Green Cleaning: Avoiding Harsh Cleaning Agents

When’s the last time you took a good hard look under your sink? It’s not something many of us do on a regular basis, and for good reasons. But what might be even worse is the thought that many of the cleaning agents we keep in our homes could have more harmful long-term effects than short-term benefits.

Many of the chemicals used in everyday cleaning products are a mystery to consumers. Not because they’re complex and difficult to pronounce, but because the manufacturers of these products are not required by law to disclose all of the specific ingredients used in creating these products. What’s worse is that conducted studies have shown that some of these ingredients are carcinogenic.

Alternatives to Harsh Cleaning Agents 

Baking Soda – Known for it’s deodorizing and baking power, baking soda scours like any other powdered cleanser. In combination with white vinegar it can create a foaming agent for toilets, showers, and even help unclog drains.

White Vinegar –Aside from its wonderful uses with baking soda, white vinegar on its own does a great job at cutting grease, removing mildew, and even removing some stains.

Lemon Juice – As a strong food acid, lemon can actually kill most household bacteria. Not to mention that having a fresh lemon scent throughout your home is more inviting than an artificial fragrance added to hide chemical odors.
Corn Starch – This ingredient has an odd consistency when mixed with any liquid, but actually does a good job at cleaning windows, polishing furniture, and act as a “shampoo” for carpets and rugs.

Soap – This probably seems a little obvious, but soap’s abilities are highly underestimated. Unscented soap in any form can clean almost anything and its biodegradable. The only item you should be concerned about is soap containing petroleum distillates, as these are the harsh and volatile organic compounds, which in high concentrations are found in items like strong mineral spirits.