Cleaning Chemicals to Keep Away from Pets and Children

Nothing is as satisfying as relaxing in your home after it has been thoroughly cleaned and organized. To get to that point, you’ll need the tools to do the job. In this case, those tools include a variety of cleaning supplies.

But what exactly is in these cleaning products? What potentially harmful chemicals make up the supplies that you use to clean your home? The intention of this article is to address this issue.

Before I begin, I would like to ask you a few questions. Where do you store your cleaning products in your home? Many people keep them inside the cabinet under the kitchen or bathroom sinks. Are you one of those people? Do you have children or pets in your home who could get their hands or paws on them?

I don’t mean to put you in a panic, but this is an important topic to talk about.

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What dangerous chemicals are inside cleaning products?

Here are some of the most common ones.

Triclosan

Triclosan is an anti-bacterial agent that is commonly found in hand soap and kitchen counter cleaners. Too much exposure to this can actually create strains of bacteria that are resistant to disinfectants and prescription antibiotics. Consider using regular soap and water instead.

Benzalkonium Chloride

Benzalkonium Chloride is also found in many anti-bacterial agents and can have the same effects as triclosan. While you may think that anti-bacterial products would be a good thing, there can also be too much of a good thing. In this case, the overuse of strong anti-bacterial products can lead to a home that is too sterile. What’s the downside? Without being exposed to any bacteria at all, your children’s immune system won’t fully develop, which could cause problems when they enter into an environment that isn’t as sterile as your home.

Alkylphenol Ethoxylates

These are commonly found in all-purpose cleaners. They will not break down in the environment. Therefore, they will accumulate on your skin. As estrogen mimickers, they can mess up the hormonal balance of women and cause development issues in children.

Chlorine Bleach

Chlorine bleach is known for being extremely toxic. Sure, it can keep your white laundry looking white, but there are many non-toxic alternatives. For example, you might like to try Ecover Non-Chlorine Bleach.

Ammonia

Ammonia is often found in glass and window cleaners. It can be toxic to your skin, eyes, and lungs. Keep this away from your children and pets.

Formaldehyde

This is used in disinfectants that fight mold and mildew. It also appears in some dishwashing liquid. Too much exposure of this chemical can affect the mucous membranes and can cause some people to have asthma attacks.

Other common chemicals

In addition to the ones that were listed above, keep an eye out for VOCs, Perchlorethylene, Nitrobenzene, and Phosphates. These chemicals, along with the other ones that I have listed, pose a threat to the health of everyone in your household.

Alternative Solutions

If you are one of those people who keep cleaning supplies under the sink, then at least invest in some childproof latches so that your children and pets can’t get into them.

A better option would be to forgo those products completely and start using some environmentally friendly products instead. For a few examples of eco-friendly cleaning supplies, check out my previous article about the subject.

Until next time, stay clean and stay safe!