Eco Home Living

Published on October 1st, 2012 | by The Green Divas

Detox Your Home: Reconsidering Household Cleaners

Had a great time on Ebru Today talking about how to detox our homes as we prepare to seal ourselves in for the colder months. I focused primarily on cleaning products because I think so many folks don’t realize just how toxic they can be and how important it is, especially when our homes are closed up during the colder season, to try to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals.

Here are a couple of things to consider when thinking about the kinds of cleaning products you want to use in your house:

  • The EPA ranks indoor air pollution among the top 5 environmental dangers
  • The average household has 3 – 25 gallons of toxic materials in the house, most of which are cleaning products
  • A European study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, found that regular use of common household cleaning sprays was linked to a 30 – 50% increased risk of asthma – YIKES!
  • There are approximately 17,000 chemicals used in the array of common household cleaners found in most homes, only 30% of these are tested for side effects on human health and the environment! ahhhhhhhh

Here are a few toxic chemicals found in many household cleaners and their effects on human health:

  • Chlorinated Phenols – found in toilet bowl cleaners, are toxic to the respiratory and circulatory systems
  • Diethylene Glycol – found in window cleaners, depresses the nervous system
  • Phenols – found in disinfectants, are toxic to respiratory and circulatory systems
  • Nonylphenol Ethoxylate – a common surfactant (detergent) found in laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners – BANNED IN EUROPE – has been shown to biodegrade slowly and when it does, it biodegrades into more toxic compounds. nice
  • Formaldehyde – found in spray and wick deodorizers, is a respiratory irritant and suspected carcinogen
  • Petroleum Solvents – in floor cleaners, damage mucous membranes
  • Perchloroethylene – a spot remover, causes liver and kidney damage
  • Butyl Cellosolve – common in all-purpose, window and other cleaners, damages bone marrow, nervous system, kidneys and liver
The list goes on. Have you cleaned up your cleaning products yet? Are you running for your cleaning product cabinet? Please do – get rid of the stuff, then check back in. We’ll still be here and we have some solutions, so don’t despair. You CAN be green AND clean!
Meanwhile, the GoodGuide did a pretty good comparison and rating chart for cleaning products that is worth taking a look at. You can always go to Environmental Working Group’s website and look through their chemical index . . . It’s a little scary, but offers a lot of information. 

or Make Your Own!  

Get some of my favorite, effective and simple DIY cleaning product recipes . . . 

About the Author

The Green Divas share low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green through a weekly radio show, podcasts, videos and blog posts. Working with talented partners and credible sources like myEARTH360 the Green Divas produce content on a variety of topics relating to a healthy green lifestyle. Visit The Green Divas website to learn more, and check out The Green Divas on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter too!

7 Responses to Detox Your Home: Reconsidering Household Cleaners

  1. EWG just came out with a guide to healthy cleaning products where they’ve rated the products based upon the safety of the ingredients.

    This is important because labeling laws for cleaning products are so vague and many manufacturers list ingredients in such general terms that you really can’t tell from the ingredients list if the ingredients are safe or not. This new guide is really worth checking out.

  2. Really,using the chemical cleaning produsts we are making our houses toxic,which is very unhealthy! All cleaning needs can be met with combinations of baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and pure castile soap…

  3. Rob Buehler says:

    This is really important, especially if you suffer from allergies. It’s amazing how much easier you’ll breathe once you get all of these chemicals out of your home! Our maid service uses 7th Generation cleaning products and our customers love it.

  4. Doug Raymond says:

    Great information. I’d love to see these numbers in an infographic. I understand things better when I see them visually.

  5. Steve says:

    Ozone in water is also a really powerful cleaner and disinfectant. We have a water ozonator and have gotten rid of carpet stains that nothing else good. You can also get that water from an ozone laundry system like EcoWasher and kind of kill two birds with one stone — no more need for carpet stain removers and get your laundry done without chemicals too. We even use ozonated water for cleaning sinks, mirrors, etc., since the ozone acts as a disinfectant. You have to get it “fresh” each time you clean, though, because it reverts to water and oxygen within 15-30 minutes.

  6. Be certain to secure this with waterproofing silicon,
    as well as drilling it into place for a secure fit. Being able to
    work with a wide range of clamps at your fingertips is not hard to do because they are low-priced and easily
    available. It’s utilized for everything from sheds, residences and decks
    to more modest occupations, for example cutting the structure
    wood for a solid walk or the parts for parking space racks.

  7. Mini Clean says:

    Good Topic and very informative. I will try this at home and hope this would work without side effects in my body and if this work I practice this wherever I go. Thank you for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑