It’s no secret that we all enjoy living in a clean, germ-free home. That’s why we’re always looking for household cleaners that will effectively disinfect surfaces and keep our homes free of harmful organisms while removing dust and big and small stains. But beware. Many household cleaners can also negatively impact your family’s health and environment.
From watery eyes and skin rashes to chemical burns and respiratory irritation, reactions to certain household cleaners happen all too often. Even bleach — though a popular cleaner and disinfectant — if not handled carefully, can be hazardous. For example, if bleach is accidentally mixed with ammonia, chlorine, lye or acids, (all of which can be found in oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners) the combination can be toxic.
While cleaners can impact homeowners’ health, it’s not surprising that some can cause incremental damage to our home and its surroundings as well. Harsh drain cleaners — while effectively unclogging your drain — can also damage your pipes. Even the suds and residue from cleaners, soaps and shampoos can build up over time, causing clogs while weakening your plumbing.
Unfortunately, even when the best efforts are made to limit exposure to our environment, it’s difficult for even the most conscientious homeowner to prevent some of the cleaners from entering community water systems. For example, chemicals from drain and other household cleaners are washed or flushed down our drains into our water system each time we clean. Although most pollutants are removed by waste treatment facilities, nitrogen, phosphorus and ammonia remain. The result is an overgrowth of vegetation and algae in our waterways that can harm wildlife.
All that said, there are times we may need to use some of these powerful chemicals for cleaning. The goal though, is to be aware of the effect they can have on us and our environment so that you can benefit from their strength while limiting their negative impact on your family, home and environment. By limiting their usage, it also encourages you, the homeowner, to identify more natural ways to keep your home spotless.
Wondering what some of those natural cleaning remedies are? Make sure to check out our next blog where we will be touching on natural, effective ways to keep your humble abode clean!