Did you know conventional cleaning products can contain an array of harmful chemicals that are bad for your home and the planet? If you are using Febreze, Comet, PineSol, Borax and others, read more on how these can negatively impact your home, pets, and health & what alternatives to use instead. 

An environmental Defence study tested 14 volunteer homes before and after cleaning with conventional cleaning products. Post cleaning, 12 of the 14 homes tested had VOC levels that were higher than the German recommended level for exposure! 

chemical-cleaners

 

Loads of our daily house cleaners are highly toxic. Febreze contains 89 air contaminants! These include toilet cleaners, drain cleaners, oven cleaners, spot removers, dryer sheets, air fresheners and more. 


What are VOCs? 

VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. These are chemicals that release into the air as gas following use, a process known as off-gassing. These compounds can be linked to reproductive, respiratory, neurological and developmental problems. For women looking to get pregnant or are pregnant, these could have even more significant adverse effects. Being knowledgeable about what we are spreading in our homes and the air is a step we can all take to improve the safety and health of our homes and the earth. 

 

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So what should you avoid?

  1. Formalin, Bronopol
    These ingredients are preservatives that release low levels of carcinogenic formaldehyde. They are found in products like Comet and PineSol
  2. (1,4 - Dioxane), Diethylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether, DEGME,  and Methoxydiglycol
    Carcinogens and teratogens (can lead to developmental & reproductive toxicity with fetal exposure). They can be found in degreaser products and ‘heavy duty’ cleaners
  3. Boric Acid, Borax, Sodium perborate
    Are developmental and reproductive toxins. They are found in products like Borax
  4. Linalool, fragrance, preservatives, surfactants, bleach
    Known allergens and can be found in almost all non-natural cleaning products. 
  5. Benzalkonium chloride is an ammonia compound
    Linked to asthma triggers and is often found in fabric softeners and antibacterial cleaners

Natural alternatives 

Natural and homemade cleaners are just as effective as synthetic ones. Not only do these create a healthier home, but they also help keep our environment and waterways clean and toxin-free. 


Did you know that Canadians pour over 3 million pounds of household cleaners down the drain every day? These all get recycled into our water supply, impact our soils and oceans and destroy our health and ecosystems. 

 

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Easy DIY Green Cleaning Recipes to Try

  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate): This abrasive powder forms a paste that won't scratch surfaces. An excellent grease fighter, it also helps to whiten laundry and absorb foul odours. 
  • Washing soda (sodium carbonate): This powder has a very high pH level, making it an extreme alkaline compound that is very effective as a cleaning agent. Great for degreasing, removing tough stains and cleaning grout. 
  • White vinegar: Highly antibacterial (kills 80% of germs), cuts through grease, adds shine and deodorizes. Great for cleaning windows! 
  • Hydrogen peroxide: A potent germ killer. Wipe your surfaces with this, then follow with vinegar spray and leave it to evaporate. 
  • Essential oils: Disinfect, deodorize and refresh. Mix with baking soda to make a scrub, add to reusable wool dryer balls for safer and greener fabric freshener, or create your own room spray. TIP: Get your windows, mirrors and glasses shiner than ever and smelling delicious by mixing grapefruit essential oil with vinegar and water.
  • Castile soap: Excellent for dishes, floors, and textiles. It cuts through grease and lifts dirt. Because it is highly concentrated, you can dilute it depending on its use. 

Don’t have time to create your own cleaning products? No problem! Check out our top picks for eco conscious home cleaning products that are clean and convenient:


Quick replacements 

The Bare Home has created a complete line of home cleaning essentials that eliminate plastic and harmful chemicals from your everyday products. Scented with essential oils only, these products work hard and smell great, so you don’t have to compromise on efficacy! 

The Complete Home Bundle: Delivers all the products to get you started on your clean journey including dish soap, hand soap, all-purpose cleaner and laundry detergent

Laundry Essentials Kit: Looking to keep your clothes chemical-free? No need for disposable dryer sheets anymore when you can use reusable wool dryer balls paired with your favourite essential oils for fresh-smelling clothes, naturally! This bundle will help extend the life of your clothes while getting them clean and smelling fresh.

Bubby's Bubbles Complete Laundry Starter KitGet everything you need to begin your plant-powered laundry journey. Bubby's Bubbles laundry products are packed with plant-powered ingredients that fight even the toughest stains while being gentle on your garments and skin. 

Why we love them?

  • A trusted family recipe passed down from generations.
  • Mild and all-natural scent.
  • Free from chemicals, additives, and harmful agents.
  • Does not contain Phosphates, Phthalates, SLS, Chlorine, Parabens or EDTA.
  • Eco-friendly and septic system safe.
  • Cloth diaper safe.
Bubby's Bubbles Complete Laundry Starter Kit

 

The Home Lynnen Co has got you covered with 100% linen, OEKO-TEX certified dish towels and napkins. Linen is a natural, sustainable fabric that is highly absorbent (up to 20% of its own weight in water), meaning you can dry more with every use. This durable fabric can withstand many washes so you will not need to replace these as frequently. 


To learn more about this and to check the safety of your products, visit ewg.org/cleaners and Environmental Defence


Kristine Faza

B.Sc, CNP, INHC, RYT

Founder & CEO, The Muladhara Wellness Co. 

@kristinefaza

Kristine-Faza-Article-Author
September 07, 2021