Manufacturers Are Making Our Homes “Cleaner,” And More Dangerous

A trip to your local grocery or home improvement store will lead you down aisle upon aisle of cleaning products for the home.

But have you ever taken the time to read the long list of unpronounceable chemical ingredients?

We would assume that because these products are legally sold, then they have been approved as safe for use in the home.

But therein lies the problem — many chemical solvents have been approved for use in small amounts, but when used frequently or mixed with other chemical ingredients, they can be toxic to your family and pets if used long-term. reports:

The cost of these commercial, chemical-based products can be high — long term health concerns for the family, and environmental pollution caused by their manufacture and disposal. In the US, for example, 1 in 3 people suffer from allergies, asthma, sinusitis or bronchitis (US National Center for Health Statistics). Treatment for these conditions should include reducing synthetic chemicals in the home environment.

Not only are these chemical cleaners potentially toxic, they are extremely expensive.

Manufacturers advertise that you should have specialty products for every room and space in your home, marketing several products they want you to purchase together…one for glass, one for countertops, dozens for the bathroom alone.

During this season of “spring cleaning”, there are many natural options for making your home clean and sanitary, and you likely have the ingredients in your kitchen already.

Even better, they cost pennies on the dollar when compared to manufactured chemical cleaners, saving your family hundreds of dollars a year. lists some options for inexpensive and natural products, and how you can achieve optimum results with them at home:

Baking Soda – cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.

Soap – unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.

Lemon – one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.

Borax – (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.

White Vinegar – cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.

Washing Soda – or SAL Soda is sodium carbonate decahydrate, a mineral. Washing soda cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans wall, tiles, sinks and tubs. Use care, as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Do not use on aluminum.

Isopropyl Alcohol – is an excellent disinfectant. (It has been suggested to replace this with ethanol or 100 proof alcohol in solution with water. There is some indication that isopropyl alcohol buildup contributes to illness in the body. See

Cornstarch – can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.

Citrus Solvent – cleans paint brushes, oil and grease, some stains. (Citrus solvent may cause skin, lung or eye irritations for people with multiple chemical sensitivities.)

Many moms have been turning to natural products for use in the home in recent years.

Now, there are many products on the market which are touted as “natural”.

But beware, these products can be labeled as “natural” so long as they are made with a certain, usually very small percentage of naturally-derived ingredients, yet often still contain an “acceptable” amount of chemical solvents.

If we harken back to the time of our grandparents, there were very few commercial cleaners on the market.

They used vinegar and newspaper to clean the windows, a paste of baking soda and water to scrub surfaces, and lemon juice to make wood shine.

Clearly, the increasing rates of cancer and other diseases can be linked to the overuse of chemicals in our home.

And some eco-friendly retailers are now even producing paints, wall coverings, and fabrics for the home that do not include toxins such as formaldehyde.

Even the sponges, mops, and brooms we purchase commercially can contain toxic chemicals in the plastics and foams used to produce them.

Purchasing reusable cotton towels, as opposed to wipes, are a good way to prevent even more chemical exposure in the home, and they can be washed in Borax or hot water with salt like most other laundry.

And with summer just around the corner, and our families spending increased time outdoors, there are also natural ways to treat weeds in the yard.

White vinegar, salts, Borax, and even pouring boiling water on weeds and crabgrass can be much safer alternatives — especially for curious children and pets.

Remember, the big business manufacturers want your money.  They want you to purchase all of their products, and they will make claims that they are safe and natural when they are not.

Using good old fashioned household products can achieve the same results, make your family safer, and save you tons of money.

If it was good enough for our grandparents, then it is good enough for us.