In part one we have explained some of the health and environmental cons of using common cleaning detergent. We have also looked at the most frequently used chemicals and what is their negative effect. Continuing the topic now we would like to share with you what you need to avoid when shopping for house cleaning solutions. Also, our London experts have included a short guide in picking the right detergents according to their purpose.
What You Need to Be Weary about
When shopping you need to remember to always read the labels on the bottles and boxes. If you spot the following retain yourself from buying this product:
- Cleaners labelled “Danger”, or “Poison” usually contain harsh chemicals. Another thing to watch out is phrases like “corrosive” or “may cause burns”.
- It goes without saying but nevertheless always skip on products containing ammonia and chlorine. Nowadays there are many alternatives for these deadly chemicals.
- Avoid cleaners that may have traces of phosphates and APEs.
- Do not get fooled by labels like “Natural” or “Eco-friendly.” Usually, this is a marketing and advertising scam. The products that you should be searching for will be marked “solvent-free” or “no petroleum-based ingredients.”
- Another misleading label is “Non-toxic.” This claim has no official meaning so unless a third party has certified that this product is non-toxic and safe, avoid purchasing it.
- Other inaccurate claims include the mark “Organic.” In chemistry, it means the chemicals used are carbon-based. This includes some VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that release harmful fumes and are proven to cause brain damage or cancer.
In conclusion, try to buy products that are regulated by the appropriate national organisation in your country. This way you will be certain the cleaners are made in accordance with all health and environmental requirements.
The Perfect Multipurpose Cleaner For Your London Home
Everybody has at least one bottle of all-purpose cleaner in their home, and it is one of the most regular purchased household product. Here are some important facts you need to be aware of when picking the right one:
- Common ingredients in some all-purpose cleaners are the sudsing agents diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). When they get in contact with the skin, a lot of dangerous chemicals can be easily absorbed in your body.
- Avoid cleaners containing butyl cellosolve known as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether.
- To prevent chemical accidents, do not purchase products containing sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite (bleach). And never mix them together.
If you want to have good health and a safe house environment our London cleaners advise to use more simple methods of cleaning. Many natural ingredients make for perfectly functional multipurpose cleaners. Use:
- Baking soda
- liquid castile soap
- Lime/lemon juice
Mix them with water and some essential oils and you are ready to clean.
The Bathroom Dilemma
The bathroom and the toilet are the rooms we insist on using the strongest house cleaning products. However, our desire to disinfect can easily backfire, and we can actually harm our health.
- Corrosive ingredients in toilet bowl cleaners can cause a severe eye, skin and respiratory irritation.
- Some products may contain sulphates, which are known to trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
- Most strong detergents contain sodium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite (bleach), or phosphoric acid. All can cause lung irritations, skin inflammation and internal bleeding if ingested.
- Mixing acid-containing toilet bowl cleaners with others containing chlorine will form the hazardous chlorine gas.
Gladly they are a couple of things you can do, to ensure both your safety and the sanitation of your toilet:
- Use baking soda to scrub the soap scum and clean the toilet bowl.
- The same method can be applied when washing tiles and removing mould and mildew.
- Clean your chrome surfaces and shower head with vinegar, for maximum effect.
Pick the Right Enzyme Cleaner
Enzymes are natural proteins used to speed up chemical reactions. They are usually used in stain removers as they help break down stubborn marks. However, beware of the following:
- If you have allergies do not use enzyme carpet cleaning detergents as the enzymes stay embedded in the fibres and can provoke an allergic reaction.
- There is no guarantee these detergents won’t still contain the already mentioned hazardous chemicals, so always read the labels.
- Remember enzymes are biological molecules and it may take a while before they are activated. Do a test swatch to check if you can tolerate them or not.
Wash Properly the Windows in Your London Home
Window cleaners may seem harmless but in fact, they may contain the nerve-damaging butyl cellosolve. Read carefully the labels because in some you may find traces of ammonia which can pose a serious threat to your respiratory system. The safest alternative to commercial window cleaners is the homemade mix of water and white vinegar. If you can tolerate the mild smell your glass surfaces will be as good as new.
Time for Your Drains
Drain cleaners contain some of the most aggressive and dangerous chemicals. On their labels, you are bound to find various scary sounding warnings and the worst part is that they are all actually true. Keep in mind:
- The majority of these cleaning products can be fatal if ingested.
- Most contain large quantities of corrosive ingredients like sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite.
- Choose the enzyme-based drain cleaners rather than the caustic ones. They do wonders in eating the grime away and declogging your drains.
The Price of Having a Clean Oven
One of the hardest places to wash according to London cleaning companies is the top and insides of your oven. Here is where all the food grease sticks and creates a thin, sticky cover.
This is the reason oven cleaners to contain some really strong chemicals:
- You can find the corrosive lye and sodium hydroxide in most oven washing products. These ingredients can easily irritate your skin, eyes and lungs.
- Speaking of lungs, the aerosols in some cleaners can seriously damage your respiratory system.
- A great way to avoid using deadly chemicals and have a spotless oven is to instead try the harmless but effective mix of water, baking soda and soap.
- Remember to always wear gloves no matter what you use for cleaning.
If you want to learn more about the DOs and DON’Ts in cleaning products check out part 1 of our series.
For even more interesting and helpful information check out part 3.