The Most Toxic Household Cleaners
What household cleaners contain phenol?
Phenol is a common chemical which is frequently found in not just cleaning products, but all of the following household items:
- bronchitis sprays, chloraseptic spray and antiseptics
- feminine hygiene products
- air fresheners
- aspirin and cold capsules
- acne medications
- calamine lotion
- cleaning products, detergents and disinfectants
- furniture and other polishes
- hair products and cosmetics
- aerosol disinfectants
- anti-itching creams and lotions
- lip balms
- cough syrup… And many more!
Phenol is an extremely acerbic chemical that burns the skin and causes a ton of health issues. Absorption of phenol through the skin or lungs can cause cancer, damage to the central nervous system, respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, heart problems, skin irritation, organ damage, numbness, vomiting, and can actually kill you.
If you are wondering specifically what household cleaners contain phenol, think Pine-Sol, Spic-n-Span, Lysol. And pretty much everything of the like. If they don’t claim on the label somewhere to be free of caustic chemicals, you can bet they contain them.
One more step towards banishing toxins from your home, if you’re into that, would be to find out what the most toxic household cleaners are under your sink (or wherever you keep them). The truth is, if this is something you haven’t thought much about before now, it is likely all of them that are bad.
In keeping with the toxic/non toxic theme of the toxic toiletries article, let’s get into household cleaners, good and bad. Unfortunately these dudes more often than not include harmful chemicals. Even those advertised as “green”, or “natural” can contain ingredients that contribute to health issues, and eventually lead to doing the Premature Obituary Mambo, or the “POM-POM”.
If you haven’t heard, It’s sweeping the nation.
As explained by the American Lung Association, most toxic household cleaners can irritate the eyes and throat, and cause headaches or more serious developments such as cancer.
A couple of examples of harmful ingredients in most toxic household cleaners are ammonia and bleach. Chemicals released when using these products contribute to chronic respiratory problems and severe allergic reactions. Just a sampling of these bad guys are as follows:
- aerosol sprays
- air fresheners
- chlorine bleach
- detergent and dishwashing liquid
- dry cleaning chemicals
- rug and upholstery cleaners
- furniture and floor polish
- oven cleaners
Here is a warning:
Do not ever mix bleach or a bleach-containing product with any cleaner containing ammonia.
Never the twain should meet. The gases produced from this mixture can cause chronic breathing problems and, in some cases, death.
Also, don’t set up a picnic in front of a steam roller parked on a downward incline, or stick a fork in an electrical outlet, especially if you are standing in a full bathtub.
Then again, the only way to properly learn what not to do is by trying it…
To prevent harm from cleaning products you should only purchase ones that do not contain what are called VOC’s (volatile organic compounds)–fragrances, irritants, and flammable ingredients.
Avoid Air Fresheners Altogether
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a list of products that are safer than regular ones. And you know that any organization that begins with “U.S.” and ends with “Agency” is as safe as Grannie’s Olde Time Non-Lethal Home-Baked Cherry Pie that nearly killed a couple of the weaker of us grandkids, more than once.
In other words, don’t look to the government for any “guidelines” for anything that they haven’t already enforced upon you. It will shorten your life and swindle you out of more of your freedoms, which they will force you to purchase back later in the form of “licensing”, I guarantee you.
Only the government would give you a list of things that are a bit less toxic than the really deadly ones. To give people a feeling like they are being looked out for. Thanks, evil overlords who re-programmed my mind to think evil is good and good is evil.
When you must use household cleaning products keep the air ventilation flowing freely and never use them in a small confined space. Also, don’t smoke crystal meth.
3 Excellent Substitutes | Non – Toxic Cleaning Products
Three excellent substitutes for toxic cleaning products are good ole baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and white vinegar. I have never met a job they can’t dispense with in very short order. Let’s call them the Trifecta of Spiffy Clean.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
First the perfect pair:
The latest power couple if you will.
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, either used in tandem or as a paste, can do amazing things.
One caution first, that is very important, so listen up. Never store this magic potion in a closed container. A buildup of carbon dioxide can cause the container to leak, explode, or spray uncontrollably.
Mix up only the amount needed for the current cleaning task.
1. Hard water residue on your cooking utensils is almost impossible to get off, even in the dishwasher. Piece of cake for our duo, though. Spread the paste over the stains, leave for about half an hour, and wash as usual.
2. Bathroom fixtures also have a problem with hard water residue as well as soap scum. Use the same procedure, then polish to a high sheen.
3. Baked on food in pots and pans is nasty. But, you guessed it, spread our miracle mixture over the bad parts and leave to do their magic. The nastiness will lift right off.
4. Discolored and dirty grout is an eyesore and very hard to clean. This time don’t mix our two heroes together. Spray with the peroxide, let sit for a few minutes, and sprinkle with baking soda. Scrub the grout with a toothbrush (not the one you use on your teeth, please), rinse, and wipe off.
5. Laundry problems such as yellowed whites or stains can be a trial. But no, go back to your trusty peroxide/baking soda paste and slap it on. Wait a half hour and throw in the washer as usual. Side note: You might want to do a spot test on dark colors as the peroxide could fade the fabric.
Uses for White Vinegar for Cleaning
Now, moving on to the third in our trifecta – vinegar. Make sure you use white vinegar for cleaning purposes. Ditch those chemical cleaners, mix one part vinegar with one part water, and set to work. A spray bottle of this concoction makes everything from counter tops to floors to windows both spic and span. If the smell is not to your liking add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
1. That pesky soap scum on tubs or shower doors will be wiped clean if you squirt vinegar on a sponge and wipe. If the stains are particularly tough just grab that other member of the team (baking soda) and apply it along with a bit more vinegar. Scum be gone!
2. Candle wax melted on your favorite table. No problem. Heat the spilled wax with a hair dryer, remove with a paper towel, and clean up the leftovers with a paper towel soaked in vinegar and water.
3. Rather than using chemical weed killers in your garden mix up a gallon of vinegar, a cup of salt, and a tablespoon of dish soap. Spray on the weeds and go read a chapter of your book or have a cup of tea. When you go back a short while later the weeds will be withered and ready to be easily pulled out. I say this from experience after having used this method a few days ago.
4. Carpet stains are no problem with our helpers. Soak with white vinegar, sprinkle with baking soda, and watch it fizz. Vacuum.
5. When your shower head gets clogged, as they do, simply fill a plastic bag with vinegar and secure it over the shower head with elastic bands. Wait about two hours and run some water through with the bag still attached. Voila!
Or you could remove the shower head and immerse it in vinegar in the sink.
6. When your favorite wool sweater gets stodgy and lifeless, add a few spoons of vinegar to your rinse cycle and you will be amazed at the difference.
7. If you are like me and abhor the residue left after removing stickers (why do they use those??), just coat with vinegar and it will come right off.
8. When you get salt stains on your suede or leather shoes just brush with vinegar and they will look as good as new.
Store-bought cleaning products are generally poisonous. I think smart people should not buy products with pictures of human skulls and bones with all the meat and skin missing from them. I think they are trying to tell us something with that, but maybe I’m reading too much into it…
The way I see it there is absolutely no reason to use these most toxic household cleaners anywhere in your home, your car, or your yard. These three gems we’ve talked about will do it all, whether alone or together. And the bonus is they are much cheaper!
Here’s chapter one, if you haven’t read it:
What is in this All Purpose Non-Toxic Cleaner Concentrate Soap?**Health Ranger premium cleaning formula is made with wholesome, all-natural and lab verified ingredients that can effectively clean any water-safe surface in your home without harming you or the environment. It combines a wide variety of powerful essential oils with carefully saponified carrier oils such as coconut oil, olive oil and jojoba oil.