A Clean House or Toxic House?

Clean Bathroom using non-toxic products
We all want to keep our home clean and keep our kids safe.  In our efforts to disinfect and keep our kids from getting sick, we may be causing more harm that good.  Common ingredients in most cleaning supplies such as chlorine bleach and ammonia are exrtremely toxic especially when used on a regular basis.  Other toxic, but less known ingredients include: diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), 1,4-dioxane, Butyl cellosolve, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs).

What is so toxic about them and what are the potential risks?  

--Links to cancer (common ingredients in spot removers, dry cleaning solutions, multipurpose cleaners, and many others)
--Hormone disruption, low sperm count (ingredient common in air freshners),
--Promoting the growth of drug resistant bacteria (ingredient common in antibacterial soaps, fabric softners, sheets)
--Lung irritants  that can cause asthma and chronic bronchitis (any product containing ammonia like glass cleaners, chlorine bleach and should specifically be avoided by the elderly, people with asthma and breathing problems)
--Thryoid disruptor (anything containing chlorine bleach)
--Damage to brain and neurosystem and liver and kidney damage (common ingredient found in air freshners, spot removers, oven cleaners)

This list is by no means all inclusive!

What type of cleaning products have these toxic ingredients?
Window cleaners, multi-purpose cleaners, degreasers, spot removers, carpet and upholstery cleaning, dishwashing detergents, hand soaps, fabric softener liquids and sheets, polishing agents for fixtures, jewelry, oven cleaners, mildew removers...and many more.

What are some of the most "Guilty" brands?
Simple Green, Spic N Span, Scrubbing Bubbles, Mop N Glo, Drano, Lysol, Dynamo, Clorox, Fantastic, Fabreze, Damprid, Easy Off, Glade, Air Wick, Old English....to name a few.

How do I disinfect if I can't use Lysol or a similar product?  Couple of drops of tea tree and a table spoon of vinegar mixed with water.

What are other non-toxic cleaning alternatives?
Most everything can be cleaned with tea tree oil, vinegar, lime juice, and baking soda.  If you are looking for convenience one of the companies I trust is The Honest Company and it is where I get my cleaning products.  Check them out here.  You can also visit the website How To Clean Things.  Do not be fooled by products labeled "eco-friendly" or "natural."  These labels are not regulated.  Stick to companies you trust and dedicated to non-toxic living.

Will non-toxic cleaners keep my house clean?
YES!  I have had people resist using non-toxic products because they think they can't keep their house truly clean without them.  I am not the cleanest person on the planet because frankly, I hate cleaning!  I only "scrub" the bathrooms once a month and yet my bathrooms and kitchen look just as clean as any person I know after I am done with them.

My daughters' bathroom--the dirtiest part of our home.  No chlorine needed to keep it clean!!


Sources and Further Reading: 

How Toxic are Your Household Cleaning Supplies
8 Hidden Toxins
What is Butyl Cellosolve and Why You Should Avoid It?

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