Natural HomeLogic Glass Cleaner – Unscented – 16 fl oz

Mrs. Meyer’s Tub and Tile Cleaner, Lemon Verbena 33 Fluid Ounce

Have you thought about making your own healthy home cleaning products?

Window Cleaner

For window cleaning just mix water and vinegar, a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar will work.

This one uses a little original Dawn

2 cups water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dish detergent Dawn

Bathtub Cleaner

3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Fair Trade & Organic Castile Liquid Soap – (Unscented, 16 oz)
1 Tablespoon water

Grout Cleaner

Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide until you get the desired liquid consistency. Use an old toothbrush to clean grout

Do you have any tips on healthy home cleaning? 

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