Sunday, May 17, 2009

Save Yourself from Your Cleaners!

The Facts: Have you considered...?
In an industrial setting, the use of bleach, antiseptics or chlorine requires protective clothing. Our precious vulnerable babies are being laid on a plastic mattress that is regularly sprayed down with diluted bleach. This concerns me because chemical cleaners are so dangerous and the available alternatives are both effective and frugal.

What makes bleach so bad?
When bleach (chlorine) comes in contact with organic matter, it creates chloroform which is both a toxin and known carcinogen. So whenever we wipe up some crumbs, pee pee etc, we are adding this toxin to our children’s lungs. Bleach also becomes ineffective as a disinfectant very quickly when it comes in contact with organic matter. What that means is that in order for bleach to disinfect properly the surface must be completely clean before the bleach touches it in order for it to disinfect completely.

It does more harm than good. On porous surfaces, it does not penetrate so for killing mold, it only cleans the top layer. Bleach is not registered with the EPA as a disinfectant to kill mold. It also damages floor and countertop sealers, and damages surfaces, discolors and corrodes hard surfaces over time.

Many natural cleaning products such as tea tree oil or vinegar can be used to both clean and disinfect at the same time which can save a lot of time when you are cleaning.

This does not have to be an area of choosing safety over cost effectiveness. A single bottle of tea tree essential oil (one ounce for $7 = 200 to 250 drops) can make enough spray disinfectant for 8 to 10 gallons of water (that's 40 bottles of spray disinfectant for about $7!). There are so many fantastic alternatives. I keep spray bottles with various mixes of essential oils for disinfectant, odor control and antiseptic purposes. For general cleaning, I use Shaklee Basic H which also is diluted and cleans great. Seventh Generation products also disclose exactly what's inside the bottle. Read your labels - the simpler, the better. Happy cleaning!


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