Most of the cleaning products we use daily in the kitchen and bathroom are loaded with numerous chemicals that help clean better and this need for the modern generation to keep everything extra clean doesn't come without a cost. In the olden days when natural materials were used not out of choice but necessity had the burden of additional processing time. Innovations in science, has helped in reducing cleaning time, but this has been accomplished with the help of soap and adding chemicals to it to make cleaning easier. Unfortunately, these chemicals in the long run proved to be toxic and the petroleum by-products from which they are derived are equally bad. The chemicals used in cleaning agents such as ammonia, phosphates are harmful if used for a longer period of time to humans and the surrounding life, as the chemical agents get washed into the rivers, lakes and ocean. For example, mixing of bleach with ammonia can produce dangerous chloramine vapors which can make you unconscious by breathing them. The fragrance added to the cleaning agents is harmful as well, as it has toluene which is a proven carcinogenic. Phosphoric acid found in detergents is harmful to the lungs. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, the chemical used as a lathering agent in soaps and shampoos, is a skin irritant. Studies have proved these chemicals harmful and the side effects caused by them have become the sourc eof motivation to a lot of people to turn back to natural cleaning products.
What are the ingredients used in Non-Organic Cleaning products?
From softeners, soaps, bleaching agents, detergents to scourers, polishes and dedicated bathroom cleaners, we use a myriad of chemical cleaners regularly. But little do we know that while we are making our home germ-free and scrubbing our dishes spotlessly clean, we are increasing indoor pollutant levels. Most of the non-organic cleaning ingredients include chlorine bleach, ammonia, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), phosphates, benzene, formalin and many more toxic chemicals. Some of the common components of non-organic cleaning products are:
Chlorine bleach: It is a highly corrosive composition that is majorly present in oven cleaners, drain cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners. It can cause acute or instant health hazards such as chemical burns, eye irritation, watery eyes and respiratory problem.
Ammonia: It is a common ingredient of all the non organic cleaning products and is corrosive. Excessive exposure to products containing ammonia is known to cause severe eye burns and when ingested it can damage the throat and oesophagus. The combination of ammonia and chlorine bleach is highly dangerous and its fumes can cause lungs and nose infections and is also known to elevate heart problems.
Lye: It is mostly used in combination with ammonia especially in oven cleaners and together forms chloramine gas that is seriously injurious to health.
Subsiding agents: These are present in very low percentage in non organic cleaning products but are highly toxic and are known as subsiding agents. Ingredients such as diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) are the regular subsiding agents which when exposed to nitrites that are present as contaminants or unlisted preservatives produce cancer causing nitrosamines. Some other subsiding agents are 1,4-dioxane, ethoxylated alcohols, and Butyl cellosolve that are known to affect the brain and nervous system.
APEs: Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) present in detergents and regular toilet cleaners have been found to mimic estrogen hormone resulting in increased risk of breast cancer. It is also responsible for the occurrence of birth defects in males- cryptorchidism and hypospadias.
Phosphates: It is a regular component of laundry detergents and cleaners and is used for softening hard water. Lately, its use has been stopped in the wake of evidences suggesting harmful effect on aquatic life. But it is still an important ingredient of washing machine detergents.
What are the ingredients used in Natural Organic Cleaning Products?
Most of the ingredients that are used in producing natural organic cleaning products can be easily found in our kitchen. The older generation might still remember how their grandmothers used to rub vinegar on shirt collars and cuffs with lime or baking soda to get rid of stubborn collar stains. Some of the common ingredients that are used in almost all natural organic cleaning products albeit with varying percentages include:
Baking soda: It is also known as bicarbonate of soda or soda bicarbonate. The chemical formula is NaHCO3. It is white colored powder known to clean tough stains and absorb bad odor.
Vinegar: White and malt vinegar are used for cleaning stubborn stains and for clearing blocked drains.
Alcohol: This ideal cleaning ingredient is more effective as a disinfectant floor and washroom cleaner.
Lemon juices: Citric acid in lime works as natural bleach like chlorine. It removes stain, is a strong disinfectant and kills mildew spores.
Detergent: Natural detergent is formed by blending caustic soft drink or lye and fats. It creates lot of foam and lather and is useful in removing grease and paint stains.
Essential oils: These are distilled aromatic oils derived from plants and have antibacterial and anti-microbial properties.
How are Organic Cleaning Products better?
Some of the benefits of natural organic cleaning products are:
Economical: The ingredients used in natural organic cleaning products do not cost more than few cents/unit and hence you can get these cleaning products at much cheaper rates.
Non-toxic:Natural organic cleaning products are much safer and do not cause any harmful side-effects.
Eco-friendly: Non-organic cleaning products contain ingredients that are non-biodegradable or take time for degradation due to which they cause water and air pollution. Every ingredient used for preparing natural organic cleaning product is biodegradable in nature and considered safe for the environment.
Multi-purpose utility: You can use one natural organic cleaning product for laundry, scrubbing grease spots, deodorizing indoors and much more.
What are the best Organic Cleaning Products?
Some of the best natural organic cleaning products available in the market are:
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day: The Company has a complete range of natural cleaning supplies that are made from biodegradable ingredients. These products contain essential oils that give mild fragrance to the cleaning products.
Watkins: The Company is located in the Mississippi River Bluff town of Winona, and is the pioneer in providing natural cleaning products since 1868. Only the finest ingredients are used to prepare diversified line of cleaning products including home care, personal care and organic flavorings.
Nature Clean: Started in 1960, this company offers a diverse range in natural organic cleaning products that are non-toxic and safe.
Simple Green: The products are made from 100% natural components and have specialized natural stain removers. The products are highly effective in removing stains of grease and barbecue grilling. Ingredients used in the making include chicory, palm, corn, salt, sugar, water coconut and natural minerals.
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