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7 Household Cleaners to Avoid & What to Use Instead

Renae Carroll

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reviewed 2,000 household cleaning products in 2012 and found that 53% of cleaning products contain ingredients harmful to the lungs AND 22% of cleaning products contain chemicals known to cause asthma in otherwise healthy people.

1. Air fresheners - The fragrances (even those marked unscented) can trigger asthma and allergies.

2. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets -The fragrances and other ingredients used to make them can cause asthma, allergies or lung irritation.

3. Cleaning products with artificial fragrances - The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic, yet because the formulas used for these fragrances are trade secrets companies aren’t required to disclose the ingredients used.

4. Antibacterial products - The ingredients used to kill bacteria in these soaps can can encourage the development of drug-resistant superbugs.

5. Corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners - These are the most acutely dangerous cleaning products on the market. The ingredients in these cleaners can cause severe burns on the skin and eyes, or if ingested to the throat and esophagus.

6. Bleach and ammonia - Separately these cleaners produce fumes with high acute toxicity to eyes, nose, throat and lungs and should not be used by people with asthma or lung issues. Used together, these products produce a a toxic gas that can cause serious lung damage.

7. Products that create suds (shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath, laundry detergent) - Ingredients such as 1,4-dioxane, diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, etc. are known carcinogens linked to organ toxicity.

In addition to acute and long-term health issues, many of these chemicals pose health hazards to the environment too. When these cleaners are used in sinks, bathtubs or showers, they go down the drain and may threaten water quality or wildlife. Sudsing agents in shampoos, liquid soaps and detergents and phosphates used to soften hard water in detergents pose a huge threat to our water supply.

What to use instead....

1. Replace air fresheners, artificially fragrances candles etc with Pure Essential Oils in a diffuser. There are so many gorgeous diffusers available on the market today, our Rose Gold Ultrasonic Diffuser is one of them. My favourite is a grounding blend of essential oils: Sandalwood, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Lavender.  

Rose Gold 
Ultrasonic Diffuser 
Only $59.99


2. Replace fabric softener with White Vinegar with a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil/s

3. Replace cleaning products with artificial fragrances with white vinegar and bicard, or your very own DIY Citrus Cleaning, Mould Busting and Toilet Sprays - learn how to make these SUPER EASY and ridiculously cheap options in our Low-Tox Lifestyler 7 Day Kickstarter Workshop online (launching 15 April)

4. Replace antibacterial products with a hand gel made of aloe vera gel with your choice of one or more of the following essential oils: bergamot, clove, cedarwood, cinnamon bark just to name a few.

5. Replace corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners with white vinegar and bicard, or your very own DIY Citrus Cleaning, Mould Busting and Toilet Sprays - learn how to make these SUPER EASY and ridiculously cheap options in our Low-Tox Lifestyler 7 Day Kickstarter Workshop online (launching 15 April)

6. Replace bleach and ammonia with our DIY Mould Busting Spray - so simple to make and totally safe to use. 

7. Replace products that create suds (shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath, laundry detergent) with organic liquid soaps like Intentio Nurture's Honey & Tea Tree Skin Wash or PSW Solid Shampoo & Conditioner Bars. Check out our full range of skin and body care products instore today. 


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