What’s in your cleaning chemicals?
Todays average household have a hidden toxic secret that not many are aware of. The contents of your cleaning cabinet could be potentially fatal Every cleaning cabinet is stocked with cleaning products containing a potentially lethal chemical cocktail.
Common household cleaners like Ammonia and bleach emanate fumes that will irritate the respiratory system and mucus membranes. Combining the two, for instance while cleaning the toilet bowl, causes a deadly chemical reaction producing the toxic, and potentially fatal gas, Chloramine. Both cleaning agents also irritate and burn skin.
Drain cleanerstypically contain lye (sodium hydroxide) or sulfuric acid. Either chemical is capable of causing extremely serious chemical burns if accidentally splashed on the skin. They are obviously toxic to drink and to add to the danger a splash of drain cleaner in the eyes may cause blindness.
Even good old laundry detergent contains chemicals that, if ingested by pets or young children, will have serious health implications including nausea, vomiting, convulsion, and in severe cases could result in a coma. While most people will go through their lives not ingesting laundry detergents exposure to the skin, through chemical residual on clothes for instance, may cause many people to experience chemical sensitivity to dyes and perfumes present in some detergents.
Anyone who has ever cleaned an oven with any of the commercially available oven cleaners will no doubt be familiar with the effect this cleaning agent has when exposed to it. Being an extremely corrosive agent, sometimes containing sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, oven cleaners can be deadly if swallowed and are able to cause severe chemical burns on the skin or in the lungs if the fumes are inhaled.
It is good to know what your alternatives are. Not only will you remove potentially life threatening chemicals from the reach of loved ones but making your own cleaning material, with items commonly found in any home, is the environmentally responsible thing to do. Going this route also reduces a familys carbon foot print, saves money and reduces allergic reactions like rhinitis, sinus inflammation and eye and skin irritations.
- Baking Soda- cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.
- Soap- unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.
- Lemon- one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.
- Borax- (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
- White Vinegar- cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
- Cornstarch- can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
Here are a few basic recipes for you to try in your home:
Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar in 3 cups hot water.
All-purpose cleaner: Mix cup vinegar and cup baking soda into 2 liters water. Can be used to clean chrome fittings, glass, windows, mirrors and removes soap scum.
Mold and Mildew: Use un-diluted white vinegar or lemon juice and apply with a sponge.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner: mix cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar to the bowl and let it stand for a while. Scrub and rinse.
According to www.howtocleananything.com Coca-Cola is not just good for drinking but for cleaning too! The site claims a variety of cleaning uses for your favourite drink.
Toilet Bowls (I know this to be true): Pour a can ofCoca-Colainto the toilet bowl. Leave it for an hour and flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china they believe it works equally well for sinks and bath tubs.
Remove grease from clothes: Empty a can ofCokeinto a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains.
Poison Control can be contacted on 021 931 6129 or 0800 333 444