Most of us want a clean and healthy living space. But are “clean” and “healthy” mutually exclusive?
In order to shed some more light on that manner we will talk about cleaning products: natural vs. chemical
Chemical Cleaning Products May Be Harmful to Yourself and Others in Your Home
If a product’s label says “Avoid Contact with Skin” or “Don’t Inhale Fumes,” it’s there for a reason.
The product is toxic.
And if it’s toxic for adults, it’s worse for children who are still growing and developing. Harsh chemicals can affect that growth and development, perhaps with serious long-term consequences. In addition, little ones are allergy-prone and have a harder time eliminating toxics.
The danger is the same if not worse for pets, who may lick their paws after walking across a chemically cleaned floor. Even houseplants can be affected, as fumes can cause leaves to wilt or turn brown.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Chemical Cleaning Products
Chemical cleaning products are popular for one main reason: they work.
Many detergents, although derived from petrochemicals, do clean better than soap.
Enzymes defeat protein-based stains; bleaches whiten shirts and sinks.
And although they’re stinky and corrosive, scouring powders and oven cleaners eliminate crusty food stains.
If you must use chemical products, use them in well-ventilated areas. Wear gloves and consider a mask and protective eye coverings.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Cleaning Products
Even though their use may require more time and “elbow grease” than chemicals, natural cleaning products are growing in popularity because they’re safe and eco-friendly.
Many ready-made natural products are commercially available.
And natural cleaners can be created easily and cheaply in your kitchen from vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and baking soda.
However, cleaning really old dirt and grimy or crusty messes with natural products may take time and work.
Therefore, the best practice is to clean quickly and often. For example, rather than scouring the tub every two weeks, give it a fast daily wipe-down with your natural cleaning solution.
Your Home, Your Choice
Of course, it’s your decision whether to use natural or chemical cleaning products.
If you choose to go natural, be prepared to clean more often and do a bit more work.
And if you choose chemical products, be sure you read warning labels and take all necessary precautions.
- American Lung Association. (2014). Cleaning supplies and household chemicals.
- NEPA Jan-Pro. (2013, July 30). Natural cleaners vs. chemical cleaners. Jan-Pro.
- Organic Consumers Organization. (2014). How toxic are your household cleaning supplies. Appetite for a Change.
- The Organics Institute. (2014). Cleaning products.
- Sarah. (2013, January 27). Natural vs. chemical cleaning products. Well and Cheaply.
- Sholl, J. (2011, October). 8 hidden toxins: What’s lurking in your cleaning products? Experience Life.
- What makes kids more prone to allergies? (2013, May 8). Exigence.