Pure and Gentle

The List of Cleaning Products that are Harmful is Long

posted November 19, 2012 • 0 Comments

Cleaning

Researching green alternatives makes sense for anyone with the desire to be an environmentally responsible consumer

The trouble is that nearly every major household cleaner, polish, and detergent is having a negative impact on the environment. The list of cleaning products that have been proven to be dangerous is long and frightening. Many people don’t even know that alternatives like green carpet cleaning products exist. It may seem overwhelming and expensive to throw out all of your dangerous cleaners and replace them with effective natural alternatives; it doesn’t need to be. Honestly, tackling one room or chore at a time can take the worry and confusion out of going green.

The bathroom is a good place to start, since it may be harboring some of the most dangerous cleaners in the home. Lime scale removers need to be powerful to cut through hard water stains, which means that they usually contain sulfamic acid. If you were using sulfamic acid in your workplace, you'd likely be required to wear goggles and a respirator, as it's hazardous to lungs and mucus membranes. Sulfamic acid causes burning and sores if it makes direct contact with skin or eyes. For this purpose alone, it should be off your list of cleaning products, in favor of a safe, natural alternative. Ideally, buy lime scale removers in a concentrated form to ensure that you're getting the strength you require. Look for natural scale remover that is free of phosphates and dyes and is safe for septic systems. Even if you don't have a septic system, septic-safe cleaners are more likely to be free of contact hazards.

Another dangerous culprit in need of going green is toilet bowl cleaner. While a tough job needs a tough product, many toilet bowl cleaners contain chlorine or even hydrochloric acid, which is on the list of cleaning products that are very corrosive upon contact with skin; its fumes are also dangerous to breathe during use, and frequent exposure may cause serious damage to sinus cavities and even lungs. Inhalation of hydrochloric acid in toilet cleaner has been reported as a cause of certain types of asthma.

There's no need to assume these risks when equally effective natural products are readily available. Try a concentrated disinfectant made with plant extracts. These are fully biodegradable and will tackle harmful bacteria and surface viruses without the dangers associated with chemical antibacterial products.

Traditional carpet cleaners rely on phosphates to get the job done. In addition to causing dermatitis on sensitive skin, phosphates create havoc when introduced to the local water table. They are a catalyst for a boom of algae growth that stifles local plants—which can have a devastating effect on local ecosystems. Try green carpet cleaning products formulated to reduce pollen and other allergens that accumulate there.

Households that go green often find that their list of cleaning products gets shorter as more versatile cleaners do double and triple duty all through the house—and outside too. Common window cleaners are full of harsh chemicals including the dreaded ammonia. But why spray something toxic on the windows of the home you see the rest of the world through? Try a natural window cleaner that's free of phosphates and ammonia. The best brands are formulated to keep dust and even allergens from sticking to windows. This allows you to live more comfortably and clean less often. In addition, choose concentrated cleaners with eco-friendly packaging.

What about the outside of the house? What about the car? Fear not, because Pure and Gentle Soap offers alternatives to all your favorite cleaners. Our alternatives are easy to find and clearly labeled on our website. Going green one room at a time is a snap! Once you find brands you like and trust for phosphate-free laundry products, green carpet cleaning products, and everything else on your green list of cleaning products, your environment will thank you.