Creating a Healthier Home: The Top 10 Toxic Cleaners to Eliminate
Like many of you, I was surprised to discover that my home—a place I consider a safe haven—was filled with everyday products containing toxic chemicals that were hazardous to my and my family's health.
The main culprits? Household cleaners.
These seemingly harmless products often contain harmful chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and endocrine disruptors, which can impact our health and harm our environment.
While it can be tough to steer clear of these chemicals completely, knowing which products harbor them can help us make more informed decisions.
Today, I want to share with you 10 household cleaners I've chosen to exclude from my home.
Many commercial air fresheners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and benzene that can cause serious respiratory problems. Instead opt for natural alternatives like essential oils or a homemade mixture of baking soda and water.
These types of products often contain chlorine bleach, which can irritate your skin and eyes, as well as VOCs like benzene and formaldehyde that can trigger asthma attacks in some people. Choose a non-toxic alternative instead.
Many store-bought glass cleaners include ammonia, which can irritate your skin and eyes and even cause lung damage if inhaled in large quantities. Make your own glass cleaner with white vinegar or try out a natural option from the store instead.
Most conventional laundry detergents contain artificial fragrances, dyes, phosphates, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates and other hazardous chemicals that can be harmful when exposed over long periods of time or when ingested orally by small children or pets who come into contact with our clothing after washing it with these harsh detergents. Look for a more natural version instead!
Dish soap is often full of harsh ingredients such as sulfates (which may cause eye irritation) and triclosan (which is linked to hormone disruption). Opt for an eco-friendly version without added fragrances or synthetic dyes whenever possible!
Carpet & Upholstery Spot Remover
Many spot removers contain hazardous ingredients such as butyl cellosolve (which is linked to birth defects), naphthalene (a carcinogen), phenol (a neurotoxin) and chloroform (a carcinogen). Seek out a safer solution when dealing with carpets and upholstery spots!
Conventional drain cleaners are often loaded with dangerous chemicals such as lye (also known as sodium hydroxide), chlorine bleach, phosphoric acid (which is corrosive) and sulfuric acid (which is also extremely corrosive). Reach for an enzyme cleaner or boiling water instead!
Most oven cleaners contain lye or sodium hydroxide—both powerful caustic agents—as well as other hazardous ingredients such as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether acetate (a solvent) and 2-butoxyethanol acetate (an irritant). Skip the oven cleaner altogether if possible; baking soda mixed with water works just as well!
Disinfectants/sanitizers/bleaches typically contain active ingredients such as quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs), which have been linked to cancer; chlorine bleach; ethyl alcohol; hydrogen peroxide; isopropyl alcohol; phenolics; pine oil; sodium hypochlorite; triclosan; etc., all of which are potentially harmful if ingested in large amounts or over long periods of time. Seek out an environmentally friendly alternative whenever possible!
Furniture Polish & Dusting Sprays
Furniture polishes often include petroleum distillates—known carcinogens—as well as other hazardous ingredients like xylene methylene chloride , naphtha , silica gel , mineral spirits , turpentine , terpene . These substances may cause skin irritation upon direct contact so read labels carefully before purchasing any furniture polish product.
Unseen toxic chemicals in everyday cleaning products is a hidden reality many of us live with, often without knowing.
However, I firmly believe that being informed and aware gives us the power to make better choices.
When I shop for cleaning supplies, I pay careful attention to the labels, always opting for natural alternatives where I can.
It's especially important to remember that children can be much more sensitive to these harmful ingredients than adults, so I always exercise extra caution when using any cleaning products around the little ones in my life.
By staying diligent and knowledgeable, I've found it's entirely possible to keep my home clean, healthy, and safe. Remember, cleanliness needn't come at the cost of safety.
Being informed, vigilant, and conscious of the choices we make is not just about creating a cleaner home, but also about embracing a healthier, more radiant lifestyle for ourselves and our loved ones.
By making these conscious choices, we continue on our path to a safer, healthier, and more radiant tomorrow.