In a prior post, we talked about why we focus on cleaning products. So, today, we consider disinfectants. You know them by names like Lysol, Clorox, PineSol, Brillo, Ajax, Spic and Span and others. They’re used to reduce or eliminate germs. Unfortunately, all that germ killing comes with a toxic price. (Did you know Lysol and Clorox bleach are considered pesticides by the EPA?) Many products consist of chemicals like phenol, chlorine, quaternary ammonium (quat what?), aldehydes, formaldehyde…you get the picture.
Several of the chemicals in cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This group of chemicals releases organic compounds into the air in your home. They also contribute to indoor air that is often more polluted than outdoor air — in even the most industrialized cities.
And, here’s an amazing statistic for you: about 25 gallons of toxic products per year are used in the average American home (Hirschorn and Oldenburg).
What can (should) you use instead? There are plenty of ways to clean naturally, with inexpensive products like baking soda, vinegar, borax, salt and lemon. Every Tuesday, on our OriginalGreen page on Facebook, we list cleaning methods with these ingredients. In fact, we call the concoctions “recipes.” So far, we’ve covered ovens, sinks, laundry and insect repellant, with more to come.
At the end of the day, toxic products might make it easier to clean, but they don’t necessarily do a better job. That’s why our mantra is: green cleaning requires faith and elbow grease!
Next time, we’ll talk about detergents (surfactants) – and more opportunities for good, clean fun! Meanwhile, go battle those germs…the natural way.