If you’re a die-hard member of the bleach brigade, you m might not be aware of the effects using bleach around the home has on you. Chlorine bleach isn’t the best thing for your lungs as it’s a known carcinogen that can cause burns, respiratory problems and gastrointestinal issues. If you happen to mix it with anything that contains ammonia (glass&window cleaner, oven&drain cleaner, toilet cleaner and some multi-purpose cleaners) it produces an extremely toxic gas.
From an environmental perspective, bleach can also cause serious pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, our indoor air is twice as polluted as the outdoor air, mostly because of the cleaners we use. Studies have shown that chlorinated VOC (volatile organic compound) levels in the home skyrocket when you clean with bleach.
So, what are the alternatives to cleaning with bleach? There are plenty of effective options out there that aren’t so dangerous.
- A simple way to break your bleach addiction is by switching to oxygen bleach. It disinfects & cleans just as well as chlorine bleach, but because its active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, it’s completely nontoxic and odor-free. (Chlorine bleach’s main ingredient is sodium hypochlorite, which is pretty much the opposite of nontoxic.)
- There’s an amazing variety of safe bathroom cleaners out there such as ready made ‘green’ products from Delphis Eco and ECover .
- Borax is a time-tested, extremely versatile cleanser that contains no chlorine or phosphates.
- A mixture of distilled white vinegar, lemons & baking soda (along with some borax and a little tea tree oil) are all you really need to combat bathroom mold, mildew and grime.
Some useful ways that you can combine these standard, magic household ingredients to produce powerful cleaning action are as follows:
- A thick paste made of a half-cup of vinegar and a quarter-cup baking soda will spiff up bathroom tiles — as will scrubbing with half a lemon dipped in borax powder.
- A spray consisting of equal parts vinegar, baking soda and water is an excellent multipurpose cleaner.
- Sprinkle a cup of borax and a quarter-cup of vinegar into your toilet bowl, let it sit overnight, then scrub and flush in the morning.
- Unclog a drain by pouring down a handful of baking soda and a half-cup of vinegar, covering for 15 minutes and then flushing with 2 quarts of boiling water.
This is only the tip of the iceberg as far as uses for white vinegar, lemons & baking soda goes as they are amazingly versatile cleaning agents.
So, the next time you’re getting ready to clean your home with bleach, try one of these safer alternatives instead!