Most of us probably don’t realize what we’re putting into the air we breathe or what we’re washing down the drain after scrubbing the tub. A quick scan of the cleaning product labels in your cabinet is eye opening, if not downright frightening.
Some of the most harmful chemicals can be found in the majority of the products you use every time you clean. The worst offenders are listed below, but don’t worry, there’s always a replacement product. We’ll tell you what item to use instead, so you still get a shiny finish.
This chemical is an extremely toxic, corrosive acid found in most toilet bowl cleaners. You’ll find that most of the products with this chemical carry the warning “harmful or fatal if swallowed.”
Use instead: vinegar and baking soda. Spray the inside of the toilet bowl with vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes. Sprinkle in a small amount of baking soda and scrub the bowl.
Bleach can corrode your skin, cause eye, nose and throat irritation and even be deadly if ingested in certain amounts. While bleach is good at killing germs, it’s certainly not worth the risk to your family—especially if you live with someone with asthma or other breathing difficulties.
Use instead: A popular combination of natural ingredients can kill germs, brighten your bathroom and not leave you gasping for air. Dontwastethecrumbs.com shares a natural recipe to replace bleach.
- 3/4 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 10-15 drops lemon essential oil
- 3/4 cup baking soda
- 7 cups water
A popular ingredient in all-purpose cleaners, ammonia evaporates quickly and doesn’t streak. The chemical does, however, irritate the eyes and lungs, and can produce a poisonous gas if mixed with bleach.
Use instead: Mix these ingredients into a squirt bottle to use as your replacement all-purpose cleaner:
- 1 2/3 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cup liquid soap
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
This chemical is a highly corrosive strong mineral acid often found in drain cleaners. Not only can it burn your skin, it’s also difficult to break down, meaning it could contaminate local bodies of water and any marine life living within.
Use instead: Clearing your drains with everyday items is easy and much safer. You’ll need:
- 2 cups baking soda
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1 cup vinegar
Remove any sitting water from the sink or tub. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. Wait three to five minutes, pour another cup of baking soda down the drain followed by 1 cup of white vinegar, then plug the drain completely.
These ingredients work together to eat away at blockages. When you open the drain, flush it with 2 cups of boiling water. Repeat the process as needed.