It only takes a bright winter’s day to realise just how much your home needs a good scrub. But the shock of discovering there’s dust a mile high on the dresser is nothing compared to the shock of discovering how damaging traditional cleaners can be to you, your family and the environment. The truth is, your traditional household cleaning products list could be a hazard waiting to happen.
I’m not usually someone who reads labels. But my attitude changed the day I sprayed window cleaner in my eye. Oh, the pain! When my vision returned, I read the label of my normal brand. I’d had no idea it contained toxic chemicals. I began to read the labels on other products. I turned to Google to find out what all these chemical terms meant, and the horror continued.
When I realised my collection of chemicals was truly harmful, I decided to look for more natural alternatives.
But here’s the thing: going green isn’t an over-night sensation. To change the habits of a lifetime, and resist some very powerful retail advertising and social norms, you need green solutions and evidence. So, I’ve created it for you: the ultimate guide to going green. Read on to discover more.
The Toxic Cocktail in Traditional Cleaning Products
Most traditional cleaning brands contain ingredients that are very effective at removing the dust, dirt and germs from most family homes. Unfortunately, many of these ingredients are harsh chemicals that are toxic to human and animals, causing a wide range of health problems, from skin and eye irritation to respiratory and reproductive disorders.
Before we look at eco-friendly alternatives and DIY cleaning options, let’s find out more about the toxic chemicals many traditional brands contain. Please note this is not an exhaustive list. Check the labels to find out what’s in your household cleaners.
1. Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Often contains bleach, quaternary ammonia compounds, 2-Butoxyethanol, synthetic musks or phthalates (fragrances).
What problems can they cause? Eye and skin burns, skin irritation or contact dermatitis, respiratory problems, sore throats, reproductive problems, allergies, asthma, migraines, and (in high doses – e.g. unventilated rooms) narcosis, pulmonary oedema, severe liver and kidney damage. Contributes to antibiotic resistance.
2. Window cleaner
Often contains: MCI, 2-Butoxyethanol, ammonia
What problems can they cause? Eye and skin irritation, allergies, respiratory problems, asthma, chronic bronchitis.
Often contains: sodium hypochlorite and ammonium hydroxide
What problems can they cause? Skin and eye burns, skin irritation, allergies, asthma, wheezing, shortness of breath. (If mixed with acidic ammonia cleaners) produces toxic chlorine gas.
4. Bathroom Cleaner
Often contains quaternary ammonium compounds, phosphates, sodium hydroxide, trisodium nitrilotriacetate (NTA).
What problems can they cause? Eye and skin burn, eye and skin irritation, allergies, respiratory problems, asthma. Damage to the environmental water supply. Contributes to antibiotic resistance.
5. Drain Unblocker
Often contains: Sodium dichloroisocyanurate dehydrate, sodium hydroxide
What problems can they cause? Eye, skin and respiratory burns, severe eye, skin and lung irritation, (in high doses) kidney damage. Long term damage to aquatic ecosystems.
6. Toilet Cleaner
Often contains: Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), sodium dichloroisocyanurate dehydrate, sodium hydroxide, ammonia.
What problems can they cause? Eye, skin and respiratory burns, severe eye, skin and lung irritation, (in high doses) liver and kidney damage, breast cancer. Causes reproductive effects in aquatic organisms, toxic to aquatic ecosystems. Contributes to antibiotic resistance.
7. Oven Cleaner
Often contains Sodium hydroxide, monoethanolamines (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), 2-Butoxyethanol, ammonia.
What problems can they cause? Eye and skin burn, eye and skin irritation, allergies, respiratory problems, asthma, blood disorders, reproductive problems, kidney and liver damage, cancer.
8. Air freshener
Often contains: synthetic musks, phthalates, benzene, formaldehyde
What problems can they cause? Interferes with the normal functioning of hormones, asthma, migraines, allergies, reproductive problems, cancer. Toxic to aquatic organisms.
9. Laundry Detergent
Often contains monoethanalomine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), 2-Butoxyethanol, phthalates, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), phosphates, Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES).
What problems can they cause? Eye and skin irritation, interference with the normal functioning of hormones, blood disorders, cancer. Toxic to the environmental water supply.
10. Furniture Polish
Often contains: synthetic musks, phthalates, isoparaffin
What problems can they cause? Interference with the normal functioning of hormones, allergies, asthma, migraines, cancer.
11. Carpet Cleaner
Often contains: 2-Butoxyethanol, phthalates, synthetic musks
What problems can they cause? Eye and skin irritation, blood disorders, hormone disruption, allergies, migraines, asthma, (in high doses) reproductive problems.
12. Antibacterial hand wash
Often contains: Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), triclosan
What problems can they cause? Eye and skin irritation, hormone disruption, contributes to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Long-term toxic effects in the aquatic environment.
With so many harmful chemicals in branded cleaners, it makes sense to change to natural alternatives that help to protect your health and the environment.
Green Cleaning Alternatives that Work
Before branded cleaning products were invented, people looked in their kitchen cupboards for ingredients to keep their homes clean and hygienic. If home-made remedies are for you, it’s cheap and easy to switch to these green cleaning alternatives. They’re good for the environment and your budget.
You can find lots of recipes for DIY home cleaners online. But with an eco-friendly cleaning range that works, why not consider:
1. Eco3 Multipurpose Cleaner
The multipurpose cleaner is an eco-responsible cleaner for all water tolerant surfaces. The powerful cleaning action can leave surfaces clinically clean – guaranteed. In clinical tests, the multipurpose cleaner provided outstanding performance and was simply the best eco-responsible multipurpose cleaner.
2. Eco3 Window Cleaner
Catering for all kinds of glass surfaces, the Eco3 window cleaner is a powerful window cleaning solution that leaves your glass crystal clear without streaks.
3. Eco3 Bathroom Cleaner
Ideal for all water tolerant surfaces within bathrooms, the powerful cleaning action leaves bathroom surfaces clinically clean. With a water based unique fresh scent, the Eco3 bathroom cleaner proved that it had outstanding performance and was simply the best eco-responsible bathroom cleaner.
4. Ultraclean Oven & BBQ Cleaner
The Ultraclean Oven & BBQ Cleaner is a laboratory proven, environmentally friendly cleaning product, specifically designed for cleaning grills and outdoor BBQ cooking surfaces. With high-tech ingredients to actively tackle all grease, grime and food residue, this cleaner leaves you with a sparkling clinically clean surface. Cleaning the surface like no other, Ultraclean makes light work for interior ovens, oven doors, cooktops, grills, griddles, oven trays and BBQ’s.
5. Home Red Wine Remover
We’ve all been there, had a gathering of people at home and you can almost guarantee that someone spills the dreaded Red Wine on your brand new carpet. Nightmare right? Within clinical trials and our years of experience, we have never seen a more effective, non-toxic, red wine stain remover. Being negatively charged, the remover has two advantages;
1) Forcing up the soiling to the surface, this is then picked up with the micro fibre cloth that is super positively charged.
2) The surface is then cleaned and left in a negatively charged state that repels further soiling.
Got that? Great. Now I can relax 😉
Green Cleaning Alternatives – Next Generation Brands
The next generation of eco-friendly cleaning brands uses clever technology to make their cleaning products safe, non-toxic and even more effective than trusted natural cleaners. Brands such as ECO.3 have created an eco-friendly cleaning range that uses a dynamic micellar liquid with a negative charge to reach and dislodge dirt particles deep within surfaces.
The advantages of using advanced eco cleaning brands like ECO.3 are:
- There’s no need to use harsh, caustic chemicals during cleaning.
- They don’t leave a chemical residue, so there aren’t any ugly streaks left on surfaces.
- Used in combination with a microfiber cloth, cleaning is quick and easy, and there’s no need for scrubbing.
- The micelle solution leaves a negatively charged layer on surfaces that help to repel dirt, leaving surfaces cleaner for longer.
- ECO.3 cleaners are available for a wide range of household surfaces, so there’s a specially-formulated natural alternative available whatever you want to clean.
Most of our ECO.3 products have no added fragrance, however, some Eco3 products contain natural, water-based, non-toxic fragrances that won’t cause you or your family to develop allergies, respiratory problems, or any other health issues. A range of advanced microfiber cleaning cloths is also available.
Brands like ECO.3 can offer you an affordable, sustainable cleaning solution because every product is available online at affordable prices. You can have products delivered directly to your home address and you can make further savings when you order refill packs rather than buying more plastic bottles.
Not only is it cheaper to clean naturally, with fewer harsh chemicals in the home, but it reduces your family’s carbon footprint by reducing demand for plastic bottles too. If you’re planning to upgrade your household cleaning products list, these solutions are reliable, proven alternatives.