As a new mom, it’s extremely important to me to minimize the toxic chemicals in our home. Throughout the last few years, we have transitioned to store-bought cruelty-free and “green” cleaners, but I knew that making our own cleaning products was the next step to eliminating unnecessary chemicals.
3 Reasons to Avoid Conventional Cleaners
1. Toxic Load
Conventional cleaners may seem harmless because of how frequently they are used, but many contain potent chemicals that can cause unnecessary risks. Most surface cleaner sprays contain toxins such as phthalates (a hormone disruptor that can trigger asthma and migraines), 2-butoxyethanol (which can contribute to lung, kidney, and liver damage), and some products even contain “preservatives that release low levels of cancer-causing formaldehyde.” (1) Yikes.
2. Environmental Effects
Not only are the chemicals being used in cleaners impacting people’s health in a negative way, but they are also causing significant contamination to our planet. When a cleaner is flushed down the toilet or rinsed down a bathtub or a sink, waste removal processes remove a lot of the chemicals, but many aren’t filtered out.
Nitrogen, phosphorus, and ammonia are common contaminants that aren’t filtered out and can cause major issues. While these are natural elements of our exosystem, when massive loads of these nutrients are dumped into streams, rivers, lakes, and the ocean, it can cause “nutrient pollution,” which offsets the balance of the ecosystem causing huge problems. (2)
3. More Cost Effective to Make Your Own
Making homemade cleaners is extremely easy, just as effective, and eliminates the risks of being exposed to dangerous chemicals. And, making your own cleaners will also save your family a lot of money! A spray bottle of surface cleaner typically costs $4 – $5, while a gallon of white vinegar typically costs $3 – $4 and can be used to make countless bottles of natural cleaners. Win-win-win!
4. Kind To Animals
Many conventional cleaning products and companies rely on outdated animal testing which is cruel, ineffective, and unnecessary. Today it’s easy to find safe, natural products that are also cruelty-free. Even major retailers like Target and Walmart offer many products that are cruelty-free (look for “cruelty-free” or the leaping bunny symbol on the label).
- 1 Cup White Vinegar
- 2 Cups Water
- 10-20 drops of essential oil (Lemon essential oil is an amazing cleaning agent!)
- Add these ingredients to a spray bottle, shake it up, and it’s ready to use!