Eco-Friendly Cleaning – By Diane Smith
Do you know what the difference is between environmentally eco-friendly products and commercial cleaning products? This is one of the huge factors in the environment today when it comes to cleaning your home. You really never heard much about how bad it was for you, your family, and the environment thirty years ago. At least I didn’t, or maybe it was that I lived the sheltered life back then. I have tried so many different kinds of commercial cleaning products over the years before I changed to eco-friendly homemade cleaning recipes and all-natural plant based products. First, let me tell you a little about my experience with commercial cleaners.
Why I Gave Up Commercial Cleaning Products
I really didn’t pay much attention to the kind of products I was bringing into my home thirty years ago, although I do remember the smell could choke a horse! I never thought about reading the labels to see what ingredients was in the product. This has made a huge impact on my life, and not in a good way. These cleansers were not only toxic, but the way they affected my overall health. I would always feel like I was coming down with the flu. I would get headaches, cough, sneeze, bronchitis, skin rashes, and so much more.
Until about eight years ago, I decided to research commercial cleaners and how it can affect your health when you clean with them in your home. They are full of hazardous chemical components. If I would have read the labels and found what was really in the ingredients years ago, you would think why in the world would I bring that toxic stuff into my home, or would anyone else for that matter.
About Commercial Cleaners
Some of the ingredients include Sodium Hydroxide found in oven cleaners and drain openers, it can cause severe burns to the eyes and skin. It can also cause a sore throat that can last for several days (epa.gov). Butoxyethanol is found in kitchen, window, and multipurpose cleaners, this gives the sweet smell in these cleaners. This can contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage (Ewg.org, epa.gov). Phthalates are found in air fresheners, dish soaps, even toilet paper. Phthalates are hormone disrupting chemicals that will interfere with the production of the male sex hormone and testosterone, the list goes on and on (fda.gov).
Some companies do not have to disclose what’s in their scent because of proprietary laws, so you will not see this listed on the label. If you see the word fragrance on the label, there is a good chance phthalates are in the product.
Health Effects of Commercial Cleaners
We wonder why there is so much sickness in the world today. In my opinion, I think most of our sickness could stem from some of the commercial products that are used in our homes on a daily basis. We all need to be more cautious about our surroundings and the products we bring into our home. It’s certainly something to think about.
It all makes sense to me now, why I was feeling so sick when I would clean with chemicals. Did you know when you mop your floors with toxic cleaners, it can absorb up into your baby’s feet and make them very sick. I think it’s a no brainer to get rid of the toxins and toss them in the trash, let’s say safely dispose of them. These are the reasons why I stopped using commercial cleaners and the experience that I had with them! Ok, enough about the toxic talk, now let’s move on to the eco-friendly good stuff.
Transition to Eco-Friendly Cleaning Methods
I run a successful All Natural House Cleaning Boutique in the Charleston, South Carolina area. When I started my business, I had to make a list of what cleaners to use that is environmentally eco-friendly to my clients, you never want to bring toxins into a client’s home. First of all, I came up with 100 homemade cleaning recipes with essential oils and put them into an eBook. That’s about as non-toxic as you can get! Many people are not aware of using homemade cleaning products or don’t know how to make the recipes. You can make them for a fraction of the cost. I can make up a batch of homemade lavender laundry powder that will last me several months, and cost less than $20.00.
Have you ever thought about cleaning with ingredients hiding in your kitchen? Vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt, are some of the ingredients I use to make my homemade recipes. You can even make cleaners infused with fruit, lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit, this is what I love about using homemade cleaners. If you can eat it, you know it’s safe to clean with it without bringing the toxins into your home, and it’s safe around your children and pets. This is the most basic eco-friendly cleaning there is!
Favorite Eco-Friendly Products
I also use plant-based cleaning products to clean my client’s homes as well as my own home. My main cleaners are Young Living, Method, and Mrs. Meyers Clean Day; all are eco-friendly naturally derived plant-based cleaners. The Method all-purpose cleaner has an amazing smell; the pink grapefruit scent is my favorite. I use this product daily to clean stovetops, countertops, and more. The smell is light and crisp and not to over bearing like some products can be.
The Method toilet bowl cleaner is antibacterial and kills 99.9% of germs. It cleans and disinfects with a spearmint scent and does an amazing job without using chemicals. I highly recommend this product for cleaning toilets. The bathroom cleaner also has a fresh spearmint scent and cleans and disinfects. I use this product daily on my client’s bathrooms. The squirt and mop wood floor cleaner is plant based and has an almond scent, I like the way it cleans the floors, it gives them a nice shine, and it is safe and nontoxic. Seventh generation dishwasher packs are not my favorite, it left a light film on my dishes. In my opinion, my homemade dishwasher recipe does a much better job at cleaning the dishes.
Thieves is a concentrated plant based household cleaner from Young Living, you get the benefits and power of the essential oils blend. I love this product for cleaning everything from glass to countertops, toilets, showers, and more! I add a capful to a 16-oz. glass spray bottle and mix with water, just spray and clean. This is the perfect product for moms that are concerned about what type of cleaners they use in their home. It is formulated with only plant and mineral based ingredients; this product is one of the safest to use around children and pets, highly recommended!
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day comes in several different scents. I love the multi-surface concentrate, it’s a great product that gets the job done. I use this on floors, cupboards, countertops, stovetops, and sinks. It contains plant derived ingredients and made without parabens & phthalates. The lemon verbena has a nice citrus scent that makes your home feel fresh and clean, I love all of what Mrs. Meyers brand has to offer.
There are many benefits for using eco-friendly products. Some are, less risk for exposing your skin from harsh chemicals, better air quality, and overall a heathier home. Eco-friendly cleaning is essential to our health; I will never go back to cleaning with commercial products, even though they may clean and disinfect your home, they release hazardous chemical components into your environment.
The Method, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, Young Living, and homemade cleaning recipes are my top choices for getting your home clean, and they are all eco-friendly. So, the next time you make your shopping list for cleaning products, cross off the toxins and invest in plant based derived ingredients. There is a safer way to clean, you can eliminate long term health concerns by using all natural cleaning solutions that is better for you, your family, and the environment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Diana Smith is the Founder of secretsfromacleaninglady.com. She was born into an Italian family and raised in a small town in Eastern Ohio. Her blog was created to share my eco-friendly cleaning tips and homemade recipes to bring awareness to those who don’t realize how detrimental toxic commercial cleaning products can be to our health, our children’s health, and well-being. We live in a toxic world, and the commercial cleaning products we use on a daily basis is full of hazardous chemicals. Join her on her journey to an inspiring wealth of information to a healthy and happy home, that will help you implement natural green living for an eco-friendly environment. https://www.secretsfromacleaninglady.com/about-the-author/