Natural Versus Chemical Household Cleaners

There was a recent claim by an individual that a cleaning product caused her dog to die. It lacked details, couldn’t be proven and was actually debunked by several entities including the ASPCA Poison Control Center. However, adding cleaning chemicals to the home environment shouldn’t be your first choice and may not be your safest choice. 

Many cleaning agents that are wiped on, sprayed or otherwise applied to surfaces in your home are advertised to be safe. But safety testing tends to look at short term susceptibility and the health effects of long term exposure are not always known. The chemical components in cleaners have MSDS or Materials Safety Data Sheets that list the potential hazards for each particular chemical. Many have hazards to your health like respiratory, gastric and/or skin irritation and some have possible links to certain cancer. Once they are diluted into a cleaning agent the chemicals are deemed to be safe, but exposure over months and years or a person with particular sensitivities could see health issues even at a diluted level. Pets lick, clean, lay and walk on the floor surfaces where these cleaners are used. We walk on our floors and eat off of our counter surfaces too, plus we use these products to actually clean, which is another exposure source. 

So what are healthier alternatives since cleaning is a necessity especially with pets? There are many natural cleaners available. Vinegar is a great general purpose cleaner that removes soap scum and lime build-up plus deodorizes. Baking soda can be used as a paste for cleaning and it also deodorizes. Lemon juice lightens stains and smells great.Thieves essential oil is another  natural alternative with its wonderful clove smell. It has great cleaning and deodorizing properties. There are many websites that provide information on using natural alternatives when cleaning you home. I’ve included two links below, but you can explore all the options online and pick the best recipes for your home and family.