More people are discovering that there isn’t better living through chemistry when it comes to chemical house cleaning products. The toxic compounds and the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) they contain cause varying degrees of physical distress, from minor respiratory irritations to serious illnesses.
Dangers of House Cleaning Supplies
Besides emitting VOCs, commercial household cleaners use chemicals that the manufacturers do not need to disclose on their labels, but instead, include warning labels and poison control phone numbers. Even when used as directed, the cleaners leave residues behind.
Children and pets are most at risk because they have much more exposure to floors. Cats and dogs clean their fur and paws, ingesting the chemicals. Babies and toddlers indiscriminately put things in their mouths that have been on the floors and counters, where they pick up the residual chemicals from cleaning agents.
Alternative Cleaning Products
Euro-Maids uses natural cleaning products, also called green products, that provide the same results without the harmful chemical residues and VOCs left behind. We’ve found these products to be among the most effective and safest.
All Purpose Cleaners
Better Life All-Purpose Cleaner tops the list for safe products to use on many surfaces. It cuts through grease quickly and will also clean glass. The ingredients are plant-derived and include corn, coconut, citrus and salvia. It is dye and artificial fragrance-free, making it one of the best house cleaning products.
In a pinch, you can use a paste made from baking soda and salt to clean grimy surfaces, or dilute the two in water for vertical cleaning. Vinegar and water make glass, chrome and enamel shine. Once dry, the odor disappears.
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Dish Soap will remove the grease from dishes, cutlery and pots and pans. Ninety seven percent of its ingredients are natural, including soap bark extract, which is a natural degreaser.
Produce and Countertop Cleaners
When it comes to cleaning produce, reach for Haven Scrub Powder & Produce Wash to remove harmful chemicals on the skins of fruit and vegetables you plan to eat. The powder doubles another of the best house cleaning products for sinks, pots and pans and surfaces. Its all-natural ingredients include tartaric acid, baking soda, salt and citric acid.
Intelligent Nutrients Hand Sanitizer is another produce cleaner worthy of note. It will remove the waxy coverings from apples and cucumbers, leaving them safely edible. It contains peppermint essential oils and vanilla. The former has antimicrobial properties, leaving the rinds germ-free.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
A safe toilet bowl cleaner seems like an oxymoron, but Biokleen’s Bac-Out has mastered a formula that contains plant-based surfactants, citrus, enzymes and botanicals. It’s another of the best house cleaning products for its versatility for diaper pails, toilets, wine stains and other tough jobs around the home, including pet urine stains. It contains no perfumes or dyes.
Ecover offers a pine-oil based toilet bowl cleaner that removes mineral rings and stains and the pine oil disinfects. The Ecover Pine Toilet Bowl Cleaner is also safe for septic systems.
Ecos laundry detergent is grey-water and garden safe for fruit and vegetable gardens. Its made from coconut products and offered in several natural botanical scents, along with unscented. It removes the toughest dirt and grime. The soap is a natural fabric softener, which saves time and money and eliminates the need for VOC-laden dryer sheets.