Your Complete Guide to Home-Cleaning Products and the Dangers of Using Them You Never Knew About

Household cleaners are commonly found under kitchen sinks all over the world. These cleaners help us take care of our floors, countertops, dishes, and windows. But, while they do this, they are also slowly doing damage to our bodies. Even if you use products that are labeled as green, they still might have some toxic ingredients. Instead of trusting that home cleaning products are safe, you should read the labels and understand that most of them are not safe.


Cleaning products often include irritants that can cause serious health problems like cancer. Instead of continuing to put your health and your family’s health at risk, you can turn to safe products like our natural dishwasher gel. There are businesses that are committed to making products that use only safe ingredients and the only way to help these businesses continue to make safe products is to become patrons.

Toxic Products With Harmful Ingredients

Unfortunately, there are more toxic products than safe ones. If you have ever suffered from a headache or itchy skin after using cleaning products, you have become a victim of them. Many have volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ammonia, bleach, and other harmful ingredients. Even the fragrances in cleaning products can be toxic, especially when used inside of homes with closed windows.


When you use cleaning products with toxic ingredients, you could become the victim of them. They can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions. If you already have asthma or allergies, the chemical in cleaning products can exacerbate your preexisting conditions. Some of the most dangerous cleaning products include:
- Air fresheners, especially aerosols
- Carpet cleaners
- Chlorine bleach
- Dishwasher detergent
- Furniture polish
- Oven cleaners
- Washing machine detergent

Safe Alternatives Exist

Instead of using harmful household cleaners, there are alternatives that work just as well. You can wash your counters and floors with soap and water. If you have a stubborn mess, then baking soda will help you scrub it out. Instead of using a chemical-laden window cleaner, fill a spray bottle with water and vinegar to clean glass instead. If your home has unwanted odors, use a non-toxic candle or incense instead of an aerosol air freshener.

Dangerous Mixtures Under Our Sinks

In fact, some cleaning products actually should not be used together or even stored together. Yet, we continue to do this. When you mix products that have chlorine bleach, you should never mix them with ammonia-containing products. You could create a gas that could kill you. Air fresheners can also mix dangerously with other products, even air-cleaning products that use ozone. If you must use any of these products, use them on their own and with good ventilation.


One of the most dangerous things you can do is mix cleaning products. Knowing what not to mix can help you from making mistakes that can put your health at risk. Absolutely nothing should be mixed with bleach, other than water if you are trying to dilute it. This goes for cleaning floors, sinks, and tubs, and it goes for using it in the washing machine, too. It is also wise to never mix any chemical cleaning products, like different types of drain cleaners or different types of oven cleaners.

Risking our Personal Health

Our personal health is constantly at risk when we rely on typical household cleaners. Those foams, spray, and aerosols will keep the bacteria and germs off of our stuff, but it makes us sick in the process. A large percentage of the calls to the U.S. Poison Control Center was due to inhaling, touching, or ingesting cleaning products. Many of the calls were because of children getting sick from ingesting these products.

The Dangers of Fragrance

One of the most dangerous ingredients in any household cleaner (besides chlorine bleach) is simply listed as “fragrance”. While this might sound like a positive addition to a product, it actually increases the toxicity of it. Fragrances, like those in laundry detergent, fabric softeners, and aerosol air fresheners can trigger asthma attacks, irritate eyes, and cause severe headaches. If a product has “fragrance” listed, but the actual fragrance isn’t given, then it is most likely a toxic fragrance and you shouldn’t use it in your home.

Ingredients that Cause Cancer

There are a few other cleaning ingredients to avoid: DEA and TEA. They are officially called diethanolamine and triethanolamine. These make cleaners get sudsy. They do not play nicely with nitrites and they can become cancer-causing agents that can get into the skin. It is also wise to avoid dioxane, ethoxylated alcohol, butyl cellosolve, ethylene glycol monobutyl, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), and p-nonylphenol. These can actually disrupt hormones and cause cancer, too.


These products are already proving to change hormones in children and adults. Natural chemical messages are disrupted, so sperm counts can be decreased and young boys are struggling with birth defects. Breast cancer is also on the rise due to hormone disruptors in cleaning products.

Products that Harm the Environment

Home cleaning products aren’t just affecting our homes, they are affecting our environment, too. Most cleaning products are eventually poured down sinks and drains. Then, they end up in our waterways. Waste-water treatment plants will break down most of the harmful chemicals, but there are many that make their way into fresh water. Nearly two-thirds of the streams that the U.S. Geological Survey tested had disinfectants in them.


These harmful chemicals don’t just show up in waterways. They are showing up in fish and they are actually changing the way that some species reproduce. Researchers have found female proteins in male fish. Those proteins did not exist until these harmful chemicals ended up in waterways. The best way to keep these chemicals out of our waters and fish is to stop using them. The most dangerous ones are surfactants that are used in
- Laundry detergents
- Stain removers
- Degreasers
- Citrus cleaners
- Disinfectants


You should also look out for products that contain phosphates and petroleum-based ingredients. When phosphates get into the water, it increases the growth of algae, which kills off other organisms in the water. Petroleum products mean that more fossil fuels need to be used to make convenient products. It is also wise to stop using single-use plastics, like bottles. These products simply fill up our landfills and pollute the environment when they are not properly disposed of or recycled.

Change the Way You Shop for Cleaning Products

If you want something else, you need to start reading labels. It is best to avoid any products that have a label that says Danger or has a Warning or Caution on it. This means that there is something toxic in the bottle and it will harm something or someone. The danger is the most toxic, Warning has a moderate hazard, and Caution is the least toxic - but still toxic! You should also look for warning words about harming the skin, containing vapors, may cause burns, or flammable. Some will also share how to use the product so you do not hurt yourself. Avoid ammonia, bleach, as well as chemical names that are difficult to pronounce.

The Safe Way to Shop

The best way to avoid polluting the environment and your health is to use healthy cleaning products. Along with soap, water, vinegar, and baking soda, there are other products that will not harm you, your family, or the natural world. You might have to put some muscle into cleaning with these products, but they work well. Lemon juice is a great choice for cleaning tough stains and the borax will work well in your washing machine.


If you are looking for products that are safe, there are some keywords to look for in the ingredients. The best products are those that are biodegradable, but only if the time it takes to biodegrade is listed. A product could take ages to biodegrade and still be listed that way. You should also look for terms like plant-based and contains no phosphates or solvents. Even if the product is listed as ecological-friendly or green or natural - it can still have dangerous chemicals in it. But, plant-based products are always better than
petroleum-based products.


Buy in Bulk and at Local Health Food Stores
To help the environment, even more, you should only buy cleaning products in bulk. When you buy them in small amounts, you add more bottles and containers to the environment. Some cleaning products are put into recycled plastic and those are usually good products to buy. You can also help the environment by buying concentrated formulas because they use less packaging and you get to mix the water to your liking. When you buy the bulk sizes, you are also reducing the amount of fuel that is used to ship these products to your favorite stores.


If you must buy cleaning products, one of the best places to buy them is at a locally-owned health-food store. In many cases, the buyers for these stores have already vetted the products and only include products that will not harm people or the environment.

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