Many homeowners choose to clean their homes with conventional methods and products that their parents might have used. What they are not aware of is that the regular store-bought cleaning products that they are using may actually be detrimental to their health in both the long and short term. Green cleaning products are made from ingredients that are easy to pronounce and are familiar, and many times can even be made at home.
Here are a few reasons why you should make the switch to green cleaning products.
1. Unregulated Chemicals
Basically, all store-bought cleaning products are made from harmful chemicals. Since World War II, around 85,000 new chemicals have entered the market by way of various products, and most of the time these chemicals are not approved by the EPA. That is quite stunning—even more so because almost 70% of typical store-bought cleaning products contain these harmful chemicals.
2. Ammonia, Sodium Hydroxide, and Phthalates
Many times, younger generations use the same cleaning products and methods that the older generations used because they are tried-and-true. However, by looking at the labels of these cleaning products, you will find chemicals that are harmful to people and pets. Experts have said that there are 62 toxic chemicals to be found in the average home, some that homeowners might not even be aware of. The particularly harmful chemicals to keep an eye out for are triclosan found in liquid dishwashing detergent, phthalates found in fragrance products, 2-Butoxyethanol in multipurpose cleaners, and chlorine in laundry whiteners or toilet cleaners.
3. Child Safety
Limiting access to harmful chemicals is the best way to protect children under their own roofs. Natural cleaning products reduce the chances of accidental poisoning. Not surprisingly, household cleaners rank in the top five causes of childhood poisoning. After making the decision to switch to green cleaning products, these products will still need to be stored in child-safe cabinets or in areas that children cannot reach.
4. Water Supply Contamination
Many household cleaning agents contain harmful chemicals like ammonia, petroleum, and phosphorus. When using these cleaning products to wash clothes, dishes, and even flush the toilet bowl, it is possible that the chemicals are being sent back into the water supply and nearby rivers, streams, or lakes. Not only can they come back into the water you drink, but they also have a negative impact on the environment and wildlife.
5. Keeping the Air Clean
Some antibacterial spray cleaners and fabric softeners contain quaternary ammonium compounds that contribute to seemingly healthy people getting asthma. These are things that we are exposed to daily and have the potential to breathe in 24/7. Keeping carpets clean is vital for clean air—a home health study revealed that the average household harbors around 200,000 bacteria per square inch of carpet. Try to avoid contributing to the harmful contents of a carpet by using a green cleaning product that is safe for children and pets.
Additionally, aerosols and sprays sometimes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can affect health both short and long term. This can cause problems in the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. Chemicals may linger in the air for a long time after the actual mist dissipates. Ditch the VOCs.
Opting to use green cleaning products will not only reduce the risk of harming anyone in the home, it will help in reducing the harmful effects of toxic chemicals that get washed into the environment. They can be used with the confidence that the ingredients are easy to find when making at home, and the ingredients will not have any harmful effects on anyone—long term or short term. Ready-made green cleaning products are widely available at grocery stores, and may be found alongside the traditional cleaning chemicals.