Cleaning products and pregnancy, cleaning whilst pregnant, pregnant cleaning products

Cleaning Products and Pregnancy! Your guide to safe cleaning whilst pregnant

Life doesn’t stop when you’re pregnant; you might even find yourself busier than ever preparing for your new arrival. But pregnancy throws up new safety concerns that you may never have thought about before.Is it safe for me to use cleaning products? Are there any chores that would put me or my baby at risk? Worry no more. Here’s your one-stop guide to safe cleaning products and pregnancy.

Light chores are fine

Although you might hope pregnancy is the perfect reason to give up cleaning altogether, there’s actually no safety risk involved in light cleaning tasks. That means you can still do the washing up, dusting, cleaning worktops and making the bed. (Sorry about that!)

Your body’s immunity to bugs is actually lower during these nine months, so it’s a good idea to keep on top of basic hygiene. Just try to avoid using cleaning products with harsh chemicals – more on this in a moment.

Read the labels on products

When you’re cleaning whilst pregnant it’s a good idea to check the labels of any cleaning products you use before you start. Research isn’t clear on the safe levels of exposure to harsh chemicals during pregnancy. Some researchers have found a possible connection between using harsh household cleaning products and childhood respiratory problems. You might prefer to avoid any cleaners with ‘toxic’, ‘poison’, ‘corrosive’, or ‘danger’ on the labels. Especially avoid products that have a harsh smell as these are most likely to be VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which are harmful to the respiratory tract.

Products that tend to have harsher chemicals in them include oven cleaner, drain unblocker, carpet cleaner and toilet cleaner. If you’re concerned, ask your partner to take over this part of the cleaning routine, and make sure that you ventilate any rooms where you use harsh chemicals so you don’t breathe them in accidentally.

Buy natural, chemical-free cleaning products

Natural, chemical-free cleaning products can be a great alternative to harsh chemical cleaners during pregnancy. Many specialist eco-cleaning products are now available, so you don’t have to compromise on your cleaning standards when you’re expecting.

As well as protecting you and your baby from harm, these products don’t pollute the environment and are more sustainable to manufacture than traditional products and do not produce VOC’s. So it’s a win-win situation.

Cleaning products and pregnancy, cleaning whilst pregnant, pregnant cleaning products

Make your own products

If you find that you react badly to commercial products during your pregnancy, or the fragrance of manufactured cleaners makes you feel ill, it’s also possible to make your own safe cleaning supplies.

You can make a quick and easy all-purpose cleaning solution from equal parts white vinegar and water, which is good for cleaning counter tops, bathrooms and tiles.

Getting rid of hard water stains in your kettle, bath or shower is easy if you use baking soda, and substituting hydrogen peroxide for bleach is great for removing stains from clothes or for whitening whites.

Wear gloves

Now that you’re pregnant, cleaning products can irritate your skin in ways they never did before. Your skin becomes more sensitive because of hormonal changes in your body, so cleaning products are more likely to cause the itching, irritation and inflammation common in contact dermatitis.

It’s especially important to make sure that you wear gloves if you use harsher chemicals, particularly chlorine, detergents and beach. Ideally, get someone else to do these cleaning tasks for you.

Cleaning products and pregnancy, cleaning whilst pregnant, pregnant cleaning products

Don’t tackle mould yourself

When that nesting instinct kicks in it’s understandable that you want to banish mould from your home as soon as you notice it. But wait! Cleaning mould releases fungal spores into the air that you can inhale, and they could make you or your baby sick.

Get your partner to tackle any mould patches that appear on bathroom tiles or in the shower. If the problem spreads to soft furnishings or wood, it might be time to call in the professionals to get it sorted out properly.

Avoid heavy lifting

While we did say that cleaning whilst pregnant is fine, there are several exceptions to the rule. As you your baby grows it’s important not to put any extra strain on your body, which means no heavy lifting, gardening, going up ladders or moving furniture.

Your centre of gravity and balance changes as your belly grows, so you’re at greater risk of falling over. Later in pregnancy, your hormones soften your connective tissue, ligaments and tendons, so you’re more likely to injure yourself shifting heavy objects.

The rule of thumb is to cut down the weight of anything you move by 20-25% of what you could lift before, just to be safe.

Cleaning products and pregnancy, cleaning whilst pregnant, pregnant cleaning products

Get your partner to clean out the cat toilet

If you’re a devoted cat owner, you might be horrified to know that during pregnancy your cat’s litterbox is a health risk. Cat faeces contain a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which can cause a serious blood infection, toxoplasmosis.

If you can, get someone else to clean the cat litter tray while you’re expecting. If you have no alternative, make sure you wear suitable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Don’t clean too much

This last piece of advice might seem confusing, but it’s also important not to over-clean your home while you’re pregnant. It can be tempting to buy antibacterial cleaners for every surface, but research has shown that rather than reducing disease it helps to create antibiotic superbugs like Staphylococcus aureus. Eco-responsible cleaning solutions like ECO.3 if used correctly will make you surfaces clinically clean when used as directed.

Over cleaning isn’t good for your baby either. Studies show that children brought up in over-clean environments are more likely to develop asthma, allergies and other autoimmune disorders.

The best advice for using safe cleaning products during pregnancy is this: use soap and hot water to wash your hands and most of your home. Use safe, non-toxic cleaning products the rest of the time.

Nursery cleaning, Baby safe cleaning products, cleaning and sanitising

Nursery Cleaning: 8 Top Tips to Create a Safe, Green Environment

Every new mother wants to protect her baby and keep them safe from harm. That’s why your nursery cleaning routine is so important. You know your baby is susceptible to the effects of harsh chemicals, and you want to do everything you can to minimise the health risks.

The good news is that with a few tweaks and some baby safe cleaning products, you can make sure your nursery is clean, green and healthy for your little one.

Here are our top tips:

Start with Surface Cleaners

One of the best ways to keep your baby clean and healthy is to make sure your surface cleaners are eco-friendly and gentle on baby’s delicate skin. Because your child explores the world through touch and taste, you’ll want to make sure the nursery is always hygienic and safe.

Green cleaning products use small amounts of non-toxic ingredients to cleanse surfaces without leaving strong fumes or nasty chemical residues. This reduces the chance of respiratory problems for your baby while still making sure your nursery is free of nasty bugs.

Take a DIY approach

If you want to take a DIY approach to cleaning, equal parts white vinegar and water can be sprayed on nursery surfaces to remove the usual stains and bacteria, while using dilute hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning and sanitising more heavily soiled areas.

Sometimes your home gets dusty easily, but you’re worried about your baby inhaling all that gunk. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution. Put a few drops of orange essential oil on a dusting cloth and dust in the usual way. The dust will stick to the duster and your nursery surfaces will be left shiny and smelling of orange. Mmmmm, right?

Nursery cleaning, Baby safe cleaning products, cleaning and sanitising

Be careful how you clean

Whether you decide to use commercial eco-products or make your own, it’s a good idea to think about how you use these products around the nursery. In the past, chances are you just sprayed surfaces and wiped the product off as you went. But it’s time to do things differently.

Rather than covering your nursery surfaces in cleaner, spray the baby safe cleaning products into your cloth and wipe things down. This will reduce airborne particles that might cause allergies to your baby, and you’ll use less product too.

Go Green in the Laundry

Your baby’s clothes are worn right next to the skin and should keep him or her warm and comfortable. This means it’s essential to wash baby clothes with products that don’t cause skin irritations or allergic reactions.

Green cleaning laundry detergent uses natural enzymes and small amounts of soap so the chances of irritation are reduced. They also avoid synthetic fragrances which may contain toxic chemicals like phthalates. Phthalates have been linked to a range of health problems, so it’s best to avoid them in the nursery and around a baby.

Choose Cloth Nappies

While cloth nappies may seem like a lot of extra work with a demanding baby, their green credentials are undeniable. Disposable nappies take a very long time to break down in a landfill, and they are also made with polyethene plastic that could irritate your baby’s skin.

Cotton is also a much kinder fabric for baby’s skin, meaning cloth nappies could help ease or prevent nappy rash. To keep things hygienic in the nursery, use a nappy pail to soak used nappies for a couple of days in environmentally-friendly cleaning solution before you wash them. It’s a simple way to keep your nursery green.

Nursery cleaning, Baby safe cleaning products, cleaning and sanitising

Clean your carpets differently

As you probably discovered when you were pregnant, most carpet cleaners contain toxic chemicals that aren’t good for you or baby. But the truth is, your baby will spend a lot of their early years on the floor, so how do you make sure they stay safe?

First of all, make sure everyone in the family takes their shoes off before they go into the nursery. This will cut down the dirt tracked in from outside. Soak up spills with a super absorbent microfibre cloth and use multi-purpose solution and warm water to clean away stains.

Sticky stains can be removed with a spatula or spoon, and then sprayed with ECO.3 eco-responsible stain remover. After a couple of minutes, simply soak up the dissolved stain residue by pressing firmly down with an Evolution micro fibre cloth. Do not rub the carpet pile as this will result in the pile becoming damaged due to friction.

Change Your Air Freshener

Let’s be honest, sometimes your baby’s nursery isn’t the most fragrant place to be. You might want to get an air freshener to keep things smelling sweet. But most commercial air fresheners contain chemicals like xylene, a neurotoxin that isn’t good for you or baby.

Happily, there is an alternative to leaving the windows open day and night. You can use essentials oils as an alternative way to freshen up the nursery. Tea tree oil and lavender can be used as cleansing, deodorising agents, as well as helping to keep the atmosphere calm and pleasant.

Stop ‘Zapping’ Annoying Insects

As the days get longer and warmer, the number of insects in your home will increase. Your baby’s nursery isn’t immune. It’s tempting to pull out the bug spray to make sure these nasty creatures stay away from your precious little one. But stop! This is another habit you have to change.

Most bug repellents contain DEET, which is an effective bug spray for a reason. It’s not very eco-friendly. While it does chase away mosquitos and other critters, it’s not very good for your baby.

Instead of zapping those annoying insects, use non-toxic bug repellents like citronella and lemon eucalyptus to keep them away. You and your baby will be glad you did!

So now you’ve re-evaluated your nursery cleaning routine, what do you think you’ll change?