In a post-pandemic world, disinfecting has become an essential part of maintaining a healthy and safe living environment. The issue is that the products we use to clean our homes can be more harmful than we think. One very common go-to household cleaning product that has recently come under quite a bit of scrutiny is Clorox wipes. These wipes, along with other cleaning agents such as Lysol wipes, can be toxic if not used carefully and properly.
Let’s dive into the dangers around Clorox wipes and other cleaning agents and great non-toxic alternatives:
Why Do We Need to Use Cleaning Agents Carefully?
Clorox wipes contain a chemical called sodium hypochlorite, which is a powerful bleach agent. When used in large amounts or not diluted properly, this chemical can cause a host of health issues including skin and eye irritation as well as respiratory problems. These wipes can also release dangerous fumes if they are used in an enclosed space or near an open flame. Another common household cleaning agent that can be toxic is ammonia. Ammonia is often found in window and glass cleaners, and can cause respiratory problems if inhaled in large amounts. It can also irritate the skin and eyes, and should be used with caution. A big risk for parents of small children is that these cleaning products may be accidentally ingested by children or pets. Many cleaning products, including Clorox wipes, are not safe for consumption and can cause much more complex health problems if ingested. It is important to keep all cleaning products out of reach of children and pets and to follow the instructions on the label. If you run into a situation where a cleaning agent has been ingested, call the poison control hotline at 1 (800) 222- 12222 immediately.
Safe, Non-Toxic Alternatives to Clorox Wipes & Other Cleaning Agents:
- White Vinegar and Water: Mixing equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle creates a solution that can be used to clean and disinfect surfaces. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant. It can also be used to remove hard water stains and mineral buildup.
- Baking Soda and Water: Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that can be used to clean and deodorize surfaces. Mixing baking soda with water creates a paste that can be used to scrub away dirt and grime. Bonus: Stick a fresh pact of baking soda in your fridge to eliminate rancid smells that may come from fresh produce or foods going bad.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is a natural disinfectant and can be used to clean and deodorize surfaces. We recommend you mix it with water, but it can also be used on its own for tougher stains.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide, the stuff we use to disinfect cuts, is a natural disinfectant that can also be used to clean and sanitize surfaces. Like lemon juice, it can be mixed with water or used full strength on tough stains.
- Castile Soap: Castile soap, like Dr. Bronners, is a non-toxic, plant-based soap that can be used to clean and disinfect surfaces.
- Essential Oils: Essential oils like tea tree, peppermint, and lemon can be used to clean and disinfect surfaces. They can be added to a spray bottle of water or added to a cleaning solution for added disinfecting properties. We would recommend practicing caution with essential oils as some can be irritating to those with allergies.
It’s important to note that when using homemade cleaning solutions, you should test them on a small, inconspicuous area before using them on a larger surface. The last thing you want is to destroy your kitchen’s granite countertops. We wish you good health and a safe, clean year ahead!