If we take a look into our cabinets or in our bathrooms, we’re bound to find an assortment of cleaning products. We want our house to stay looking “spic and span” and that name even is the brand name of a household cleaning product. We try to keep our houses from being “germ-infested” so in our quest for cleanliness, we use a combination of chemicals to wipe down the house and not know what we’re releasing into the air and then into our bodies.
Sometimes there’s even warnings on the labels for the chemicals not to get in contact with our skin or eyes and to not breathe in the fumes. When thinking about it more closely, it doesn’t make sense for us to be using products that have such a risk of being a danger to our health. We are in a constant relationship with germs and we need to get away from the stigma that surrounds bacteria. Constant cleaning towards a germ-free home is impossible but that’s why we have an immune system.
There are quite a few synthetic chemicals that have been derived from petroleum and coal tar. In relation to that, cleaning products contain those exact synthetic chemicals. Most of these chemicals have not been studied for their long term effects or their combined/cumulative effects. Why must we use something that’s supposed to protect us from getting sick when the product itself can cause us potential harm?
There have been laboratory and human studies that have raised concerns about endocrine disruption and asthma. That may have resulted from the exposure to chemicals in consumer products such as petroleum based cleaners. Do not worry, there are alternatives and ways to be a smart consumer!
First of all, there is the option of going natural. Good old hot water can do the trick for simple messes and adding baking soda or lemon juice can be a great alternative choice as well. White vinegar is also a versatile cleaning agents. To actually scrub things off, natural cleaning tools can be used instead of plastic ones like using a wooden bristle brush.
Secondly, just make sure you are reading labels and be aware of the product’s ingredients as an educated consumer. A good choice is Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Cleaner that comes in a variety of scents like Rosemary or Lavender and is 98% naturally derived. So in comparison to what else is on the market, it isn’t a bad first step in moving away from harsh cleaning chemicals.
Just like what we put into our bodies, like food, we should be making good decisions for our health and longevity. We still breathe in dangerous chemicals even if we aren’t eating them like food. Working towards more green alternatives is not only better for our bodies but also the environment.