Ok, so I know the title is a little dramatic, but seriously— household cleaners are awful and can be replaced by cheaper, more effective, safer substitutes. Maybe it’s just because I’m now the mother of a handsome little 3 week old son, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the toxicity of our homes and how to adjust accordingly so our families can be healthier.
So here’s the list of cleaners we use, the toxic affect, and healthy alternatives. I found all this information here.
Chlorine Bleach- mixed with ammonia = BAD NEWS BEARS (chloramine gas which causes serious respiratory problems).
Metal polishes- petroleum distillates can damage the nervous system, skin, kidneys, and eyes.
Glass Cleaner- the ammonia here can cause eye irritation, headaches and lung irritation.
Disinfectants- phenol and cresol are corrosive, and can cause diarrhea, fainting, dizziness, and kidney and liver damage.
Furniture and floor polishes- nitrobenzene can cause skin discoloration, shallow breathing, vomiting, and death. It’s also associated with cancer and birth defects.
Spot removers and carpet cleaners- perchloroethylene causes liver and kidney damage is ingested, and is a suspected human carcinogen.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner- hydrochloric acid burns the skin, causes vomiting or diarrhea and vomiting is ingested, and can cause blindness if inadvertently splashed into eyes.
Baking Soda- neutralizes acids, scrubs shiny surfaces without scratching, deodorizes (anything from the refrigerator, carpet, drain etc.), extinguishes grease fires, softens fabrics, removes fabric stains, softens hard water, use as underarm deodorant and toothpaste…. among millions of other uses
Borax- deodorizes, inhibits growth of mold and mildew, boosts cleaning power of soaps and detergents, removes stains, and can be used with attractants such as sugar to kill cockroaches!
Cornstarch- cleans windows, polishes furniture, shampoos carpets and rugs, and starches clothes.
Isopropyl Alcohol- disinfectant
Lemon Juice- cleans glass, removes stains from aluminum, clothes, and porcelain, also can be used as milk lightener or bleach if used with sunlight!
Vinegar- dissolves mineral deposits, grease, and traces of soap, removes mildew or wax buildup, polishes some metals, deodorizes, cleans brick or stone, cleans out metallic taste in coffee pots, shines windows without streaking!
I’m looking to convert to the safe cleaners, though I hate to just throw out all the cleaners from under the sink. I was just going to run out of what I have and not replace them, but maybe I should just chuck them … Hope this inspires a new look at what’s under the kitchen sink 😉