There is a real fear out there, (as well there should be) that many of the products that we clean our homes with are making us sick. Unfortunately, home cleaning products don’t have to list their ingredients like food manufacturers do. After doing a bunch of research for myself, I’ve stopped using bleach, ammonia, store-bought laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dishwashing detergent. This is shocking to most people I know and confusing to others because most people don’t know what they would do without those products.
So then I went a little “green” crazy and ended up a little broke.
There is a growing trend of overpriced products out there that play into our toxicity fears and will charge you upwards of $25 a bottle for a so-called “green” laundry detergent. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with many of the new green products out there, but there is talk of harmful ingredients being present in some of these products, and there is no way of knowing, because green products don’t have to list their ingredients either. And if they do, what’s stopping them from leaving the objectionable items off the list?
Here’s a list of some common cleaning agents (and their side-effects) found in most of the products listed above:
Household Bleach: (aka- “Sodium Hypochlorite”) Asthma, headaches, skin irritations throat conditions. Prolonged exposure can cause pulmonary edema, hardening of the arteries. Used in combination with ammonia creates a very toxic and poisonous gas (I have firsthand experience with ths one, TRUST me)
Ammonia: Irritates eyes, lungs (asthma), nasal passages, and can cause chest pains. Prolonged exposure can damage liver, kidneys, throat and skin and can lead t blindness.
Phosphates and Phosphoric acid: Environmental pollutants that do not fully breakdown in sewge water and septic tanks, creating over-production of algae in rivers and streams contributing to the “green slime” that often occurs in these areas, choking plant and wildlife.
Paradichlorobenzene (PDCB): Eye and skin irritant and is a possible carcinogenic. Breathing and lung problems and could have an adverse affect on the central nervous system.
Monoethanolamine (MEA): asthma, and birth defects in animals
Hydrochloric Acid: poisonous and toxic, causes skin, lung and eye damage. Deadly if swallowed.
Ethoxylated Nonyl Phenol (NPE): possibly grows cancer cells, corrupts proper hormone development. Hard to remove from water, and has been banned in several areas of Europe, but is still found in most US detergents
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I am NOT a scientist but all of the above ingredients can be found in regular laundry detergent, drain cleaners, furniture polish, fabric softener and one of the ingredients can be found in soda.
Yes, I said soda.
I now make all of the cleaning products for my home, and after turning my home into a lab for a while ( I LOVE to experiment) I was surprised at how easy it actually was, and how much money we actually saved. Here in the “Home” section I share those cleaning recipes, and tips and hopefully, you’ll send some my way too so that we can grow together!