There has been a recent outcry about the contents of common household cleaning chemicals. These strong chemicals contain carcinogens, allergens and neurotoxin that make them a potential danger to both children and adults in the home. Household cleaning substances have been linked with asthma and other breathing problems, eye and skin irritation, and higher chances of developing cancer.
Antiseptic soap, for instance, contains triclosan, which is an antibacterial agent. Antibacterial soaps have been found to increase the chances of antibiotic resistance in people with prolonged exposure to the agent. Triclosan specifically, is an endocrine disruptor that causes precocious puberty in children, resulting in developmental problems early in life. It is therefore safer to use natural, vegetable based soaps (and not petroleum based, as they are harmful to the skin).
For fragrance, consider natural essential oils like peppermint, orange lemon, vanilla, lavender and rosemary. Natural cleaning agents are less harmful to the lungs and skin, and contribute to reducing your carbon footprint as they are kinder on the environment. When purchasing commercial products that claim to be natural, be sure to check the product for hidden chemicals like sulphates and phtalates. These cleaning agents are all natural, cheap and easy to find. Consider using these for your household cleaning needs:
1. Castile soap
Castile soap is a natural soap that can be used for washing and bathing instead of antiseptic soaps. Antiseptic soaps have been proven to cause the development of allergies and increase antibiotics resistance. Using a basic soap for washing hands, clothes and utensils kills just as many germs. The bottom line is that you don’t need to risk developing allergies. Using a vegetable based soap is gentler and healthier. For scent, you can add few drops of lavender oil or lemon oil to your cleaning soap.
2. Baking soda
The use of baking in household cleaning is not new. Baking soda cuts through grease and stains effectively, leaving no residue. It can be used for utensils and surfaces and even for softening hard water.
Use it to clean your kitchen, where it absorbs odors and disinfects effectively. It can serve the same purpose as alcohol. It is also great for cutting through greasy stains and stubborn areas in the home.
Borax is an alternative to floor and wall cleaning agents. It is not harmful, but it should not be ingested. It’s gentle on the homes surfaces and cannot be absorbed through the skin so it is safe.
5. Corn starch
This can be used to absorb spills and stains around the house. Cornstarch is also effective for polishing stainless steel surfaces and furniture, and for cleaning carpets.
You can choose basic isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol, or alcoholic drinks with a high percentage of alcohol-like vodka. Alcohol is a disinfectant and can be used to clean surfaces and utensils in the home. It is definitely safer than using a conventional chemical cleaner.
Using natural home cleaning agents is not just safer for you and your family, it’s cheaper and easier on the environment.