Have you thought about natural cleaning products but aren’t sure why it’s so much better than conventional cleaners? If you’re still on the fence, check out 5 of our favorite reasons for why switching to green cleaning is more beneficial.
Children and pets are especially susceptible to harmful chemicals in conventional cleaning products. According to the 2018 data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, household cleaning substances accounted for 185,139 cases of poison exposure and 44% of all poison exposure cases were from children age five or younger. Since these substances persist in the environment and are built up around your home, trying to keep these dangerous materials away from your kids and pets is not the best solution.
In addition to high levels of toxic exposure, studies by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have found that dust and chemical allergens from traditional cleaners raise the risk of developing asthma, one of the most common chronic diseases across all ages. Antibacterial cleaning products, for example, are correlated with increased rates of asthma and promote bacterial resistance to antibiotics. If you want to keep your immune system healthy, avoid labels that say “antibacterial” when you’re looking for a cleaner, and a simple wash with plain soap and water for 20 seconds is sufficient to fight germs in most cases.
And the good news is: natural cleaning products are specially made to include as many natural ingredients as possible and are less likely to generate dangerous fumes and chemical residues. Go green cleaning eliminates the potential harm that may occur and, if nothing else, might offer more peace of mind.
UV-C cleaning is also a great method in getting rid of bacteria on surfaces. This not only takes less time and energy since you do not have to physically scrub anything, but it also tends to be more effective.
When you use regular cleaning products, it not only affects you and the people around you but also harms the planet’s ecosystem. One of the most common ways that harmful chemicals are ingested is through air or water. Because our wastewater system is not designed to remove all the contaminants from these chemical products when they are washed down the drains, they often end up in our drinking water and to our lands, rivers, lakes, and oceans. These compounds have negative effects on the wildlife and are one of the major factors to other ecological problems.
Moreover, the EPA specifically calls out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) because of its significant contribution to ozone depletion and climate change. VOCs are found in many conventional cleaning products such as dish detergent. These chemical compounds evaporate at room temperature and are emitted to the air. They then can react with other gases and produce ozone pollution.
Thankfully, green cleaning products are naturally derived, non-toxic, and biodegradable. Switching to using more natural ingredients will help reduce pollution to our waterways and minimize the negative impact on the ozone layer. Keep in mind that you likely won’t get the same level of clean as fast as you might with traditional options but it’s much safer to use in the long run!
In the past, green cleaners could be a bit overpriced with underwhelming cleaning capabilities: It was a choice to spend a little extra for a safer, more ethical product. Times have changed, however, and as technology has advanced and more manufacturers have entered the green cleaning scene, prices for some products are becoming more affordable to be in line with other traditional cleaners.
Going green is especially cost-effective if you make your own green cleaning products or buy eco-friendly all-purpose cleaners that do multiple jobs. Cleaning agents such as baking soda and vinegar can do the trick just as well as typical cleaning products. Vinegar can stain or damage natural stone surfaces like marble and granite. If you do have marble countertops, stick to warm water and baking soda.
American Lung Cancer warns that people who use cleaning products containing chemical compounds, such as VOCs referred to in the preceding section, expose themselves to very high pollutant levels which can lead to major health problems. Since these chemicals evaporate and persist in the air, they not only contribute to poor indoor air quality but also can irritate the eyes/nose/throat and damage the central nervous system as well as other organs.
Even if you try to protect yourself with gloves and mask while cleaning, many commercial products can still be dangerous for those with allergies, asthma, or other sensitivities. In fact, it’s hard to completely avoid inhaling a gas when these chemicals persist in the air long after the cleaning activity is completed.
Therefore, skip out on the strong chemical odors in most aggressive cleaning products and go green, instead. Many natural alternatives rely on baking soda, vinegar, essential oils, and plant-based extracts with their ingredients publicly disclosed. These naturally sourced materials are safe for humans, and the transparency makes it easy for those with specific allergies to know if they should avoid it.
Manufacturers of household cleaning products aren’t required by law to disclose their ingredients to the public. Even though the EPA does test cleaning products for risk, they’re not policing all potential chemical interactions, which could result in a harmful outcome if they are in contact with other substances such as food preservatives.
In contrast, many green cleaning manufacturers make it their policy to be fully transparent so you know what’s in them and you know what the possible outcomes might be of using them. The one caveat here is borax, a white, powdery mineral that can eliminate odor, remove grime and add shine. Borax is a common ingredient in many green cleaners, but recent studies have found that borax can be toxic if inhaled or ingested. If your goal for switching to natural alternatives is to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals, we wouldn’t recommend using borax-based products or recipes.
In fact, in some cases, you can skip the commercial products entirely and just make your own cleaning agents. You might have to do a little more work, but you then won’t have to worry that the products you’re using are detrimental to your overall health and well being.
Looking to clean your office or home? Contact us to get the best Green Cleaning Services in San Diego.