If, like me you find cleaning your house a boring but necessary chore, have you ever really looked at the products and chemicals you use to clean it? I mean really looked?
Spray for this, liquid for that, multi-purpose all over. The bottles and sprays we have in our cleaning cupboard are immense I looked at the ingredients found in just an all purpose cleaner and looked again. Not only could I not pronounce a lot of them but I hadn’t the heck what they meant/were. Surely this can’t be good for us.
Well, no surprise – they aren’t. Our homes are now so toxic it’s a wonder we don’t keel over.
Actually that’s not far from the truth as some serious illnesses are making an increase which apart from other external influences are also being attributed to all the bad chemicals found in the home. Respiratory, skin, digestive and the big bad C to name but a few areas. It really is quite shocking.
I decided to investigate one of the ingredients from that all purpose cleaner – BENZIOHIAZOLINONE to find out what it meant.
In short this is a biocode which basically gets rid of germs by chemical reaction. It has health hazards related to it including irritation to the eyes, skin and lungs, if ingested.
Oh also, if poured neat down the sink or put in the ground, it is also harmful and toxic to wildlife and fishes.
Good news though – the bottle in question has clear pictures on the back indicating not to use it for prolonged periods, to keep it away from your eyes and to rinse your hands after use. Plus I always use the whole bottle so nothing’s going to harm the animals.
So why should I worry right?
Well, I never wash my hands after use (who has the time), and I’m not going to actively squirt it in my eyes but I am breathing it in and my hands do get pretty dried up even after diluted use. I do use it neat which does end up down the sink and into the water systems. All in all, not nice.
That’s just one of the 10 ingredients listed.
Thinking I was being clever a few years ago I replaced a lot of the cleaning solutions in our house with a very well known green labelled selection of products. However although 10 x better than ordinary cleaners found on the shop shelves it still has some ingredients that are either not proven to be as safe as first thought or that the interpretation can be differing depending on what country you come from and where the products are made.
So what do you do, if you can’t possible understand the labelling and/or want to know exactly what chemicals are coming into your home?
Go simple…back to basics
Cleaning like anything is what you make of it but there are never any quick fixes without something or someone paying the price later on. If the advert says it can remove anything in 10 seconds be warned! It can but will also bring with it high toxic levels and lasting environment issues.
I’ve started to adopted a bicarbonate and vinegar cleaning approach. Both natural, both clean well, both can be used on most surfaces and best of all they cost a 3rd of what you’ll pay on branded cleaning products.
It takes no more effort than any other cleaning product
Here are a few uses tied and tested by me:
- Two table spoons of bicarb down the sink followed by vinegar and put the plug in. 30mins later you have a clean plug and drain. No more smells.
- One table spoon of bicarb in a bowl and leave in the fridge neutralises any strong smelling food.
- Instead of dishwasher tablets, add two teaspoons of bicarb where the tablet would go. Cleans and freshens up the dishwasher.
- Add bicarb to running shoes to keep them fresh
- For stained tea cups add a teas spoon of bicarb, a little water to make a paste and leave it in the cup overnight. Next morning wash out and the cup looks brand new.
The possibilities of using bicarb are endless!
If you’ve got any great bicarb tips please let me know, I’m going to see just how many I tips I can compile in one list.