Everyone is on a green kick from green clothing to saving energy. I recently learned the dangers of some common household cleaning products, and how to use a green alternative instead of the chemical variety of cleaners. True this is better for the environment, but since developing adult onset asthma last year, I have noticed that most chemicals whether sprays or powders, make it difficult for me to breath. So I have began using green cleaning products. Here are some of the common household cleaning products, their dangers, and the alternative green products.
1. Toilet Bowl Cleaners. The best variety come in powder form such as Comet or Ajax. Most of the chemical listed in these products are hazardous chemicals. if you don’t believe me, try mixing them with other household cleaners, and see if you don’t get a nice chemical experiment in your bathroom or kitchen. The green solution is to simply use baking soda. i have been using this for awhile. While it is a bit difficult to get stains off the toilet bowl, the fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen actually look better and brighter with baking soda.
2. Floor cleaners. I usually use pine sol or some type of heavy duty floor cleaner. These usually contain chemicals called petroleum distillates and morpholines. These chemicals are cause pollution when dumped in our water supply and when ingested by wildlife, are stored in the fatty tissue of animals, sometimes leading to toxic levels of the chemicals. The green alternative is using a fourth of a cup of white vinegar per each quart of water. While this doesn’t disinfect the floors, hot water should pretty much take care of any germs on the floor. This works well with cleaning the floors, both linoleum and hardwood.
3. Oven Cleaners. I have been using Easy Off for years, but the fumes are horrible. I can no longer tolerate them. It is pretty clear what the hazard of these chemicals are. They are terrible on the lungs of anyone who breaths them. The green alternative is to mix concentrated orange cleaner and baking soda together into a paste. Be sure and scrape off any excess grim from the oven, before applying the paste with a scouring pad. This pretty much takes off most of the caked on food the first time. Sometimes I have to go over it a second time, but it sure beats destroying my lungs with chemical fumes.
4. Bleach for clothes. Of course we have been using bleach for generations. We all know that the bleach seeps into our water supply, and can become toxic in the environment. Again, Smelling strong bleach smell is not good for anyone with sensitive lungs. The green solution is to use hydrogen peroxide. a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide to water removes tough stains. Of course that large of a solution in the washer would be difficult. So this is much better for soaking stains out of clothes, and it works. I however still use about a half cup of hydrogen peroxide in my whites, and it still leaves them whiter than if I had used nothing.
Whether you have sensitive lungs or are trying to go green, using these green cleaning products are an excellent idea. Not to mention , that I actually save money every week on my grocery bill for cleaning supplies.