It’s common for people to feel that bleach and conventional germ-killing cleaners are good strong cleaning products. But at what cost to your health? Studies are now finding that cleaning chemicals are likely to damage your lungs. People who work as cleaners and use these products all the time have a greater decline in lung health – “comparable to smoking 20 cigarettes a day over 10 to 20 years”!
So what are you supposed to do?
There are a lot of alternatives out there to help you choose healthy cleaning products – you just have to be careful about “Greenwashing”.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a Guide to Healthy Cleaning to help you navigate the murky waters of cleaning products. You can search for popular cleaning products to see how they rank according to the ingredients. Products are rated from A to F, with A being lowest concern, and F being highest concern. Here’s an example of a Lysol All Purpose Cleaner Spray with Bleach.
David Suzuki’s Queen of Green also has a great informative post about how to shop for green cleaners.
The cleaner I use most often nowadays is the Thieves Household Cleaner. It is SUPER concentrated, so it reduces packaging waste by providing enough cleaning solution to make the equivalent of 126 bottles (from the 64 oz bottle). This one 64 oz bottle will last a LONG time, and you can mix it in your own reusable spray bottles.
If you like to DIY, there are lots of simple recipes for making your own healthy cleaning products. I use my own spray bottles to mix up this DIY mold and mildew buster.