I bet you’ve already heard the dirt on conventional cleaning products. You know that most of them are either bad for your health in some way or they wreak havoc on the environment after they go down the drain. Perhaps you like the idea of giving the cupboard under your kitchen or bathroom sink a green makeover….but you can’t do it all at once. Well you could, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, get rid of the most toxic of the cleaning products in your home first, then slowly replace others as they run out. Here are the 3 that I recommend doing away with pronto:
- Oven Cleaner – Conventional oven cleaning products contain lye, which is extremely corrosive and can burn skin on contact. I’ve got a self-cleaning oven so I haven’t had to worry about this myself but I’ve heard that Restore Grill & Oven Cleaner works well and there’s always good old Bon Ami, a mineral-based scrub. Or, make your own oven scrub using baking soda. Just coat the bottom of your oven with baking soda and use a spray bottle of water to dampen it. Leave it alone for awhile (I’d leave it overnight) and come back and scrub.
- Drain Cleaner – Chemical drain cleaners are probably the scariest cleaning product lurking in your home. These caustic mixtures commonly contain lye, bleach or sulfuric acid and can cause damage to skin, lungs and eyes. Instead of messing with chemicals, try an enzyme-based drain cleaner like Earth Enzymes from Earth Friendly Products or use the popular home remedy of vinegar and baking soda followed by hot water. It really works!
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner – Most toilet bowl cleaners are highly acidic and can irritate lungs and burn eyes. I’ve used Ecover and Seventh Generation toilet bowl cleaners with good results. For maintenance and to treat stubborn stains, try Borax, a naturally occurring alkaline mineral that is a powerful disinfectant and deodorizer. Toss 1/2 cup in your bowl, wait a half an hour,then scrub.
Note: don’t just toss these products in the trash. Bring them to your local hazardous waste disposal location because that’s what they are….hazardous waste!