That Fresh Scent After Cleaning Might be Toxic to Your Health

When you walk into someone’s home, you likely notice the scent of the house. Good or bad, it makes you consider what your own home smells like to others. We all want good scents in our home, whether that be a “clean” smell, a “fresh” smell, a “warm, inviting” smell… the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, the products we use to get those kinds of scents in our homes can contain hidden dangers to our friends, family, and even our pets.

Toxins Hiding in Your Cleaning Products

The scent of your home goes hand in hand with the cleanliness and health of your environment. Especially if you have children, you worry about making sure high traffic areas and high touch surfaces are clean of dirt and germs.

Unfortunately, cleaning products that are marketed to keep your house smelling fresh and keep germs away from your family are often made with toxins that can be dangerous to those you love.

Anything with a Fragrance

Air fresheners for your bathroom, scented dish soap, fabric sprays, and anything else that is scented likely contains phthalates. This toxin is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can have a negative impact on the glands that release hormones into your body. It has also been found to lower the sperm count in men.

Anti-bacterial Cleaners

Almost everything that is labeled anti-bacterial, such as dish soaps, hand soaps, and general household cleaners, can have triclosan and Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QUATS). These toxins both help the breeding of drug-resistant super bacteria.

Triclosan has also been listed as a possible carcinogen. A carcinogen means a substance is capable of causing cancer. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets may also contain QUATS.

Spray Cleaners

Window and glass cleaners, multipurpose cleaners, furniture or countertop polishing cleaners can all contain 2-Butoxyethanol and Ammonia. These toxins can cause pulmonary edema, narcosis, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. 2-Butoxyethanol has also been linked to severe liver and kidney disease. These types of cleaners can be used in small, unventilated spaces, like bathrooms, leaving you to inhale much more than even the workplace recommended levels.

Heavy Duty Cleaners

In most scouring powders for your toilets, sinks, and ovens Chlorine is used. Chlorine is a respiratory irritant on an acute level. An acute level means respiratory effects from Chlorine can be severe. Oven and drain cleaners can also contain Sodium Hydroxide. If this comes into contact with your skin or eyes it can leave you with severe burns.

What is the solution?

After reading the harmful effects of these cleaners on the human body, most people are conflicted. You don’t want anything like that to get near you or your family, but you also don’t know how to get your home clean without using the products you’ve been using for years. Or worse, you have a cleaning company for your home or business and you aren’t sure what kind of cleaning products they use to keep your home and office clean.

Pregnant women, in particular, need to take care of the types of products they clean with and are exposed to. A few years ago, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stated, “Widespread exposure to toxic environmental chemicals threatens healthy human reproduction.”

Thankfully, this issue has been brought to the forefront of the public’s attention and people are starting to take notice. In turn, the companies who produce cleaning products are becoming more careful about the chemicals they use. There is always the DIY route, but if you’re not into making your own cleaning products, there are many more options than there used to be for safer, green cleaning products.

What to look for

Even if a company is touting its “green” product, there are still certain keywords to look for on a label to make sure the product is actually safe. If you read the words “danger” or “caution,” the product might not be as “green” as it claims to be. Look for specifics when ecological claims are made.

The words “eco-friendly” or “natural” are added for marketing purposes. If a company tells you how quickly their product biodegrades, that is a better sign they are actually eco-friendly. Plant-based cleaners are preferable to petroleum-based cleaners. Check out this list of safe cleaning products for all the different areas of your home.

DIY Cleaners

If you are ready to make some cleaning products yourself, the internet is your best source. There are thousands of recipes you can find for different cleaning products, and most use the same basic ingredients, some of which you likely already have in your home. They all have one thing in common: essential oils. Here are just a few examples of the simplest steps you can take to use harmless scents in your home.

  • DIY air fresheners: add a few drops of an essential oil to the cardboard on your toilet paper roll for a bathroom air freshener. Scent your whole house by putting a few drops of your favorite essential oil on your furnace filter. Or make your own candles from just a few ingredients you likely already have in your home.
  • Best Essential Oils for cleaning: Lemon, orange, tea tree, and oregano are all known for their disinfectant and germ-killing abilities. Lavender can be added to almost all DIY cleaners to give (or mask, like in the case of vinegar) a pleasant scent.
  • This list is chock full of suggestions for which essential oils work best for different rooms in your house. Lemon is great in the kitchen, while peppermint works well in your garage, thanks to its ability to keep pests at bay.

Know who you’re hiring

Most families have two working parents and not a lot of time on their hands to constantly clean their home, let alone make their own cleaning products. Hiring a cleaning company can give you back the time you want to spend with your family and loved ones. If your cleaning team uses their own equipment and cleaning products, ask them exactly what they use before hiring them.

Helping Hands Cleaning Service is dedicated to using only the safest products in our clients’ homes. As a company, we’re committed to being environmentally friendly; with that in mind, our products are all approved by Green Seal. Our products are not scented, so supplement our cleaning products with essential oils to keep your home smelling fresh, clean, and inviting.

Since 2001, our dedicated cleaning professionals have been serving the Greater Chicagoland area. We know how important your home’s environment is to you and we guarantee your satisfaction by coming back and cleaning any area you are concerned with until the job is done right. Contact our customer service team today to receive your free cleaning quote, and schedule your first cleaning today! We look forward to serving you and your family.