If you’re like most families, you have a cabinet of cleaning products beneath your kitchen sink. But many of these products contain harmful chemicals you would never let near your family if you knew what was inside them. When it comes to choose safe cleaning products, use these tips.
1. Examine the ingredients – Before you buy anything, you should check the label. If a product doesn’t tell you what’s inside it, you should never buy it. You have no way of knowing if these products contain harmful ingredients if they don’t list them out. Plus, if they refuse to tell you, they probably have something to hide.
2. It’s not safe because it’s familiar – Just because you’ve been using it for a long time doesn’t mean it’s safe. Some of the most longstanding products that families have been buying from generations are made with unsafe ingredients. Further, companies regularly tweaks their formulas, meaning they can add something harmful without notifying you (other than the ingredients label), so you have to check the ingredients list regularly.
3. Look out for labeling tricks – Words like “non-toxic,” “eco-friendly,” and “natural” don’t really mean anything because lots of people define these words differently. You need to do your research and investigate any ingredient that you don’t know. The only phrase you can really trust is “Certified Organic” because it’s a regulated term.
4. Look out for the most harmful chemicals – There are tons of toxic chemicals out there that are using in everyday products, but you can quickly identify the dangerous ones by remembering the list below.
- Ammonia – toxic when swallowed or inhaled.
- Phosphates – found in laundry and dish detergents.
- Chlorine bleach – corrosive to lungs and eyes. It also ruins fabrics.
- Phthalates – usually found in the fragrance category. These can disrupt our hormones, especially in children.
- Antibacterial & disinfectants – things like bleach, tricolsan, etc. You don’t need these chemicals to clean your surfaces and bodies.
- Butyl glycol, monobutyl, and ethylene glycol – causes damage to our nervous systems and liver.
- Petroleum – sometimes listed as a “surfactant.”
- Fragrance – this is in most products. A fragrance is used to mask the chemical smell of the other ingredients. Unfortunately, fragrance is considered proprietary, so manufactures do not disclose the ingredients used to create this. There could be anything in here.
5. Choose healthy alternatives – You don’t need harsh chemicals to get things clean. In fact, we have plenty of natural substances that do a fine job. Look for cleaning products made with these ingredients.
- Baking soda – the holy grail of natural cleaning, you can use this for anything. Add to vinegar, dish soap or water to clean anything.
- Vinegar – also good for everything. White vinegar is best for cleaning.
- Lemon juice – great for cutting grease and cleaning harsh stains. Let it soak into just about anything.
- Castile soap – perfect for general cleaning of your laundry and body. It’s made from vegetable oil, so it’s gentle, but effective.
- Essential oils (lemon, orange, etc.) - these are a great way to add a fresh, pleasant smell to your home without using harmful fragrances.
Written by Jennifer Cicci of Babee Talk
As a mother, Jennifer understands the importance of offering nothing by the best for baby. Motivated by teeth marks on her children’s cribs, she decided to design a teething rail cover after trying products that didn’t measure up when it came to quality or style. What she found out made her even more concerned about children’s safety and health: The toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic materials have been linked to birth defects, reproductive disorders, and weakened immune systems.
She asked herself, “What if I could revolutionize the way parents decorated their crib with a safe and stylish teething rail cover that could be placed on the crib from day one?” Babee Talk® launched in 2014 with organic bedding and accessories. Chew-friendly, drool-friendly, and organic inside and out, her products ensure a healthy start in life for babies.
She only offers products that she would provide for her own children. She hopes moms and dads will start to talk about the importance of choosing safe, healthy, eco-friendly products, especially for babies.
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