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8 Toxic Household Cleaners You Should Avoid at All Costs

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

 


It may shock you to realize how toxic everyday cleaners can be. Homes can have hundreds of harmful chemicals lurking under their sink.

Are the products that you're using helping or hurting you? Toxins from cleaners can be absorbed topically through the skin even if you're wearing gloves, or by breathing it in. Check out this list of 8 toxic household cleaners.

Oven Cleaner

Containing sodium hydroxide and piperonyl butoxide, oven cleaner gives off fumes so powerful, you may find yourself leaving the kitchen, or even the house after spraying it. Sound scary? It is.

The label warns against using the product without gloves, a mask, and plenty of ventilation. Inhaling oven cleaner fumes will make you cough, burn your eyes, and even make you sick.

After cleaning, the fumes may linger and give your food a bad taste.

Use instead: A paste of baking soda and water can be applied to the inside of the oven (avoiding the heating element) and left to sit overnight. Wipe off baking soda first with white vinegar, then with water.

Furniture Polish

Formaldehyde is normally used in adhesives, or to embalm dead bodies. Someone, somewhere thought it would make good furniture polish. Ammonia and petroleum gasses are also used.

Household cleaners that are toxic have the most random harmful ingredients!

Use instead: A mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar.

Aerosol Air Freshener

Aerosol air freshener is two evils in one. Filled with hydrocarbons, VOCs, and formaldehyde PLUS petrochemicals that are known carcinogens.

Additionally, other aerosols should be avoided such as hairspray, and food products like pan spray and whipped cream.

Use instead: Essential oil mixed with water in a spray bottle or diffuser.

Ammonia

On its own ammonia is sold as a cleaner, and also as a component of other cleaners. It has a pungent smell that is easily recognized. Used for removing tough stains, especially oil stains from the home.

If concentrated ammonia is inhaled it can burn your lungs, and it can even be fatal.

Use instead: Vinegar or peroxide.

Chlorine Bleach

Bleach on its own is toxic, but when mixed with certain other cleaners, can put off deadly fumes. Household cleaner safety is serious business when mixing cleaners.

Used to disinfect, remove tough stains and mold, bleach is very potent.

Use instead: Baking soda, vinegar, and even peroxide.

Drain Cleaners

Most drain cleaners contain toxic chemicals like sodium hydroxide aka lye and strong acids that can not only damage your plumbing, but maybe seriously harmful to your health.

Use instead: Salt and baking soda followed by boiling white vinegar.

Conventional Dish Soap

Something we may not put much thought into is what's in our dish soap. We assume that by rinsing it off we've gotten rid of any residue.

Dish soap can leave behind manmade phosphates, sulfates, fragrances, and other inedible chemicals.

Use instead: Natural dish soap. Mixture of vinegar and essential oil like orange or lemon which naturally disinfect, add castile soap for viscosity.

Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener

Unbeknownst to most consumers is the nasty toxic ingredients in most laundry products. Petroleum byproducts are carcinogenic, toxic, and at the very least, irritating to the human body.

Laundry products also contain synthetic fragrance, bleach, and a whole list of toxic chemicals that end with -ate.

Use instead: Soapberries aka soap nuts, baking soda, or white vinegar can be used to wash and soften your clothes. Essential oil can be added for a fresh scent.

Avoiding Toxic Household Cleaners

Dangerous household cleaners come in many forms. It can be a real wake up call when you realize how many toxic household cleaners you've been using without even knowing it. Educating yourself on chemical uses and safety tips can help keep you and your family safe.

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