Safe And Sound Cleaning

By Julie Price

May 6, 2014 4 min read

With a steady rise of environmentally friendly cleaning products on the market, there is some curiosity as to how efficient these brands are in comparison to traditional products. Many people wonder how essential some of the "harmful" chemicals found in traditional products really are to achieving sparkling, clean results. Can planet-conscious formulas really get rid of the germs and dirt we leave behind on a daily basis?

Before pondering that question further, think about some of the negative effects of common chemicals found in the products many of the past few generations have grown up with. In fact, there are often hazardous warning symbols right on the packaging, cautioning pretty serious qualities, such as:

--Toxic/poisonous.

--Flammable.

--Explosive.

Aside from the intense warnings above, short-term exposure to these substances can be extremely damaging to your health in the long run. The risk potential ranges from low to high, from causing slight allergies, watery eyes, congestion and stuffiness and triggering pre-existing conditions such as asthma to high-risk ailments such as lung damage, chemical burns, cell damage, hormone changes and various types of cancer.

Not only are you potentially putting yourself and your housemates or family members at risk by using these products but also they have just as much of a negative effect on the environment. For example, think of how strong and barely breathable the smells of these products are. You might want to open the window to air out your home, but those chemicals would then seep into the great outdoors. Substances find their way into plant life, aquatic ecosystems and fresh, drinkable water, and this leads to contamination.

While our ancestors certainly didn't have it down (let's face it, asthma isn't so bad as the plague or dysentery), they shifted over time as more information came in, as each generation does over time. Thanks to this new awareness, there are many cleaning products on the market that avoid using harmful chemicals that can hurt the environment and the humans who use them.

And to answer our earlier question, these products also do a pretty darn good job of getting rid of messes. They're not just as good as traditional products; in some cases, they're better because of the attention to detail and the work that goes into finding top-notch alternatives to harmful ingredients.

Some of the eco-friendly brands to keep an eye out for on the shelves are:

--Green Works Free and Clear laundry detergent.

--Mrs. Meyer's surface wipes (gentle cleaning agents and cloths that are also biodegradable).

--Method all-purpose cleaning spray (nontoxic natural cleaners with coconut and other food-based ingredients that don't test on animals).

For the skeptics still reading with a distrusting raised brow, visit websites to compare different brands. If you find that one product isn't working so well as your traditional ones, there most likely will be another all-natural alternative that you can try instead. Just as some traditional brands do a better job with certain cleaning categories, so it goes with environmentally friendly brands, as well.

There isn't much of a price difference when it comes to choosing between chemical-free and chemical-filled options, so there isn't anything to lose by giving the eco-friendly versions a try. If for no other reason, a scent comparison is usually enough to persuade even the most loyal customers to give the environmentally kind products a try.

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