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Today's synthetic and solvent-laden cleaner take less effort on your part to do the cleaning, but the chemicals that are used in these cleaners can do more to damage your health and clean your house. These cleaners are also bad for the environment when they get into waterways and oceans.
Look at the ingredients on the product's label. Only use biodegradable products that are nontoxic and don't leave residue or create fumes that you may inhale. Also use products that are not well tested on animals. Remember the terms nontoxic and natural are not regulated and many manufacturers are not completely honest.
Keep your cleaners in the original containers so that all the directions and safety information stays with a cleaner.
Skin is irritated by Formaldehyde and ammonia, so stay away from products containing this chemicals as much as possible. Lye fumes corrode respiratory passages. Benzene is a known carcinogen. Hydrochloric and sulfuric acids cause headaches and coughs. Long term exposure can easily damage lungs.
Stay away from artificial fragrances and colors. They cause allergy, skin or eye irritation. Many of these additives have toxic effects on fish and mammals and they usually do not degrade in the environment.
Always look for natural products in your supermarket. It is also wise to look online for Green merchants who offer natural and organic products. Farmers' markets are a great way to support the local economy and purchase natural foods. Natural cleaners are also starting to pop up at some farmer's markets. Natural foods stores have a wide variety of natural and green cleaners.
Making your own cleaner recipes will save you money and give you piece of mind that you are not exposing yourself and your family to unhealthy cleaners.
Here is a gentle all purpose cleaner recipe. Prepare 1/2 cup washing soda, and 2 liters warm water. Mix and store plastic container with a good lid, that is marked clearly. Use this as a floor cleaner. It is safe for tile, laminate and vinyl. It is also great for general cleaning like the sink, counter tops and walls.
Wipe spills quickly, you will spend less time cleaning and you will avoid stains. Use some foil to line the oven bottom to catch any spills.
Install childproof locks to keep the little ones out of the supplies cabinet. Use forethought regarding prevention to protect your family.
Never mix chlorine bleach and ammonia, you will create a toxic chlorine gas which is very lethal. Other common household cleaners are extremely dangerous when mix, so follow directions carefully.
Don't use any cleaners that do not list the ingredients. You will probably want to stay away from anything labeled with a Warning, Caution or if it mentions poison.
Remember to always clean in a well-ventilated area.
Don't forget about the packaging when buying your Green cleaning products. Buy products that have recyclable packaging. Recyclables often reduce landfill levels as well pollution levels in the air and oceans. It also cuts down on deforestation.