If you’re like most people, you take great care to ensure your home is safe for everyone living in it. That includes doing your best to maintain a clean living environment with minimal germs, mold, and allergens. You dust, scrub, vacuum, and mop so your family and guests can feel comfortable and healthy in your house.
But what if your cleaning efforts are bringing other dangers into your house? Do you take care to use only safe household products, or do you tend to go with the big-brand, chemical-laden ones you’re more familiar with? Many popular cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that are dangerous to people, pets, and the environment. After all, they’re designed to kill living organisms like mold and bacteria.
If it can kill mold and bacteria, there’s a good chance it can harm you. Even if you are careful to protect yourself with a mask and gloves during cleaning, those chemicals linger on your household surfaces and in the air where they can affect anybody. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to switch to safe household cleaners that do not contain harsh and noxious chemicals.
Of course, this means you may need to do a little research to learn what safe household cleaners are out there and which cleaners to avoid. If you aren’t familiar with what makes a cleaner safe or dangerous, we’ll give you some basic tips for understanding the difference and share seven popular, safe household cleaners to get you started towards a truly healthy home.
Which household cleaners are safe?
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which household cleaners are safe because manufacturers don’t tell us much about the ingredients in their products. They use vague terms on the bottle or leave off potentially dangerous ingredients completely. Still, you should always read labels. If you see a usage warning (wear gloves, hazard to humans and animals) or any of these ingredients, steer clear:
- Formaldehyde releasers
- Quaternary ammonium compounds
- Sodium hypochlorite
Many people automatically reach for cleaners that are labeled “green,” “natural,” or “organic” thinking they are safe. Unfortunately, there are no regulations for using these terms on cleaning products. Instead, look for household cleaners that have fewer ingredients, botanical ingredients, and recognizable ingredients. Some labels might mention substitutes for chemicals. The fewer synthetic chemicals, the better.
How to know if my household cleaners are safe
Reading labels is one thing, but understanding them is another. As we said, manufacturers use a lot of misleading phrases to hide or downplay dangerous ingredients. Your best option for how to know if your household cleaners are safe is to check them against the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning database.
This database rates cleaning products for how safe they are. If a product’s label and marketing indicate it is a safe household cleaner, double-check it on this database to see how it compares to other products. You can read about a product’s potential dangers and problematic ingredients. With enough research, over time you will get the hang of identifying household cleaners that are most likely safe or safer than their toxic counterparts.
Another way to ensure you’re using safe household cleaners is to make them yourself. That way you always know what’s in them! With so many people looking for safer products, there are countless recipes online for effective homemade cleaners that are cheap, easy, and healthy.
Seven Safe Household Cleaners to Stock in Your Cabinet
Building a stockpile of safe household cleaners can be overwhelming. We suggest starting with the basics. Luckily, there are many innovative brands of cleaning solutions today that are both safe for your household and the environment so it shouldn’t be difficult to find new products to try.
You should also consider your specific needs. If you are a pet parent, look for pet-safe household cleaners. Homes with small children should look for baby-safe household cleaners. No matter who lives with or visits you, you will all benefit from a clean, chemical-free home.
To begin your search, here are seven safe household cleaners to replace your dangerous cleaners:
Multi-purpose cleaner: Bon Ami Powder Cleanser gets an A+ from EWG for safety but is still an effective scrubbing powder when baking soda just doesn’t cut it.
Dish soap: Ecover Zero Dish Soap has a short ingredient list and is fragrance-free but still cuts through grease and stuck-on food like other brands.
Floor cleaner: White House Foods Cleaning Vinegar is simply white vinegar with a pleasant lavender scent and all you need to clean floors.
Cleaning wipes: Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar Wipes tackle food messes with vinegar, plant-based cleaners, and essential oils. They leave your counters clean and spot-free.
Shower cleaner: ECOS Shower Cleaner uses tea tree oil to clean and freshen your shower while helping to prevent scum buildup.
Laundry detergent: AspenClean Laundry Detergent is made from only plant- and mineral-derived ingredients. Pick from naturally scented and unscented.
Fabric cleaner: Attitude Little Ones Fabric Refresher uses only plant- and mineral-based ingredients and is hypoallergenic. It’s great for all kinds of stains from pets, kids, and more.
Healthy Cleaning Every Time
With a little knowledge and practice, it isn’t hard to find or make safe household cleaners that not only eliminate dangers like dirt, mold, and bacteria from your home but also don’t introduce the dangers of poisonous chemicals. If you haven’t made the switch to eco-friendly, chemical-free cleaners yet, follow our list of safe cleaners to get started.
Concerned about the health of your household but don’t have time to clean? Helping Hands Cleaning Services is here to help. We provide affordable residential cleaning services to the Western and Southern suburbs of Chicago. Our loyal clients love coming home to a healthy environment because they know we perform detailed cleaning with safe and effective cleaning products with no harmful chemicals.
Request a free estimate today and save yourself the time and hassle of house cleaning.