We buy cleaning supplies because we want our homes to be sanitary and safe. However, while these chemical based products leave bathrooms gleaming and work surfaces germ-free, they also cause a lot of damage.
Eco-friendly, natural cleaners have been around for a long time (the chances are your great grandmother got rid of stains with a simple blend of lemon juice and baking soda!) Unfortunately, the rise of super strong grime-busting chemical cleaners forced many of these natural remedies to fall by the wayside. Recently, however, we began to remind ourselves of the benefits of eco-friendly cleaning products: not only are they very effective cleaners, but they’re far better for our health and the environment.
The problems with chemical cleaning products
Traditional cleaning products involve chemicals that cut through dirt and disinfect. Though they leave our homes sparkling and smelling sweet, they’re seriously damaging. These chemicals are responsible for air pollution, water contamination and landfill, along with affecting our health. “Ammonia found in degreasers, chlorine found in disinfectants and dish detergents, and the glycol found in ‘removals’ are extremely toxic,” explains Sebastien Dupéré of Dupray Inc. “They cause cancer, anaemia and liver and kidney damage, and those individuals with compromised immune systems are even more susceptible.” Chemical cleaners are also linked to skin irritation and breathing problems, as well as causing damage through chemical burns.
What are the worst offenders?
Drain, oven and toilet cleaners tend to be the most problematic, as they are specifically designed to be corrosive and cause damage to other particles. Air fresheners and detergents are also very dangerous, both containing the well known carcinogen formaldehyde.
Once household cleaners have done their job, they disperse into the air or disappear down the drain. It is now that they begin to wreak havoc on the environment. Polishes and sprays contain air pollutants, a problem that is heightened when we clean in small rooms without ventilation. Liquid cleaners also go on to cause damage; when undergoing sewage treatment, while some chemical ingredients are broken down into harmless substances, there remains certain types of chemicals that go on to threaten water quality and wildlife.
But it’s not only the cleaning liquids that are a cause for concern. Most of these products come packaged in plastic bottles, and though these can be recycled, a great amount continues to end up in landfills. And when the packaging isn’t thoroughly cleaned before throwing out, it runs the risk of chemicals spreading into the environment, damaging habitats and poisoning animals.
So what’s the solution?
More and more of us are becoming aware of the value of safe, simple ingredients in cleaning. The likes of vinegar, salt, fruit peels, water and even alcohol are highly effective, simply requiring a little bit of elbow grease in order to get rid of stains, dirt and germs.
Some specialist retailers now offer eco-friendly cleaning supplies, allowing us to blitz and spritz our homes without doing damage to our environment or our health. If you want to switch to green cleaners, look out for products that are nontoxic, concentrated and formulated for cold water, as well as containing no VOCs or fragrance. You should also choose cleaning liquids and equipment that’s available in recyclable packaging.
… And what are the benefits?
“I decided to go eco-friendly soon after I went “no ‘poo” a year and a half ago (no shampoo or conditioner),” explains digital marketer and eco-friendly enthusiast, Kayleigh. “The health benefits were so good that I became interested in going non-toxic in as much as my life as possible.”
Not only do non-chemical cleaners benefit our environment, both at home and on a larger scale, but they can make a huge difference to our health. “Ditching the conventional versions of cleaning and personal care products has completely cured my migraines, blocked sinuses, sore throat and dry skin,” tells Kayleigh, who records her switch to eco-friendly products on her green lifestyle and natural health, Blue Jeans White Tee.
Switching to chemical-free cleaning supplies can also save money. Though purchasing individual bottles of eco-friendly alternatives can sometimes come up slightly more expensive, when you buy in bulk or DIY, you’ll notice a markable saving. “I use Bio-D and Faith in Nature for most of my household cleaning,” Kayleigh explains. “I bulk buy wherever possible to minimise packaging and unnecessary deliveries. I also plan to try out Humble Stuff soon, as well as making my own.”
Making the change from chemical cleaners to ecological supplies is surprisingly easy, and you are certain to have a positive impact on the environment. You can also rest assured that your home is now a safer, more natural place for you and your family.
Have you switched from chemicals to eco-friendly cleaning products? Do you feel passionately about eco-friendly living? Get in touch with us @InteriorGoods and let us know what you think, and be sure to click the button below to discover our range of sustainable wooden blinds.