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Many cleaning products contain toxic chemicals, but your home is already stocked with natural cleaners
Lemons make great natural stain removers
But before you reach for commercial household cleansers, consider this: Many cleaning products contain harsh, even toxic chemicals (e.g., sodium hypochlorite, ammonia, phenol and phosphoric acid). Exposure typically happens through inhaled vapours or absorption into the skin, sometimes leading to irritation of the eyes, lungs and skin, among other adverse effects. Chemical fumes and fragrances are common triggers for conditions like asthma or migraine headaches.
To reduce your family’s exposure to the harsh chemicals found in conventional cleansers, switch to green or (better still) natural cleaning ingredients available in your own kitchen.
Selecting products that are biodegradable, non-toxic, phosphate-free, chlorine-free and free of petrochemicals is a good way to start greening your cleaning. Look for green cleaners that list all the ingredients on the label – the shorter the list, the better. Look for recognizable ingredients like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and citric acid (lemon juice), and select products that are fragrance-free if sensitivity is an issue.
Many products in your own kitchen cupboard make great cleaning agents. Here are a few
common ingredients and what they can do:
Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.