Today is Blog Action Day, and as my part, I will be writing about our choice to rid our home of toxic cleaners. As you probably know, many of the most popular cleaners are toxic. Some of the ways you can gauge the toxicity of a product are by reading its ingredients or the warning label. It’s true! Literacy is wonderful!
Tip: If the label mentions causing dizziness and nausea or to “allow venting with fresh air” after usage, it’s probably toxic.
This summer, the Household Hazard Report described five hazardous ingredients typically found in common cleaning products and their potential negative effects on people and the environment. It did an excellent job of explaining why to avoid conventional cleaning products.
The report identified MEA, alkylphenol ethoxylates, phthalates, the glycol ethers EGBE and DEGME, and quaternary amine disinfectants as hazardous chemicals linked to the development of asthma and reproductive defects in the people that use them and their families. Not to mention what the toxic by-products of these cleaners do to our environment. (You can read more here.)
Here is a small sample of the conventional cleaners that include one or more of these chemicals (that can cause asthma and reproductive defects, YO.)
Simple Green products (interesting choice of a name)
Spic and Span
Several laundry detergents (Tide Ultra, Tide 2X, Cheer, Dreft , Era, Ivory Snow, Gain…the list goes on and on. This was the most shocking to me.)
As you can see, most of the conventional cleaners are on this list. Frightening, no?
We made our decision to ban all of these products before the birth of Wito and we have never looked back. I’ll admit, finding products that clean as well as the conventional ones proved to be daunting at times, but one year later, we are 100% happy with our choices. (Which I will share with you. Right now. Because I love you and want you to spend your free time doing something else besides testing household cleaners.)
Whoorl’s non-toxic household cleaners (which is basically Method’s entire portfolio. Asterisks by the ones I can’t live without.):
*Method Naked Surface Wipes – I love these wipes! First off, let me say that a lot of my products are scent-free, however, Method does make several naturally-scented versions if you prefer. Just let me state for the record, CLEAN DOES NOT HAVE A SCENT. I know we have all been programmed to correlate lemon and pine with clean (it’s Pine Fresh!), but clean doesn’t smell like lemon or pine. Clean smells like nothing.
I use these wipes for the counters, Wito’s high chair, splats on the floor, etc. They are truly all-purpose.
Method All-Purpose Surface Cleaner – Same all-purpose cleaning ability, just in a spray.
Method Tub and Tile Spray – This is great for the bathroom shower and sink.
*Oxo-Brite – I would buy stock in this non-chlorine bleach. Use it in the laundry as a brightener, scrub the sinks and tub with it, anything that requires a little elbow grease will benefit from Oxo-Brite. I* also use it in places where I* would have previously used Comet. For instance, in the summer, our shower floor can get pretty grimy for our beach trips. If I* used the Method Tub and Tile spray only, I* could get it clean with a lot of work. Instead, I* just sprinkle some Oxo-Brite and it would be sparkling in 1/3 of the time. Seriously, I want to make out with this stuff.
Method Window Wash – Like Windex, but with healthy lungs!
*Method Stainless Steel Wipes – Holy mother. We have stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Before, I used all of those products where you rub it in and buff and rub and buff. BAH. I was so skeptical that these wimpy little wipes could make my stainless sparkle. Holy shit, you guys! It works better than any of those rubbing/buffing liquids or potions. Just wipe down and toss in the trash. No streaking, no smears, nothing. I don’t understand how it works so quickly and perfectly, but I shall perish if they stop making it.
Method Wood For Good Spray and wipes – Shiny wood is good!
Method Dish Soap – We use the Pink Grapefruit scented version of this one. (I like it, JANET.)
EcoSense Diamond Brite Automatic Dishwasher Detergent – Do you remember my dishwasher woes? LVgurl sent me an email about Diamond Brite, and it is by far the best I’ve ever used (toxic or non-toxic). You have to be a member of Melaleuca to buy it, but you can bypass the membership by purchasing on eBay. (At least that’s what I did.)
*Method Foaming Hand Wash – We buy the Sweet Water scent, and we blow through this stuff in our kitchen and bathroom. (Hi! We get off on washing our hands at the Whoorl household!) You can buy the eco-friendly refills at Costco or Target, too.
Method Unscented Laundry Detergent – Perfect laundry detergent. No scent and ultra-concentrated so you only use a little. Side note: I also bought the Method Baby detergent, but the baby powder scent was a little overwhelming to me.
Folex Carpet Cleaner – This is a water-based non-ionic surfactant with no hazardous chemicals. Works like a charm and you don’t have to rinse after using.
The best part about Method products is the availability at places like Target. You don’t have to go searching for an eco-friendly marketplace to find these. So, you really don’t have an excuse? Right?
I would love to hear your suggestions for non-toxic cleaners. Bring it on!
* In the interest of full disclosure, “I” meaning “the housekeepers”. Just keepin’ it real.