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The Importance of Using Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

    There’s no escaping from the fact that cleaning is an essential task that helps keep us safe and free from diseases and allergies. Whether it’s your personal cleaning or cleaning the home, workplace, or public facility, the only way to prevent germs, insects, fungi, bacteria, and viruses from taking over is to ensure that they’re regularly removed. While all of us agree on this, the biggest dilemma we face today is that the cure is often more deadly than the disease! Commercially manufactured cleaning products are usually chock full of hazardous chemicals. No doubt they do a super job. There are different products for floors, furniture, windows, and more. But in the bargain, they harm humans, plants, pets, and our planet itself. Today, more homeowners and business organizations understand the importance of using non-toxic cleaning products. But are they able to substitute commercial products with homemade, safe ones? That is the big question.

    Exposure To Toxic Cleaning Products: A Brief Overview

    Cleaning products are obviously not meant to be ingested. Since they are neither food, beverages nor drugs according to the Food and Drug Administration, they are not as stringently regulated by the FDA. Though the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) mandates that all harmful and active ingredients be listed on the label, many cleaning product manufacturers keep certain ingredients off the label. This may be to prevent competitors from manufacturing similar products. But there are major concerns about the safety of chemicals in cleaning products.

    In prehistoric times, water, ash, and gravel were commonly used to clean utensils, living spaces, and perhaps the body too. In circa 2000 BCE, the Babylonians discovered a basic form of soap. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used these primitive soaps, oils, and clay to clean themselves. After the Roman Empire fell, cleaning concepts disappeared in the Western world for almost 1000 years, spreading deadly diseases such as the plague.

    In the 17th century, personal hygiene concepts returned, with the awareness of the connection between dirt and disease. Commercial soaps and cleaning products debuted in the 19th century. Detergents made their debut in the 1940s. A host of cleaning products loaded with chemicals flooded the market.

    By the 1980s, safer and more effective cleaners entered the market, and today, you have a plethora of options that ensure cleanliness without health risks.

    What Toxic Chemicals Do Off-The-Shelf Cleaning Products Contain?

    It’s difficult to analyze what chemicals cleaning products contain and when the levels become dangerous. Acids, alkalies, abrasives, sanitizers, solvents and spirits are commonly found. They work in different ways:

    • Abrasives act by stripping away the surface layer
    • Acids act by dissolving hard substances that cover dirty surfaces
    • Alkalies form an emulsion with grease, and this can be easily washed off
    • Detergents and solvents dissolve and loosen dirt
    • Sanitizers kill bacteria
    • Spirits and solvents remove oily dirt and grease

    Abrasives damage skin, plastics, glass, non-stick utensils, and painted and polished surfaces. Acids cause irritation or injury to the eyes and skin. They eat away at the skin, cloth, leather, and ferrous metals. Most alkalies are highly toxic and corrosive. They cause skin and eye irritation and burns. If ingested, they can result in permanent internal damage or death.

    Detergents are harmful to humans, animals, plant life, and the environment. Sanitizers are harmful if ingested or come in contact with the eyes. They may also cause respiratory allergies if they’re very strong. Spirit solvents are harmful if inhaled and can cause permanent damage to the nasal and throat lining and lungs.

    Why Should We Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products?

    Cleaning product manufacturers ruled the markets for several decades with slick advertising and tall claims. Laundry cleaners, bath soaps, shampoos, dishwashing soaps, floor cleaners, and more were the miracle products of that era.

    Today we know more about chemical cleaners’ health and safety risks. The Green Movement has given us plenty of substitutes for cleaning the home and large commercial and industrial spaces.

    There are several great benefits to using non-toxic cleaning products:

    1. Lots of Choices: Step into any store or supermarket, and you’ll find plenty of non-toxic cleaning options. They provide a great alternative and are just as effective. Earlier, organic cleaners tended to be a little more expensive than their chemical counterparts. However, the pricing is almost on par with larger sales volumes and more awareness. You can select different products in larger or smaller packaging. Various natural perfumes are used for scent.
    2. Environmental Responsibility: When you purchase green cleaners, you’re doing your bit to save the planet. They are manufactured using biodegradable, non-toxic, and safe ingredients. This reduces water and air pollution and helps to combat climate change.
    3. Pocket Friendly:You can make all-natural cleaning products at home. Use ingredients found in your kitchen cabinet or spice rack. Vinegar, baking soda, and lime juice are the most common and easily available ingredients. For extra cleaning, you can buy essential oils for scent or borax from your pharmacy. These products are inexpensive and abundantly available.
    4. Allergy free:Using non-toxic cleaning products in your home prevents respiratory and skin allergies. Chemical cleaners have harsh components that could cause serious damage to your lungs and skin. Dishwashing liquids contain abrasives and alkalies that cause contact dermatitis with prolonged use. Make your own dishwashingand floor-cleaning liquids. They are biodegradable and don’t pollute the earth or groundwater.
    5. Bio-Resistance: Using anti-bacterial products off the shelf became more common after the pandemic. The problem is that bacteria become stronger and more resistant to these products after a few cycles. Some anti-bacterial products, such as triclosan, cause thyroid and hormonal imbalances with prolonged use.
    6. Control: Using non-toxic products gives you peace of mind. You are in control of exactly what the ingredients are, and you don’t have to worry about harmful side effects. This is a guilt-free choice that you make and, in the long run, helps to sustain human, animal, and plant life.

    Final Thoughts

    Commercial cleaners are convenient, easily available, and simple to use. The problem with them is that they are loaded with toxic chemicals that cause a range of illnesses and allergies. They destroy the environment and contaminate soil and groundwater. Many of them have cancer-causing properties. Using non-toxic cleaners is just as effective but a much safer and saner choice.