If you feel like you’ve been cleaning the house constantly this year to keep safe against the pandemic, you’re not alone. In 2020, the global cleaning supply market’s value went through the roof as people bought up supplies to keep their families healthy. Still, many parents have concerns about introducing too many chemicals into their homes. Sensitivities to certain chemicals can produce allergic reactions, and some cleaners can be toxic when breathed in! How do you balance staying safe from illness, and keeping harmful chemicals away from your family? Here are some suggestions for swapping out common cleaners for safer supplies that are just as effective at eliminating germs as traditional cleaners.
Common Cleaners and their Safe Natural Alternatives
Powdered Bleach Scrubs – Use Baking Soda
Cleaning products like Ajax and Comet use powdered bleach to scour surfaces clean. They’re effective, but bleach isn’t something you want to be breathing in as dust! Safe alternatives to powdered bleach scrubs often include baking soda. Baking soda is a pH-neutral substance, so it cuts through substances on all ranges of the pH scale, from “basics” to “acids.” It also scours just as effectively as common powdered bleach scrubs, with very little residue when it is wiped away. It’s mostly recommended as a cleaner in the kitchen, and can even remove odor from shoes!
Glass Cleaners – Use Diluted Rubbing Alcohol
Part of the appeal of glass cleaners is that they evaporate quickly, leaving no streaking on your glass surfaces like mirrors and windows. To do this, they use ammonia, which not only has a pungent odor, but can cause skin and eye irritation. It also produces a harmful gas if it ever comes in contact with bleach, another popular cleaning chemical. If you prefer to not bring ammonia into your home, you can still get a streak-free clean. Rubbing alcohol that has been diluted with distilled water evaporates just as quickly, but leaves none of the odor hanging in the air.
Dish Soaps – Use Castile Soap
One chore we do almost every day is wash the dishes. There are a range of products for washing the dishes that use a lot of different chemicals, but for the most part, they are relatively safe to use. However, many people experience rashes and reactions to dish soap, so it’s not unreasonable to look for the most natural option you can when selecting a soap for washing dishes. Natural soap solutions often include castile soap, made from plant-based oils. A popular brand of this soap is Dr. Bronner’s solution, but there are a variety of other companies that produce castile-based soaps, as well. As with any cleaning product, read the ingredient list carefully on any new supply you buy, to make sure you aren’t buying something with ingredients you are allergic to.
Often, supply companies are using the chemicals they do because they are the cheapest, and quickest way to get the job done. Natural alternatives may cost slightly higher, but knowing that your clean house is keeping your family healthy is worth the investment.