Spring has arrived! The fresh start of a new season, and a chance to spring clean the winter stuffiness away. Before you reach for that mop, know what’s lurking inside your cleaning products.
Conventional cleaning products contain a host of chemicals, many of which are toxic to our health. These chemicals can be absorbed into our bodies through inhalation of vapours, dust that attaches to the chemical residues, and through skin exposure. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cleaning products are the main contributor to indoor air pollution and one of the top health concerns.
While there may be no better feeling than a freshly scrubbed home smelling of citrus or lavender, removing bacteria only to spread chemicals around the home seems a bit counterproductive. Fortunately, non-toxic products are available. To ensure the safety of your cleaning products, make use of The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) online consumer product reference site. The EWG tests and rates consumer cleaning products based on their impacts to health and provide an online database for consumers to reference to determine the safety of common household cleaning products.
Other precautions that can be taken to limit exposure to harmful chemicals from conventional cleaning products include:
1) Opening the widows when cleaning to increase ventilation
2) Vacuuming and using a wet cloth frequently to remove dust particles that may contain chemical residues
3) Avoiding use of air fresheners and products containing fragrance or perfumes
4) Switching to more natural cleaning products or consider making your own cleaning products
Creating your own products is both a healthy and cost-effective alternative to conventional cleaning products. Some common and effective solutions include using vinegar and water to clean windows, mirrors, surfaces and floors. Baking soda is great for cleaning bathrooms and surfaces that require greater scouring power. Don’t forget lemon juice is effective at eliminating mildew and mold.
While parting with your favourite products may be difficult, the peace of mind from knowing your home is a healthy, chemical-free sanctuary is well worth it!