Advantages of Using Natural Ingredients for Spring Cleaning
After months of dreary winter weather, the temperatures are rising and the sun is shining. It’s time to open the windows, break out trusty cleaning supplies, and rid the home of winter dust and grime. Before you make your run to the store to stock up on your favorite cleaning chemicals, there are a few things that you should know to start off summer feeling healthy.
When used correctly, the cleaners release indoor air pollutants in the form of odors and vapors into the home. If used incorrectly, these cleaners can result in very real dangers to the health of all residents. For example, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, over 192,771 reported poisonings in 2011 are attributed to accidental consumption of commercial household cleaning products. To bypass these dangers but still get the home sparkling clean for summer, there are a number of alternative green cleaners available.
Traditional commercial cleaners are anything but clean:
- Many chemicals in commercial cleaners are broken down at municipal treatment plants. However, many toxins will not, and enter the waterways, threatening marine ecosystems and wildlife. In 2002, a U.S. Geological Survey discovered that 69 percent of tested streams contained detergent metabolites, and 66 percent contained disinfectants.
- Many cleaning products include chemicals that are petroleum based, which further depletes the planet’s natural resources.
- While many cleaning product packages are becoming more widely accepted for recycling, packages made from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is not, and less than one percent is recycled each year. The production and incineration of PVC creates dioxin, a known carcinogen.
- Traditional cleaning products contain contaminants that pollute indoor air. High concentrations of these contaminants can cause flu-like symptoms, headaches, respiratory illnesses and allergic reactions.
Using Natural Ingredients:
- Creating cleaners from natural ingredients at home reduces the amount of plastic packaging being left in the landfills and the amount of harmful chemicals that end up in the water supply.
- Natural ingredients do not contain toxic chemicals that cause illness, headaches, respiratory infections or dermatological problems.
- With the exception of vinegar, which cannot be detected once dried, natural ingredients do not contain strong smells or odors. Thus, these ingredients are less likely to cause allergic reactions and make cleaning more pleasant in general.
- Using natural ingredients cut down on the number of different cleaners that are needed for each part of the house. Solutions made from white vinegar, baking soda, borax, lemon juice and other natural ingredients can be used to clean a majority of home, and make effective general all-purpose cleaners, furniture polishes, deodorizers, laundry and dish washing detergent.
By using natural ingredients for Spring cleaning, not only are harmful chemicals removed from the household, you know the exact ingredients that are being used to clean your home. Homemade cleaners can be made quickly and easily, and you may already have the ingredients you need right in your home. Many homeowners who have already made the switch have even found that their homemade cleaners work just as well as the commercial cleaners.