Have you ever thought about the ingredients in your household cleaning products? You may be surprised to learn that some of the most popular cleaning supplies can actually cause respiratory problems, cancer, neurotoxicity, asthma and a whole slew of health problems. In the episode, I’m sharing some of the top reasons to switch to non-toxic cleaners and the ones I recommend.
Branch Basics (use code FRIEND-CL7MHTK for $10 off)
Clean Mama (use code CLP for 15% off)
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When my son started back at daycare I was freaking out. There’s obviously a pandemic happening, so that in itself is anxiety provoking but honestly, I was just as worried about the oversanitazation that would be happening within the school and the cleaning products that they were using. In today’s episode, we’re going to detox your cleaning supplies…
I know this sounds crazy, because obviously it’s important to stop the spread of germs but it was the potential use of bleach, Clorox and traditional cleaners that were scarier to me.
Because here’s the thing: most of the most popular cleaning products contain ingredients that have been shown to cause cancer, allergic reactions, asthma, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption, and other very scary health risks. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of greenwashing happening in this industry so even so-called “natural” brands have these ingredients in them.
There was actually a study that I’ll link to in the show notes that found that ongoing use of traditional household cleaners can have the same effect on women’s lungs as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! Which is just insane and infuriating and especially concerning for women who make their living as cleaning professionals.
So, most of us assume cleaning products are safe since their only job is to be clean… But the fact is, many popular household cleaners are dangerously toxic.
I’m not going to go through a list of all of the toxic chemicals in traditional cleaners because that’s honestly something you can just google. But I am going to tell you the cleaning products I use and then share some of the cleaning products to stay away from.
The great thing about non-toxic cleaning is that it’s one of those things that doesn’t have to cost more — an 8 oz. box of baking soda costs less than $4, a bottle of distilled vinegar costs less than two dollars and a lemon costs less than a buck. Simply combining those ingredients will create a great non-toxic cleaner.
My best friend uses The Clean Mama blog to create all of her own cleaning supplies which leaves me feeling very envious — she has all of these cute little spray bottles and labels on everything and unfortunately, I’m not as great of a DIY’er as she is. So if you’re like me and resort to buying your household cleaners then here are the brands I personally use and recommend
Branch Basics (similar to Dr. Bonner’s as it’s a concentrate that you dilute — lasts a long time)
Another cheap and great alternative to bleach is Hydrogen Peroxide. Back to the situation with my daycare, I ended up donating a bottle of Branch Basics and a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and will continue to donate those supplies when they run out or don’t want to purchase on their own.
There’s no pressure to take my recommendations but the next time you’re shopping for cleaning supplies, there are a few things to take note of that you’ll want to avoid. I’m going to link to the Environmental Working Groups resource for ingredients and things to avoid in the show notes.
Before I close out the episode, I will also just say this. Think of the cleaning brands Method, Mrs. Meyers and Simple Green? They’re sold in Whole Foods so they’re non-toxic cleaners, right?
Unfortunately not, Mrs. Meyers cleaning products are owned by SC Johnson and include 6 ingredients rate by the EWG with a C or D rating)
Method contains fragrances, colorants and surfactants that are toxic
Simple Green has the word “green” in its name and yet it contains chemicals that are banned in Europe.
So, now we’re going to do a segment of “This for That:” If you’re using conventional cleaning supplies like Dawn, Windex, Mr. Clean or even so-called “natural cleaners” my best recommendation is to either DIY your own with baking soda & vinegar or purchase the concentrate from Branch Basics. I’ll link to a DIY recipes as well as Branch Basics in the show notes at cleanlivingpodcast.com/cleaning
When I talk about creating a movement with this podcast, I think this episode in particular is an example of what that could mean. That movement could be as simple as also asking questions about the cleaning supplies your school is using. What if there wasn’t just one parent asking and suggesting non-toxic alternatives, but five parents or 10 parents? If you feel encouraged to bring it up to your teachers, I’m going to link to a resource that helps you talk to your school about switching their cleaning supplies. It’s in the show notes at cleanlivingpodcast.com/cleaning
Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If you learned something today and can leave a positive review, it will not only make my day but it will help more people find out about the podcast. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.