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Avoid These Harmful Chemicals When Cleaning Your Home

July 18, 2017
Avoid These Harmful Chemicals When Cleaning Your Home

Note: The following article is a guest post contributed by a Virginia ServiceMaster Cleaning franchise.

Part of maintaining your home is keeping it clean, and in order to do that effectively you have to use some type of cleaning products.  After all, soap and water only go so far and can’t even be used on many types of materials without causing damage.  However, there are certain cleaning chemicals in common usage that can actually be hazardous to your health.

Here’s a quick list of some of the most common hazardous cleaning products and the brands that use them.

Chemicals to Avoid if Possible

Harmful chemicals are found in many types of cleaning products, but it’s also possible to use alternative products without these chemicals that are just as effective.  Therefore, whenever possible you should check the labels of cleaning products you buy and try to avoid products that have the following chemicals in them.

  • Chlorine Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Triclosan and Triclocarban
  • Ammonium Quaternary Compounds
  • Nano-Silver
  • Nonylphenol Ethoxylate
  • Butoxydiglycol
  • 2-Butoxyethanol

The chemicals on the list above can, if they come into contact with your skin or are inhaled into your lungs, cause a variety of bad effects including cancer, liver damage, blindness, asthma, and brain damage.

Brands of Cleaning Products to Avoid

While its nice to have a list of chemicals to avoid, the problem is that you’re not going to walk into a store and see a can of “Butoxydiglycol” sitting on the counter.  You’ll have to read the fine print on product labels to find out if a product contains that chemical, which can be hard to remember to do.

However, it’s a lot easier to remember the brand names of products containing some of these chemicals, which is why a cleaning company publishes a “Hall of Shame” list every year naming companies that produce harmful cleaning companies.  Here are some of the products that appear on the list:


  • Simple Green Concentrated All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Scrubbing Bubbles – Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner & Extend-A-Clean Mega Shower Foamer
  • EASY-OFF Fume Free Oven Cleaner
  • Drano Professional Strength Kitchen Crystals Clog Remover
  • Walmart Great Value Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner
  • Lysol Disinfectant Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner with Lime & Rust Remover
  • 2000 Flushes and X-14 toilet bowl cleaners

Do you have any of these products sitting on your shelf right now?  If so, you may want to consider a safer alternative.

What to Use Instead

The good news is that there are many alternatives to using harmful cleaning products.  In fact, you can sometimes mix your own, all-natural cleaning products using ingredients you may have sitting around your house right now.  Here are a few examples:

  • Furniture polish: Combine white vinegar and small amounts of olive oil to create a substitute for commercial furniture polish.
  • Window cleaner: Water mixed with small amounts of lemon juice and be put in a spray bottle and used as window cleaner.
  • All-purpose cleaner: Warm water mixed with baking soda can work well as an all-purpose cleaning solution.
  • Laundry detergent: Use the homemade recipe recommended by this blogger for laundry detergent instead of buying it at the store.

Its difficult to avoid harmful chemicals entirely because they are so prevalent in our society, but even if you can reduce your exposure a little bit it might help your overall health and could even extend your life!