Toxic Household Cleaners

j02839321My stepmother was a clean freak.  Of course, she preferred not to have to do the cleaning herself so my brothers and I had the lovely task of keeping the house clean.  The actuall cleaning wasn’t as bad as the yelling we were going to get if we didn’t do it just right.  When I left home, I joined the Army and once again, I had to make sure that things were spic and span.  Actually I have to say that my stepmother prepared me very well for the Army when it came to making my bed and cleaning bathrooms, floors, etc..

Even though I was pretty good and cleaning, I didn’t enjoy doing it at all.  You see, I have a pretty sensitive nose and every time I used certain household cleaners, I would actually get a headache.  Sometimes the cleaning products would make me dizzy and I would usually end up coughing for a few hours after a cleaning session.

Most Household Cleaners Are Highly Toxic  j04039231

It wasn’t until much later that I learned that many of the ingredients found in most household cleaning products are toxic.  I just knew that if I went down the cleaning isle at the grocery store I was going to sneeze before I reached the end.  I was taught to use certain products to get the best results on cleaning jobs.  Like when it came to removing hard water stains from the bathtub, I would use a certain product that would get the job done in a matter of minutes.  Of course, I would have a bad smell and taste in my mouth for hours afterwards but the tub was clean.  I didn’t know any better, I thought the worse it smelled meant I had a really good product that would clean the heck out of everything.

I really hate to think about all of the chemicals that I have inhaled over the years.  Inhaling toxic chemicals can have serious health risks attached. 

Safe Cleaning Alternatives

Luckily, I’m a little smarter today than when I was younger.  Now I know that it’s NOT okay to get a headache or feel dizzy when I am cleaning my house.  I know that there are other safe and effective household cleaners that can be used.  Now when I buy a cleaner, I look for something that doesn’t contain hazardous chemicals, harsh fragrances, and it’s environmentally safe to use.

My 2 Favorite Environmentally Safe Cleaners

There are two things that I always keep on hand in my house.  Not only are they safe to use but they also work great and they don’t cost nearly as much as the toxic alternatives.

  • Vinegar – who knew that vinegar was so powerful as an antibacterial.  Using a solution with just 5% vinegar can kill up to 99% of bacteria and as much as 80% of germs.  It’s great for cleaning windows, kitchens, bathrooms, I even use it to clean my floors with.
  • Baking Soda – is a great deodorizer.  Put a box in your refrigerator to keep it smelling nice.  It is also a great nonabrasive cleanser for sinks and bathtubs.  If you have a slow moving drain pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and then slowly pour a cup of vinegar in after it, let it sit for 15 minutes or so and pour about a gallon of hot water in to flush it all away.

If you have ever suffered from a coughing fit after using a harsh cleanser, you may want to consider switching to something non-toxic.  Not only will your lungs thank you but you will save money and help clean up the environment as well.