No one wants a dirty home, and no one wants to get sick cleaning it. There are various types of cleaning products on the market. Some contain strong or harsh chemicals and substances, and some don’t. The ones that do not are called non-toxic. So what are non-toxic cleaning products? and What is non-toxic cleaning?
Non-toxic cleaning is a cleaning activity that does not use potentially harmful chemicals that could harm you and the environment. Non-toxic cleaning products are products without toxic ingredients that could be irritating to the skin or mucus membranes and the planet.
If you want to know about non-toxic cleaning, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you can learn everything about cleaning with non-toxic products and procedures to keep your home safe and free from toxic substances.
Why Non-Toxic Cleaning?
Non-toxic cleaning is the process of using cleaning products that do not contain harsh chemicals. These products are better for both people and the environment. They are also safe to use around your family and pets.
Store shelves offer many cleaning products with strong chemical ingredients, especially in the household supplies area. These products are also known as toxic cleaners. They often have tongue twister names and may cause allergies, skin reactions, eye damage, asthma, lung damage, and many more.
The best part of cleaning with non-toxic substances is that they are just as effective at cleaning as cleaning with commercial cleaning products. Most of all, these cleaning products will not cause any adverse health effects.
What are Non-Toxic Cleaning Products?
Non-toxic cleaning products are products having no carcinogens, pollutants, or irritants. However, the term “non-toxic” is non-regulated: so any manufacturer can claim their products are non-toxic even if they are not.
There are a handful of words that are synonymous with non-toxic such as “green”, “sustainable”, and “eco-friendly.” Identifying cleaning products without toxins is difficult because there is no law in the United States requiring companies or manufacturers to disclose ingredients in home cleaning products. But you can’t go wrong when buying cleaning products that consist of plant ingredients or if you use household products like baking soda, vinegar, or lemons.
How Can You Tell If a Cleaning Product Is Non-Toxic?
The best way to identify whether a cleaning product is non-toxic is to check the label or the ingredient list. Most of the time, non-toxic cleaning products contain third-party certifications indicating that the ingredients are safe and non-toxic.
Moreover, the ingredient list can tell you a lot about the product. The best thing to do if you are in a hurry is if the cleaning product doesn’t have an ingredient list, don’t buy the product. While manufacturing companies are not legally required to disclose the ingredients of cleaning products, the absence of which is a red flag.
How Can You Tell If a Cleaning Product is Toxic?
As mentioned earlier, one way to determine whether a cleaning product is toxic is to read the label. If the label doesn’t give you much of an ingredient list and you have time, you may still be able to find out information about the product from your smartphone. There are some resources such as apps or websites to find out if a product is considered safe to use or not and what may be in it.
Besides the ingredients, you can also determine that the toxic cleaner contains the harshest chemical based on its cleaning purpose. For instance, toilet bowl cleaners tend to have higher levels of harsh chemicals than dishwashing products or kitchen cleaners. Even chemicals that contain bleach or ammonia can be toxic to pets and humans.
If you choose to use toxic cleaners beware of the following substances:
· Allergens – ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions.
· Neurotoxins – ingredients that may affect brain function.
· Endocrine disruptor – chemicals that can mimic hormones
· Carcinogens – chemicals that can cause cancer
The cleaning ingredients below may also cause certain reactions and effects when using them.
|Ingredients||Purpose & Effects|
|Formaldehyde||Purpose: Preservative and disinfectant Effect: linked to neurodegenerative diseases|
|Phthalates||Purpose: Disinfectants, preservatives, surfactants Effect: Skin and lung irritation|
|Perchloroethylene||Purpose: Dry cleaning agent Effect: Potential neurotoxic and carcinogen|
|Quarternary ammonium compounds (QACs/Quats)||Purpose: Disinfectants, preservative, surfactants Effect: Skin and lung irritation|
|Polyethylane glycolic compounds (PEGs)||Purpose: Used as softeners, surfactants, thickeners Effect: Potential carcinogen|
Do Non-Toxic Cleaning Products Work?
Yes, they work. However, non-toxic cleaners can be used for specific purposes like other chemical-based cleaners. Hence, they may only be effective in some cleaning situations.
For instance, baking soda can act as a natural degreaser. However, it cannot disinfect and remove germs and bacteria in the house, like citric acid.
Are Cleaning Products Without Toxins Safe for the Environment?
The apparent advantage of using cleaning products without toxins is that it is safe for the environment. Since non-toxic cleaners don’t contain toxic chemicals and use biodegradable ingredients, they will not harm our planet in any way.
Toxic cleaners contain non-biodegradable ingredients (sometimes carcinogens) that are harmful, if not deadly, to our aquatic and wildlife resources.
Are Non-Toxic Cleaning Products Safe to Use at Home?
It is safe to use cleaning products without toxins at home. Since they contain safe ingredients, non-toxic cleaners won’t harm you, your family, and your pets. Symptoms such as headache, skin rashes, sneezing, coughing, and more may disappear once you use cleaning products without toxins.
Are Cleaning Products Without Toxins More Expensive?
Typically, cleaning products without toxins are less expensive than chemical cleaners. After all, some non-toxic cleaners like vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and more are already in your pantry.
However, there are also branded cleaning products without toxins that you can buy in stores or online. These products are also known as eco-friendly and are usually more expensive than commercial cleaners.
But the good thing is that they are cost-efficient in the long run. Thus, while the price of cleaning products without toxins in the market seems more expensive, you are saving your health and as a result, money.
Is Non-Toxic and Green Cleaning the Same?
Non-toxic and green cleaning are somewhat different. Both want to achieve a safe and environmentally-friendly cleaning or cleaning product, but these types of cleaning have different areas they focus on.
For instance, non-toxic cleaners promote the safety of mother nature, but their primary focus is maintaining the user’s health. Green cleaning also promotes the end user’s safety, but its main goal is to reduce the carbon footprint for environmental sustainability.
Cleaning is one of those household chores that you either hate or love. Some may also find it as a therapeutic habit. But whether you love or hate cleaning, you should do it regularly.
And cleaning your home with non-toxic cleaning products will give you the satisfaction of a clean home without the negative health side effects chemicals can cause. And by using cleaning products without toxins, you are also helping to save the environment.
Non-toxic cleaning products have become popular as they are widely available in stores. You can also make them using natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, lemons, salt, and others. Therefore, there is no excuse why you should not try non-toxic cleaning at home.
If you want to learn more about safe cleaning, check our article – What Everyone Needs to Know About Green Cleaning