Shop-bought cleaning products may be effective, but the ingredients of these cleaners pose so much danger to both you and the environment. Fortunately, there is a way to get alternatives that would work just as well but with far less risk.
These 5 alternatives to store-bought cleaning products will make your home safer and cleaner at the same time.
Dangers of Shop Bought Cleaning Products
The foremost danger that store-bought cleaning products exposes you to are the chemicals in them.
In fact, it’s a double-edged sword because the same chemicals that put your health and the environment at risk are the very same ones that make these products so effective in cleaning your home.
While most of these chemicals are otherwise safe as long as used correctly, there are others that need special management. A lot of your cleaning products are also likely to be poisonous if ingested.
In fact, some may even pose as a threat to your health if it comes in contact with your skin or is inhaled.
Not only that, some store-bought cleaning products also contribute to indoor air pollution, as they are similarly noxious in the confined area of your home.
Perhaps the most familiar of all the chemicals you should be watching out for, phthalates can be found in any or all of your home’s fragranced products, cleaning or not.
Air fresheners and practically any product that has ‘fragranced’ on the label – like your toilet paper – have a large chance of phthalates present in them. However, you wouldn’t know this, as these companies aren’t legally bound to disclose this information.
Phthalates have been found to affect the endocrine system as well as affects male fertility. You are able to come into contact with it primarily by inhalation, but it can also be absorbed through your skin via skin contact.
Found in practically anything labeled with ‘antibacterial’ like dishwashing soaps and hand soaps, triclosan can lead to the growth of stronger bacteria. Because it’s an aggressive antimicrobial agent, bacteria that survive it or evolve from exposure to it can come back stronger as well.
It has possible endocrinal and carcinogenic effects on your health too. It is also detrimental to the environment, as it is toxic to algae and can come in contact with them when your soap deposits reach open waters.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats)
Both the dangers and functions of this are very similar to triclosan, as quats are found in antibacterial household cleaners as well as in some fabric softeners. That being said, asthma and other respiratory disorders are a likely result of exposure to quats.
Ammonia is a great cleaning agent for windows, as it doesn’t leave stains or streaks once it evaporates. However, it is also an irritant once inhaled and has been found to affect asthmatics as well as others with respiratory problems.
The gas it evaporates into also becomes poisonous when mixed with bleach.
You may be familiar with the cleaning effectiveness of chlorine and why it’s found in so many cleaning agents. However, less known to people are the chronic effects that can result from chlorine exposure, particularly thyroid disruption. Otherwise, all other health risks are acute.
5 Alternatives to Shop Bought Cleaning Products
Bleach is quite risky to have in your home, but you can’t deny how effective it is against tough stains. However, this DIY bleach alternative can help you get all the cleaning properties of bleach without being exposed to its unhealthy components.
You will need 1½ cups of 3% hydrogen peroxide, ½ cup of lemon juice and 10-30 drops of any essential oil of your choosing (lemon is highly recommended. An optional ingredient is 1 tbsp. of citric acid, which can help whiten your clothes.
Put all of these ingredients in an empty gallon jug and then mix until the citric powder is completely dissolved. Finally, add distilled water to fill the jug. You can use this bleach alternative for both cleaning and laundry purposes.
Glass Cleaner Alternative
As for glass cleaners, you can also do this homemade mixture to avoid having to use ammonia. In a spray bottle, mix ¼ cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of warm water and 1 tbsp. of cornstarch.
Shake well before using it to prevent the cornstarch from settling and use as you would usually do with commercial glass cleaners. If you want to make the mixture more effective, add ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol.
DIY All Purpose Cleaner
In a plastic spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled water, 1 tsp. of borax, 1 tsp. of liquid Castile soap, ½ tsp. of washing soda and a few drops of essential oils of your choosing. Shake the mixture well and then spray and use it on any surface that needs cleaning.
Use a dry rag to wipe off the cleaner and to get rid of the accumulated dirt. This is safe to use on practically all surfaces as well as kids’ items like toys and plastic furniture.
DIY Air Freshener
Mix 1 tbsp. of baking soda and 2-3 oils of your preferred essential oil. Pour in this mixture in a spray bottle then add 8 oz. of distilled water. Shake well to dissolve the baking soda and use as an air freshener in your home.
It can work to improve air quality in your home without the pesky chemicals and can also be used on stinky shoes and carpets.
Green Bathroom Cleaner
This green bathroom cleaner can help you clean and disinfect your bathroom. In a spray bottle, pour 2 cups of distilled water, 3 tbsp. of liquid Castile soap, 1 tbsp. of baking soda, 30 drops of tea tree essential oil and 30 drops of essential oil.
Shake until everything is mixed well and the baking soda is dissolved, then use to clean all surfaces in your bathroom.
It’s good to know that home cleaning can be done in a safe manner with these alternative cleaning products. Sure, they may take time to prepare, but it’s worth it if you are able to avoid the dangers that the chemicals found in store-bought counterparts pose.
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