Why You Should Stop Using These Common Household Cleaners At Once

Households all across the country are embracing a natural lifestyle, and making simple switches to keep their families safe and healthy.

Well-intended families strive to keep their home dust free, and spend hundreds of dollars on cleaning products in an attempt to keep a clean home.

Cleaning products are all the rage – laundry detergents, soaps, window cleaner, oven cleaner, furniture polish, antibacterial soap, dish soap, bleaching agents, drain cleaner, and the list goes on and on.

But what most families don’t know, is while these cleaning products provide sparkling mirrors and shiny countertops, they actually end up doing more harm than good.

The Organic Consumers Association reports:

“Cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.

The most acutely dangerous cleaning products are corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners, according to Philip Dickey of the Washington Toxics Coalition. Corrosive chemicals can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested, on the throat and esophagus. Ingredients with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma or lung or heart problems. These two chemicals pose an added threat in that they can react with each other or other chemicals to form lung-damaging gases. Combining products that contain chlorine and ammonia or ammonia and lye (in some oven cleaners) produces chloramine gases, while chlorine combined with acids (commonly used in toilet bowl cleaners) forms toxic chlorine gas.

Fragrances added to many cleaners, most notably laundry detergents and fabric softeners, may cause acute effects such as respiratory irritation, headache, sneezing, and watery eyes in sensitive individuals or allergy and asthma sufferers. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic. But because the chemical formulas of fragrances are considered trade secrets, companies aren’t required to list their ingredients but merely label them as containing “fragrance.”

Other ingredients in cleaners may have low acute toxicity but contribute to long-term health effects, such as cancer or hormone disruption.”

If you are using chemical laced products, you may be introducing a whirlwind of health issues to your family.

Here are the top 3 cleaning products you should throw away at once:

  1. Oven Cleaner: Certain oven sprays have such a high level of toxic chemicals, they are banned in other countries due to the harmful effects on the lungs when used. Many oven cleaners also contain lye, and when combined with water, can cause serious chemical burns.
  2. Tarnish Remover: This product contains the chemical thiourea, which is a classified carcinogen in California. A warning to Tarn-X manufactures, which is the most common tarnish remover brand, states “prolonged or repeated exposure may cause reproductive and fetal effects”.
  3. Toilet Bowl Cleaners: The label says it all “fatal if swallowed”. This product is so toxic, consumers are instructed to wear rubber gloves and safety goggles while handling. And if accidentally squirted in the eye, the damage could be irreversible.

Looking for a natural alternative?

Most household cleaning needs can be handled with basic household ingredients such as baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and borax.

Looking for a natural way to clean your oven? Sprinkle baking soda inside the oven mixed with a little bit of water (be careful to avoid heating coils) and let it sit overnight. The next day, scrub off the paste (which will be a brown color from the dirt), and your oven will be clean, without using a commercial oven cleaner.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on products which do more harm than good, do-it-yourself cleaners are a safer, and less expensive option.

For busy moms or career professionals who don’t have time to make their own products, make sure to read the labels of products before you buy them.

Stay away from products with warnings such as “danger” or “poison”, as they are most toxic. Also look for products which contain plant-based ingredients, instead of petroleum-based.

Making these simple switches to your cleaning routine will still provide a clean environment, but without saturating your home in unnecessary toxins.

Have you made the switch to natural cleaning products? If so, what’s your favorite one so far?

Tell us your favorite natural cleaning product in the comments below.