Hola Chicas/Chicos..I pray all is well with everyone.
Ok, so let's get down to the 'green' of things..No, literally. Now, we have discussed all about harmful chemicals in our hair and skin products, but how about those harmful ingredients that we use daily to clean our home. And with our little ones around, it frightens me just to think how those chemicals can not only be harmful to our environment, but extremely dangerous if our inquisitive little ones get hold to those products. So, let's take a look at how 'green' our clean is...
What's The Big Deal About Regular Cleaners??
- Well, many of the cleaners on the market designed for household cleaning actually add chemical contaminants into the air around you, the water outside and potentially your own bodies..Yikes!
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average home have as much as 100 pounds of environmentally harmful chemicals in the basement, garage and other storage areas. These very chemicals can contaminate your septic tank or pollute the groundwater if they're poured down drains or toilets.
- The toxic ingredients in cleaning products can be dangerous to children and pets. A 2010 study published in 'Pediatrics' found that 267,269 children were treated in emergency rooms between 1990 and 2006 for injuries related to exposure to household cleaners.
- Research has indicated that people who use chemical sprays, particularly glass cleaners, furniture polishes or freshening the air (plug ins), faced the risk of asthma.
So..What Should I Try To Avoid??
- Try to avoid products that make vague claims, such as; 'natural' or 'non toxic' or 'eco friendly'..these claims are not backed by any federal or industry regulations. Even products that say 'biodegradable' seem earth friendly, but really, any substance will break down in time, under the right conditions.
- Avoid cleaners containing surfactants such as: ALKYLPHENOL ETHOXYLATES (APE), DEA AND TEA(remember this ingredient is in EcoStyler Gel..Yikes), nerve damaging BUTYL CELLOSOLVE, CHLORINE, AMMONIA, FRAGRANCES containing PHTHALATES, the antibacterial TRICLOSAN and petroleum-based ingredients.
- Avoid 1,4 DICHOLOROBENZENE (a volatile organic compound or VOC also known as 1,4 DCB)..This ingredient is what puts the odor in the infamous 'mothballs' and can also be found in insecticides, and it can trigger asthma.
Soooo, What Should I Look For??
- Look for products from companies that name 'every' ingredient on the package or on their website..keep in mind, manufacturers are not required by law to list specific ingredients on their labels.
- If you can't find detailed ingredients listing, select products that tell you what's 'NOT' inside...For example, 'No ammonia' ' No chlorine' 'No petrochemicals' 'No sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate'
- Independent groups such as 'Green Seal' 'Cradle to Cradle' the 'Leaping Bunny' and the EPA analyze products and certify that their ingredients do not pose a risk to health or the environment.
Green Your Clean With Natural Pantry Products..Try These Suggestions
- Windows: Mix equal parts White Vinegar and hot water and apply with a quality squeegee.
- Kitchens, Bathrooms and Laundry: BAKING SODA!!! Sprinkle it on a damp sponge or cloth and it can be used as a gentle, nonabrasice cleaner for countertops, sinks, bathtubs, ovens and on fiberglass. Add a cup to your washer load and it will neutralize odors..It's great as a carpet refresher as well. For a nice fast working foam cleaner, combine baking soda to water, vinegar or lemon juice.
- Furniture: Dust and polish your wood furniture with a mixture of one half cup of white vinegar and 1 TSP of Olive Oil...This works wonderfully. I actually add a few drops of lemon and tangerine oil for a wonderful fragrance.
- Carpets and Rugs: To attack stains before they set in, douse the soiled area with club soda, then blot with a rag. Now, if you're dealing with a big stain, cover it with cornmeal (dump, rather than sprinkle), wait 5 to 15 minutes and vacuum. How about a nice spot cleaner..Put 1/4 c liquid soap and 1/3 c water into a blender and mix until foamy. Spray the mixture on the spot, then rinse with vinegar. For deorderizing..Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the carpet, use 1 c per medium sized room, wait 30 minutes, vacuum.
- All Purpose Cleaning: Borax, Borax, Borax..Mix 1/2 c of Borax with 1 gal of hot water. Make sure the Borax dissolves completely. Apply, then wipe clean with a rag..For spray bottle use: Use 1/8 c of Borax mixed with a quart of hot water and use as needed.
Additional Green Cleaning Tips:
- Borax: Disenfects, Bleaches and Deorderizes.
- White Vinegar: Disinfects and Breaks up Dirt..I can definitely attest to this one (Again, for a nice scent, I add sweet orange oil or tangerine oil and lemon oil)
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Provides Bleaching and Disinfecting action
- Lemons and Lemon Juice: Cuts Grease
- Olive Oil: Picks up dirt and polishes wood
- Vegetable Based (liquid Castile) soap: Serves as a nonpetroleum all purpose cleanser
- Washing Soda: Removes stains, provides general cleansing, helps unblock pipes **(be sure to wear gloves when using)
Well, now that you are all equipped, let's go and green clean our home..
Happy Natty Day!
credits: Remedies March 2011