Just 4 Ingredients
Make Your Own Cleaners
Happy Homemaking the Homemade Way
In the past few years, we have seemingly become an antibacterial, disinfectant-crazed society and we throw a lot of money at the concept of protecting our homes from germs. Yet, we may be wasting our money as some research now indicates we may be causing more harm than the germs we seek to destroy. Many expensive cleaning products can emit harmful chemicals into our home, compromise indoor air quality, and pose potential health risks.
Some of the chemical compounds included in basic household cleaning products carry associated health risks that might surprise you. Even the ones that claim to be non-toxic are not necessarily safe. The long-term effects of certain products have not been thoroughly tested and the government only regulates warning labels based on immediate and acute health risks, not long-term chronic ones. In other words, if a product is harmful if swallowed, will burn skin or eyes on contact or emits vapors that damage mucus membranes, there must be a warning label stating as much. However, a product that potentially poses long-term risks does not have to carry a warning.
Nearly every variety of household cleaning product has a disinfectant version. However, experts believe that we may have compounded the original problem in the home by overusing products that kill bacteria-causing germs. Many believe that over use has led to the development of more resistant strains of bacteria and underexposure to certain germs might be compromising our children's immune systems.
If the environmental and health risks associated with commercial cleaning products are not enough to convince you to look for alternatives, saving money should be. Anti-bacterial, disinfecting cleaners can be expensive, especially if you purchase different ones for every job. The actual expense might outweigh the benefits and there are many alternatives to expensive commercial products that will effectively and safely clean your home.
It seems as if society has forgotten that old-fashioned soap and water actually cleans. Rather than spraying chlorine bleach or ammonia based products on kitchen and bathroom surfaces, consider the following alternatives.
Bathroom and Heavy Duty Cleaner
Abrasive Cleaner Alternative
Laundry Detergent Alternative
Air Freshener Alternative
Trying some of these alternatives to expensive, toxic commercial cleaning products can prove to be both budget and environmentally friendly. You can purchase most of the ingredients in any grocery store. Borax is most frequently found near the cleaning and laundry products, while lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar are usually found near baking supplies.
Even if you don't want to replace all of your cleaners with homemade versions, consider gradually phasing in a few homemade mixtures as your routine products need replacing. Also keep in mind that disinfectant surface sprays can be used safely if they are used sparingly, but you should still avoid breathing fumes.
Jennifer is a freelance writer based in Ohio who has written numerous health-related articles for print and web-based publications. She has also contributed to several regional parenting magazines and websites on a variety of family topics.
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