We all want to be truly clean, that is, get rid of dirt and germs without adding harmful or toxic chemicals. However, that is sometimes easier said than done. Some natural cleaning products can still be harmful if not used properly (poison ivy is natural but you wouldn’t scrub something with it!) and some household chores might still call for the conventional chemicals. Here is a list of things to keep in mind to help you clean more naturally and ensure that, whatever products you’re using, you know the basics of cleaning chemical safety.
The easiest and most cost-efficient thing to do! Do you have a large variety of different cleaners for different objects? Do you really need to have some of those products at all? Consider consolidating your collection. Fewer cleaners automatically means fewer chemicals.
If you are trying to be an environmentally-conscious cleaner, then you need to make some decisions and do your research. What will you continue to use, what are you okay with using sometimes, and what do you feel must absolutely be avoided? Find out which chemicals are considered harmful in common products and why.
Here’s part two of your research. If you couldn’t eliminate the cleaner in the reduce step, but you’ve decided in your research you can no longer use it, you will need to find an alternative. For example, some people replace their conventional laundry detergent with one made from borax, a naturally occurring mineral. However, be careful and make sure you get your information from more than one source. In our laundry cleaning example, some websites confuse the terms borax and boric acid and make claims on the safety of borax based on that misinformation. Make sure the information you are using is credible and backed with real science.
Organize and Store
Always keep your cleaners in their original containers and make sure the labels always remain legible. Keep your cleaners separate from food and all materials used to prepare foods and in a place where children cannot access them.
Proper Use for Chemical Safety
Never, ever mix cleaners together. Oklahoma State University’s Environmental Health and Safety Office describes a situation that could happen quite easily: “Emptying a mop bucket with an ammonia-containing product into the sink, followed by a sponge full of bleach, can produce enough chlorine gas to be dangerous.” Run water down the sink between getting rid of chemicals and always be mindful of keeping cleaners separate. Also remember to wear any recommended safety equipment such as goggles or gloves and to use chemicals in well-ventilated areas.
You can learn more about green living efforts from our publication”6 Tips for Leading a Green Life and Making Green Purchases.”
It can be a lot of work to sort out chemical safety and how to clean in an environmentally-friendly and safe way. To make things faster and easier, call the professionals at Maids by Trade to take care of it for you!