There are an overwhelming number of toxic chemicals in regular household cleaners. Just to offer some perspective, here is some data regarding household and institutional cleaners, such as those used to clean schools:
- A janitor uses an average of 23 gallons of chemicals each year; 25 percent of which are hazardous.
- The institutional cleaning industry uses approximately 5 billion pounds of chemicals per year.
- There are approximately 275 active ingredients in antimicrobials that the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as pesticides, because they are designed to kill microbes.
- According to EPA estimates, the levels of indoor air pollution can be up to 100 times higher than outdoor air pollution.
- There are 17,000 petrochemicals available for home use and only about 30 percent of them have been tested for exposure to human health and effects on the environment.
- There are 63 synthetic chemical products found in the average American home, which is the equivalent of approximately 10 gallons.
And here are a few tips for cleaning without harsh chemicals:
- Use undiluted white vinegar to clean, disinfect, and deodorize bathroom surfaces. Allow the white vinegar to soak and then wipe away and rinse with hot water.
- Use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean mirrors and other glass surfaces.
- Use vinegar and warm water to clean the bottom of your bathtub or the inside of your sinks. Allow the vinegar and water to soak for a few minutes and then scrub any grime away and rinse with hot water.
- Remove hard water stains from metal surfaces using lemon oil and a cloth.
- Clean and whiten porcelain surfaces by making a paste with baking soda and warm water and scrubbing the surfaces with the paste.
- Clean plastic or vinyl shower curtains with vinegar and water. Put the vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spray all over the areas that have any mold and mildew, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse with hot water.
- Put some baking soda into the toilet bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes or so then scrub with a toilet brush and flush to rinse.
- Clean tile surfaces by putting baking soda and vinegar in a spray bottle, spraying the tile surfaces, scrubbing with a damp cloth and then rinse with warm water.
Natural ingredients like baking soda, white vinegar and lemon essential oil provide easy and healthy (for you, your loved ones and the environment) alternatives to everyday chemical-ridden household cleaners.