Whilst many of us are committed to using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, not everything on the shelf meets this criteria – many products contain corrosive, toxic chemicals that might clean well, but they don’t do much for the environment (not to mention our health). Here, we have provided some tips for choosing supplies that are more in line with your environmental beliefs:
Ingredients do matter
The best place to start is with the ingredients list. If the product doesn’t tell you exactly what’s in it, you should not buy it. Transparency is huge when looking for environmentally friendly products in the modern world. Whilst there are many ‘safe’ products that haven’t disclosed their ingredient list, you have no way of knowing if this is true or not.
Know what to look out for
There are a number of toxins that you should look out for and avoid when purchasing cleaning supplies:
- Ammonia, which can be toxic if inhaled, swallowed or touched and can be deadly when mixed with the wrong stuff
- Antibacterials and disinfectants, which include a whole host of ingredients, like bleach
- Butyl Glycol, Ethylene Glycol and Monobutyl, which are common in most general cleaners
- Chlorine bleach, strong, corrosive and irritating to the eyes and lungs – avoid this wherever possible
- Petroleum solvents, many ingredients are derived from petroleum and are commonly listed as surfactants and formaldehyde
- Phthalates, often listed as fragrance, artificial scents are toxic – this goes for everything from cleaners to candles
Outsmart labelling tricks
Just because the label says ‘natural’, ‘non-toxic’ or even ‘eco friendly’ doesn’t mean that it actually is. It’s a great place to start when shopping for products, but be sure to verify it. Take a look at the ingredients and judge for yourself whether the claim is true. If you aren’t sure about a particular product, either look it up or err on the side of caution.
Know your options
There are a lot of great cleaning supplies out there, some of which you can find on the shelves of your pantry.
- Baking soda, it’s great for cleaning so many things, from hard water stains to baked on food in pots and pans
- Borax, this is a laundry additive that should be used with great caution, as it is not safe if ingested
- Castile soap, this is a gentle soap made from vegetable oil and is great for general cleaning, laundry, body wash and hand wash
- Lemon juice, is great in all sorts of cleaners, from cutting grease to lightening stains
- Washing soda, similar to baking soda but stronger, it is a great laundry additive
- Vinegar, is good for just about anything, from removing mildew spots to getting your dishes sparkling
We hope that the information provided above has enabled you to choose cleaning supplies that are more environmentally friendly. If you want to do your bit for the environment or are just concerned with your health, it is important to note that there are products out there to suit. The team at Access Direct can help you to choose the most suitable supplies for your needs.