A Life In Progress

Chemical Free Cleaning January 21, 2008

Filed under: Around the House,Going Green — jdalsin @ 7:32 pm

I was asked to do a post about why I’ve chosen to not use chemical cleaners in our house.  This is an easy one. 

Simple. Because plain old vinegar is cheaper just as effective at getting things clean and the bottle doesn’t have warnings on it like “May cause irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes, may cause central nervous system depression if inhaled or ingested.” That is actually the warning on products that contain denatured ethanol which is in products like Lysol disinfecting spray.

I started using some chemical free cleaners a few years ago but became a lot more adamant about it once we had kids.  Kids pretty much live on the floor so floor cleaners became one of the first things I banned from our abode.  Seriously- my girls have licked the floor.  It’s not the dirt or grime I’m afraid of, but the chemicals that I scrubbed the floor with.

Another big reason is air quality.  This may sound crazy but as soon as I stopped using chemicals in the house I noticed a difference in air quality.  It felt cleaner and more pure.

Most cleaners are made up of chemicals and often times, pesticides.   A quote from CBC Marketplace:

“Clorox Disinfecting Wipes lists two ingredients: dimethyl benzyl ammonia chloride .145 per cent and dimethyl ethyl benzyl ammonia chloride. ”  Pesticides.

Pledge contains silicone, butane gas and propane.

 I could go on and on.  Why would you want that sprayed in your house to be inhaled by those you love and by you, who is likely in very close proximity as you spray it?

Another interesting fact that they are linking to poor indoor air quality: (Again, from a CBC Marketplace article):

“In Canada, respiratory illness is now the leading cause of admission to hospital for children. Childhood asthma has jumped by 400 per cent. After injuries, cancer is now the leading cause of death in children between the ages of five and nine.”

Another contributing factor in this decision is price.  Canadians spent nearly $275 million on cleaning products last year.  Most every cleaner that I make contains water, vinegar, tea tree oil and/or a little dishsoap.  Cheap, cheap, cheap. Things you usually always have on hand.

Last but not least is the environmental issues.  Most every cleaner you use will end up in the air or down the drain.  If you want more info about that, just google “harmful effects of chemicals/phosphates/ pesticides on the environment.” I’ve never checked but I’m sure you’d get thousands of hits.

Basically, your skin is like a sponge.  It absorbs everything it comes into contact with.  Which is why another important change to make is with your laundry detergents.  There are many good detergents to choose from now.  Worst of all are dryer sheets.  Sure, your clothes get to smell like a vanilla field but those are sheets of chemicals and perfume. Soooooo bad for you.  Your clothes get all that all over them and then they are pressed against your body all day long.

Anyway- this post felt very unorganized and little scattered.  Just a lot to get out I guess. 

If you want more information about the harmful ingredients in cleaning products, check out this link below.  Pretty scary:


I find this especially important if you have little ones.  It is really an easy switch to make, especially since there are now so many natural, non-toxic cleaners available on the grocery shelf and so many recipes online for homemade cleaners.

I could go on to also mention the chemicals and carcinogens in beauty products.  Most are filled with parabens and chemicals.  Check out these articles for all the motivation you’ll need to switch over to organic products. http://www.livingbeauty.ca/intoxicatingbeauty.html


Again, there are so many great alternatives available that this would be another easy change to make to benefit your health.  I often find the organic stuff works better too!

O.K.  I’m done for now! Hope this answered ‘anonymous” questions.


6 Responses to “Chemical Free Cleaning”

  1. Robyn Says:

    I agree – vinegar is the best and for tougher things that need scrubbing baking soda is A M A Z I N G!!!!

  2. mybloggylife Says:

    I think you’ve motivated me, Jen. I just bought one big bucket-o-vinegar at the store the other day… I’m soaking my dipes in it. Tomorrow my plan is to take on the mirror (ugh) in my shower.

  3. Susie Says:

    Great post Jen. I have debating using natural cleaners or not. When Kynan was going through all his health issues we switched, but then switched back. I don’t know why we did, but we just did. You reminded me why it is so important to pay attention to things like this. I like your new blog…. very informative.

  4. pmpayette Says:

    I am very proud of you. Your healthy family will be your reward.

  5. Lisa Says:

    very inspiring, indeed!

  6. Chelsea Says:

    I’ve been reading both of your blogs for some time, and have really enjoyed “getting to know you” 🙂 I’m especially interested in the enironmental choices you’ve made, I’ve been wanting to do the same, could you post some of your recipes for the homemade cleaners? That would be awesome!

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