Cleaning the kitchen is one of the most challenging tasks regarding home maintenance; hence, many homeowners buy a load of cleaning products to ensure they have a spotless space. Although these cleaning products work well, they can be dangerous when misused.
For instance, in case of spillage, some of these household chemicals might cause injury to individuals or damage to property. Kitchen cleaners’ toxicity varies in severity ranging from respiratory issues, watery eyes, chemical burns, or even chronic sickness. Some toxins that you should watch out for include carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins.
Fortunately, these cleaners have labels that often specify their toxic contents and have corresponding instructions on poison control in case of exposure to the skin or ingestion.
Since cleaning products cannot be entirely avoided, here are some of the worst options that you can steer away from so you can start finding better alternatives.
- Glass Cleaners
It’s normal for windows to lose their shine over time. Dirty windows and house blinds can be distracting, making store-bought glass cleaners handy. However, this doesn’t cover blinds made with upholstery, such as roman blinds. Although alcohol-based glass cleaners help eliminate grime, they contain harmful chemicals such as ammonia.
Glass cleaners with ammonia attract dust and emit fumes, which can be dangerous when inhaled. So, consider using a homemade glass cleaner when cleaning blinds and shades. To create this solution, mix one part of vinegar with warm water. This is effective for getting rid of splashes of water and stubborn streaks.
- Drain And Oven Cleaners
Drain and oven cleaners can dissolve tough buildups that tend to obstruct pipes. For these cleaners to dissolve buildup, they contain alkaline compounds that are powerful enough to cause serious damage, which include sodium hypochlorite, hydrochloric acid, trichlorobenzene, sulfuric acid, lye, and sodium nitrate. These chemicals can be dangerous when they come into contact with skin and eyes; they might lead to severe burns.
They can create holes in pipes, especially in older plumbing, when used frequently. Therefore, avoid using liquid drain cleaners except when you have to. When you do, consider using these cleaners with great caution. A solution made of milder ingredients, like vinegar, water, and baking soda, can be a sustainable yet effective alternative.
- Bleach And Ammonia
Both bleach and ammonia have been used in the kitchen for years to get rid of surface stains. Although effective, they emit chlorine gases that are corrosive to the body and kitchen surfaces when used together.
These cleaning products can emit dangerous fumes that irritate the eyes and lungs. So, avoid using both of these cleaners at the same time. Better nontoxic options are vinegar, detergent, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda.
- Air Fresheners
Everyone loves a kitchen that smells great and inviting. For this reason, most people choose an air freshener that instantly removes the foul smell. However, they contain dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, acetaldehyde, xylenes, ethylbenzene, and toluene that can be volatile.
The synthetic fragrance in most air fresheners can trigger allergies and asthma in healthy people. So, to avoid these downsides, consider opting for organic essential oils to keep your kitchen healthy and fresh.
- Liquid Soaps
Most dish detergents have fragrances and solvents that can be harmful to drains if they are directly applied. For liquid soaps to function effectively, they are filled with chemicals, such as parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, synthetic colors, formaldehyde, and triclosan sodium, amongst many others.
When liquid soap is used in sinks, they leave deposits that catch hair, food scraps, and lint, which might interfere with water flow. To avoid this, consider a better alternative, like nontoxic dishwasher tabs.
- Magic Erasers
Magic erasers are considered housekeeping miracles. They remove dirt, scuffs, and permanent markers from walls or furniture with little effort. Even though magic erasers are incredibly effective, they contain toxic chemicals that can harm your furniture or body. They contain formaldehyde which might be destructive to your paint or the finish on your wood.
Fortunately, you can make a less toxic alternative at home. To do this, use a teaspoon of borax, and a tablespoon of baking soda, then use it to scrub the surface you want to clean.
- All-Purpose Cleaning Sprays
Although versatile, all-purpose cleaning sprays can be dangerous to the body as opposed to kitchen surfaces. These sprays contain solvents that might trigger asthma and allergies. The formaldehyde, artificial fragrances, and other harsh compounds in all-purpose cleaning sprays can also cause skin irritation.
It’s safer to make your all-purpose cleaning spray with greener ingredients to manage these effects. To create a safer homemade option, mix one-part white vinegar, one-part water, lemon rind, and rosemary sprigs.
Kitchen cleaning products can help in keeping space in excellent shape. However, as established above, some of these products can be harmful if not used right. Therefore, consider finding natural and greener options when buying your cleaning products.