Mr. Clean is due for an upgrade
Living clean is not easy. Scratch the surface and you’ll find plenty of dirty little secrets about what goes into our food, our environment and our bodies. Cleaning agents are no exception.
Take a walk down the cleaning supply aisle and you’ll experience the familiar smell of chemicals emanating from plastic bottles. It’s enough to that make your head spin.
According to an Environmental Working Group study, 53% of cleaning products under review contained lung-harming ingredients and only 7% of the cleaning products even adequately disclosed their contents.
Why would our household items contain carcinogens, asthma instigators, and poisons? Does having a clean home need to come at the expense of our health? While there are many so called ‘natural’ brands that promote green cleaning products, let’s take a look at 3 sure fire ways we can clean up our act without breaking the bank.
1. Wash your windows with white vinegar
Window cleaners can contain shockingly toxic mixes of ammonia, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, and methanol. Side effects from inhaling or ingesting these chemicals can include insomnia, dizziness, throat swelling, and even skin burns. While there are new types of window cleaners that are considered better, why not swap the toxic ingredients for something safe, natural, and less expensive like white vinegar? Vinegar is completely non-toxic, antibacterial, and is much more economical than standard window cleaners. Just mix one part hot water to one part distilled vinegar and add to your very own spray bottle. Clean as usual.
2. Clean your oven and your mouth with baking soda
Standard oven cleaners emit toxic fumes and contain large amounts of sodium or potassium hydroxide. While these chemicals can dissolve crusty baked on grease, they can also burn skin, lungs, and eyes. To clean your oven naturally, sprinkle baking soda liberally to cover the bottom of the oven. Spray with water, wait 8 hours, then scrub and wipe clean.
Pro-tip: baking soda is also beneficial for your teeth. Many classic toothpaste brands contain toxic ingredients like propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and triclosan–that’s nothing to smile about! Baking soda acts as a mild abrasive which dissolves in the mouth leaving no grit behind. It’s also alkaline which helps to neutralize excess acid in the mouth. Add essential oils like cinnamon or clove to the mix.
3. Use fresh air instead of Febreze
The fact is, air fresheners do not clean or purify the air. They merely cover up odors by emitting undisclosed mixtures of chemicals. These fragrance components can actually trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and impair reproduction. It may sound old-fashioned, but simply opening windows or installing a fan can make a huge difference. Better yet, if a room has an odor problem find the source and eliminate that instead of masking it with artificial fragrances.
Pro-tip: grab that box of baking soda and pour some into a bowl. It’ll absorb odors in your bathroom or fridge.
It’s Easy Being Green
While there are many wonderful brands out there devoted to making green products with accurate labels and effective ingredients, the costs can really add up. Simple decisions like swapping baking soda for toxic toothpaste or throwing out the Windex for something safer and more natural like white vinegar may seem small, but these little acts of integrity pay off in the long run for the mind, body, and planet.
Check out a great resource we found for buying sustainable brands that are toxin-free.