Household Toxins – Cleaning Products And Disinfectants

Many of the products we buy for use around our home release toxins into our environment. If we use a lot of them, we can be continually exposing ourselves to a barrage of chemical toxins with all sorts of nasty effects on our airways (respiratory system) and the rest of our bodies – some house cleaning toronto and the like can even contain carcinogens.

Yes, some disinfectants and home cleaners kill germs; they kill all cells, good and bad alike – even yours…

Some products are worse than others for releasing toxins into your home. Avoid them if you can!

1. Plug-in air fresheners that release a constant amount of artificial fragrance into a room to create a pleasant ambiance. The scents in all air fresheners are sturdy, very fake, and very bad for you – you’ve probably read the warnings on the cans about concentrating and inhaling the fragrance. While ordinary air fresheners used in the toilet are bad enough for you, we don’t usually breath much of these in – you spray once (and often only once or twice a day), then you leave the toilet. But these room centers continually release toxic chemicals into a central living area. It much better to stick to fresh air or to use real essential oils to scent your living area. Removing them will also lower your power bill, at least slightly – another bonus.

2. Toilet bowl cleaners. The best part about these is that they come in bottles with the “duck” head that makes it easy to get under the rim. But they contain some ferocious cleaning chemicals you are likely to encounter – and they’re going to linger in a small room which is sometimes not that well ventilated. Some of the ingredients in a typical toilet bowl cleaner include oxalic acid, hydrochloric acid, lye (caustic soda) and naphthalene. The irony is that the toilet bowl is usually relatively fresh – it gets flushed with clean water regularly (the downpipe, the seat and under the rim are another story, however). An excellent hard scrub with regular detergent or baking soda or even a soak in cola drink can do the job just as well.

3. Shake-on carpet deodorants. Like the plug-in air fresheners, they release a massive barrage of artificial fragrances which are often toxic. The kind you vacuum over to release the fragrance are the worst – you end up breathing in all the particles. These carpet deodorants are particularly hazardous for small children who are often on the floor. If you have a very smelly carpet or if you want to scent your room while vacuuming, mix baking soda with essential oil to be shaken on, or put a few drops of essential oil on the outside of your vacuum cleaner bag.

4. The cleaning product used in a mechanical dishwasher. These are often extraordinarily caustic and contain solid alkali. While you can’t really use a substitute, powder form is better, as you can regulate the dose (unlike tablets) and contain fewer harmful ingredients than the liquid sort. Make sure your kitchen (or wherever you keep your dishwasher) is well ventilated and try to avoid inhaling the steam when you open the door after a cycle has gone through – the steam is pretty strong. Alternatively, leave the dishwasher to cool before you open it up to put the dishes away. You can also get away with using less powder than is called for and still get clean dishes.

5. Glass cleaners. These are a mixture of ammonia and water, and you inevitably manage to inhale some when you’re trying to see what you’re doing while cleaning a mirror. Use a vinegar solution instead, and buff with paper towels or a lint-free cloth – or even scrunched up newspaper.

6. Oven cleaners: These are probably the most toxic chemicals you will encounter (drain cleaners are the others). In this writer’s opinion, a dirty oven is less of a hazard than using these chemicals. However, a good scrub out with baking soda works just as well, although it takes more elbow grease (which burns calories and gives you a bit of exercise, so it’ll do you good). Using a baking sheet down the bottom of the oven to catch burnt bits, and replacing it regularly is another good tip for cleaning an oven.