March 16, 2017
Your kitchen and bathroom are two of the most important places in your Edmonton home. So making sure that both are clean and free from harmful toxins should be a high priority. This is becoming increasingly difficult with the amount of harmful cleaners on the market containing carcinogens, poisons and asthma/allergy instigators. Shockingly, just 7 percent of the cleaning products on the market disclose their entire list of ingredients. Like the U.S., there is no Canadian law that requires manufacturers to disclose all of the ingredients in cleaners – or offer warnings about adverse health effects.
The argument is that competitors might copy the formula is suspect – and shows little concern for consumer health. Manufacturers are only required to list “chemicals of known concern,” which leaves a long list of chemicals that could be toxic that simply haven’t been tested. The best route for consumers who are concerned with using potentially harmful products is to search out safe, non-toxic cleaners – or to make them yourself. Always Plumbing & Heating has put together a list of ways to keep the most important rooms in your home clean – and safe for the entire household.
Seek Out Green Cleaning Products
There are several “green cleaning” manufacturers that trumpet their non-toxic line of products, but even the more health conscious companies have certain brands that contain questionable ingredients. So it is best to shop product-by-product – not by company. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tests cleaning products for their toxicity and provides a grading system for them. They test products that are available both in Canada and the U.S.; from the most popular brands to the boutique cleaners found in specialty stores.
Avoid Unnecessary Products
There are a few cleaning products on the market that are completely unnecessary and can cause more harm than good. Most of these products do not have “greener” alternatives and should be avoided completely. Popular wax and liquid air fresheners do not list ingredients and contain fragrance mixtures that can trigger allergy and asthma problems. Antibacterial products including soap and hand sanitizers can have adverse effects and have been linked to thyroid and heart damage. Drain and oven cleaners contain toxic ingredients that can burn eyes and skin. There are a few homemade alternatives that can help with these cleaning needs (see below). Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can contain lung irritants and can also trigger lung and asthma problems.
Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products
If you are concerned with using toxic cleaning products in your home, the best route to go is to simply make your own. The best DIY recipes are the ones that have the least (and most common) ingredients. While you should be able to find most of the ingredients already in your kitchen cabinet, the rest are easily acquired at your local grocery store. Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, borax and olive oil are all essential ingredients in creating green cleaning supplies. Essential oils and castile soap are also helpful in many DIY recipes and can be found at most health-conscious grocery stores.
The best, most effective cleaner for most surfaces (except stone) is a simple mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. This time-tested combination is ideal for simple cleaning projects and effectively cleans and disinfects. Add some lemon juice (also good for cleaning) if the slight vinegar smell is a problem. This combination (or a slight variation of it) will work for most home cleaning challenges.
Always Plumbing & Heating would like to remind you that while DIY cleaning is a great idea for ensuring a healthy IAQ, there are only a few home service or repair needs that should be tackled on your own. While there are some effective non-toxic recipes for unclogging drains and toilets, calling a professional to assist with the more difficult problems is key. Try to avoid over-the-counter products that claim to unclog pipes – as most contain abrasive chemicals that can potentially cause more damage to your plumbing system. Let the professionals at Always help when plunging or DIY mixtures prove ineffective. Call us at 780-489-8118 to schedule an appointment with a professional today!
To request a service appointment, give us a call at 780-489-8118 or contact us online.