When it comes to your home choosing the right cleaners that are safe yet effective may seem like quite a task. However, many commercial cleaning products on the market use strong chemicals that are not necessary to clean your home and do great damage to ourselves and those around us. If you don’t want the hassle of making your own cleaning products, you may want to reconsider; here are four major chemicals to avoid when purchasing store bought cleaners:


Many of the disinfectants contained in cleaning products are actually pesticides. They promise to kill household germs but those chemicals contain carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. What most people don’t realize is that these ingredients are fat-soluable so once they are ingested it is very difficult to remove them from the body.


Commonly found in nail polish, this chemical is often used as a preservative and found in just about every commercial cleaning product on the market because it is a fungicide, bactericide and germicide.

Alkylphenol Ethoxylates

Most commonly found in disinfectants, general cleaners and laundry soaps APE are surfectants which helps aid the removal of dirt and grease when combined with water. But like pesticides, they are endocrine disruptors and very harmful to our health.


Fragrance serves little purpose in a commercial cleaner other than concealing the harsh chemical smell and masking odors for a false sense of cleanliness. And if you read my blog you know that most fragrances contain phthalates, which irritate the respiratory system triggering allergies, sinus problems and can paralyze our sense of smell.

In addition to the chemicals listed above Sustainable baby steps has a great list of actual ingredients to avoid all together. Choose to buy green,  or organic cleaning products. Most commercial cleaners do not have to disclose their ingredients on their label, meaning you have no clue what products you are putting on your floors, toilets or counters. Which also means you don’t know what you are ingesting or absorbing through your skin. DIY home cleaners are an easy substitute to make at home and require little effort. Floor cleaners, drain cleaners, cleaners and soap making have all been discussed on the blog.

Content: Urban Farm June 2012

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