The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Safer Cleaning Products
Cleaning is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and comfortable living space. I’m sure, we all want our homes to be sparkling clean. But, have you ever stopped to think about the impact of the cleaning products you’re using on your health and the environment?
Many traditional cleaning items contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both you and the planet. That’s why it’s important to choose safer cleaning products that’ll get the job done without compromising your well-being.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of selecting cleaning products that are not only effective but also safe for you and the environment.
When choosing a safer cleaning product, the first thing you should do is check the ingredients it has or comes with. Once you feel comfortable with that, it’s important to look for some other stuff like the certifications it has and the reviews it’s received. Let’s keep reading to know more.
1. Look for the Ingredients
A safer cleaning product should always have more than one natural ingredient, such as baking soda, vinegar, essential oils, and other plant-based surfactants.
Each of these can effectively clean a variety of surfaces without compromising your health or the environment. And they also have a milder scent, which won’t irritate your nasal elements.
While checking out the label, make sure to check if the product has the following:
- Bleach, and
Unlike the former, Ammonia and bleach can irritate your respiratory system and skin. On the other hand, phthalates are known endocrine disruptors.
So, we’d ask you to stay far away from them!
2. Seek 3rd-Party Certifications
To identify safer cleaning products, keep an eye out for third-party certifications. These certifications indicate that a product has been tested and verified to meet certain safety and environmental standards. Some of the most reputable certifications to look for include:
- EcoLogo: This certification ensures that the product reduces environmental impact throughout its lifecycle.
- Green Seal: Products with the Green Seal certification meet rigorous standards for health, performance, and environmental criteria.
- Safer Choice: Managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this label indicates that a product’s ingredients have been evaluated for safety.
- Cradle to Cradle: This certification evaluates products based on factors like material health, material reuse, and renewable energy use.
If a product comes with even a single one of these certifications, it might be best to go for it.
3. Read Reviews and Do Your Research
Thanks to the internet, we have access to a wealth of information at our fingertips. Before purchasing a cleaning product, take the time to read reviews and do some research. Look for testimonials from other consumers who have used the product and pay attention to any red flags. If a product has consistently negative reviews or reports of adverse reactions, it’s best to steer clear.
4. Consider Packaging
The impact of cleaning products goes beyond just their ingredients. The packaging they come in also contributes to environmental waste.
When choosing cleaning products, consider those that come in recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Some companies are making efforts to reduce their plastic usage by offering refill stations or using eco-friendly materials for their bottles.
5. DIY Cleaning Solutions
If you’re truly committed to using safer cleaning products, you might even consider making your own DIY cleaning solutions. This gives you complete control over the ingredients you use and eliminates the need for unnecessary packaging.
As mentioned earlier, ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils can work wonders as cleaning agents. There are plenty of online resources that offer recipes for making your own cleaning solutions for various purposes.
6. Be Wary of “Greenwashing”
Unfortunately, not all products that claim to be “natural” or “eco-friendly” are actually safe or environmentally friendly. Some companies engage in “greenwashing,” which involves deceptive tactics to make their products appear more sustainable than they actually are.
Always check for third-party certifications and read ingredient lists rather than relying solely on buzzwords and marketing claims.
7. Test in Small Areas
When trying out a new cleaning product, especially one with unfamiliar ingredients, it’s a good idea to test it in a small, inconspicuous area first. This way, you can ensure that the product doesn’t cause any unwanted discoloration or damage to the surface you’re cleaning.
This precaution can save you from larger headaches down the road.
Remember, choosing a safer cleaning product isn’t about having a spotless living space; it’s about achieving that cleanliness in a way that aligns with your values and respects your well-being. So, the next time you reach for a cleaning product, take a moment to consider its impact and choose wisely. That will certainly help your health and our environment.