Top subscribe filter_none issues my account search apps login google-plus facebook instagram twitter pinterest youtube lock

5 Swaps for Cleaner Cleaning

Heal
woman cleaning window

ULTRA F/Thinkstock

A study shows toxic products can be as bad on the lungs as smoking.

Procrastination pays! I tend to put off housekeeping chores, but after I read last week’s study on how bad cleaning sprays are for women’s lungs, I don’t feel so guilty. The study, which came out from the American Thoracic Society, reported that women who clean at home or professionally using cleaning sprays and other cleaning products appeared to have a greater decline in lung function than women who did not clean. The study looked at data from 6,235 participants, over 20 years, and found that for women working as cleaners, the damage was comparable to smoking. The study authors say it’s due to the irritation from chemicals in common cleaning products. For this week’s Healthy Habit, I’m seeking some safer alternatives.  

Spraying on the: Tilex

I hate to give this one up, as it works so well on mildew, but I can live without those fumes. The Environmental Working Group has a variety of suggestions, two of which scored an A in their ratings: Attitude Bathroom Mold & Mildew Cleaner, which uses tea tree leaf oil and lime oil, and Concrobium Mold Control, which has a proprietary blend of salts.

Grabbing for the: Lysol

I know, everyone is blasting this all over the joint right now because of the flu. Alternatives to try include Thieves Spray by Young Living, or, buy a glass spray jar and mix up your own antiseptic spray using vodka, rosemary, eucalyptus, orange and lavender essential oils. Which kind of sounds like a new cocktail…

Spritzing on the: Windex

This has all sorts of allergens, but the big concern is ammonia, which, according to the EWG, is a high level of concern for causing skin burns and eye damage, and causing asthma. You can make a safer alternative, again, in a glass spray bottle. Mix white vinegar, cut with water, and add a little cornstarch. Fun fact: If you’ll be DIYing a bunch of cleaners using vinegar, there is a “cleaning strength” of vinegar that is stronger than cooking vinegar and therefore better at getting out stains. According to Heinz, it’s made the same way as white vinegar, but has 6 percent acid instead of the standard 5 percent, making it 20 percent stronger. You can still cook with it. If you see 20 percent vinegar at a garden store, that is for killing weeds and is not recommended for use in cooking or cleaning.   

Squirting in the: Toliet Bowl Cleaner

Toilet bowl cleaner is very high on the list of dangerous chemicals in the home due to hydrochloric acid. An ecofriendly alternative: PETA approved Earth Friendly Products Toilet Cleaner. Ecover is another alternative, and is packaged in a recycled bottle. The DIY route involves vinegar, baking soda and lemons.

Whipping out the: Swiffer

Man, I love my Swiffer for convenience, but the disposable covers aren’t very eco-friendly, and the wet version covers are sopping with chemicals. I’ve vowed to drag out Ye Olde Mop and some Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Concentrate. Some people, by the way, use their Swiffers with microfiber cloths, towels or crocheted cozies. (Check out Etsy for this; it’s a whole thing.)

What’s your favorite green cleaning swap? Tell us in the comments section below!


Kathryn Drury Wagner

Kathryn Drury Wagner is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She is the author of Hawaii’s Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!, a science and natural history “gross out” for young readers.  


This entry is tagged with:
Healthy HabitsCleaningToxic Chemicals

Enlightening, Empowering, Innovative, Inspiring… Don’t Miss a Word!

Become a subscriber, or find us at your local bookstore, newsstand, or grocer.

Find us on instagram @SpiritHealthMag

Instagram @SpiritHealthMag


1 (844) 375-3755
2018 Spirituality & Health MEDIA, LLC

Quotes to Push Your Boundaries

A free collection of some of our most inspiring quotes to courageously bring you to the edge and beyond.

"I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted."

- Jack Kerouac