Harmful Chemicals in Our Cleaners: Ways to Avoid Them

Read your cleaners labels and stay away from harmful chemicals.
Read your cleaners labels and stay away from harmful chemicals. Photo by: Floortje/
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. Opinions are 100% my own.

We live in a world that is so very laden with chemicals. We are so surrounded by it, yet most of us don’t know that those chemicals can be harmful for us. We probably don’t see the effects right at the second, but these harsh chemicals has been linked to cancer, infertility or birth defect. Pretty serious effects, if you ask me.

Let’s see how chemicals are literally “in touch” with us every day.

In the morning we drink our coffee or tea from a mug that is cleaned by dish soap that contains sulfuric acids. Our children brush their teeth with toothpaste that contains triclosan. We shower using body soap that lists oxybenzone in the ingredients. Our skin touches propylene glycol from the deodorant. Our feet absorb methylchloroisothiazolinone from the floor cleaner around the house.

Those are only very small example how chemicals seep into our daily lives without us being aware about it.

Did you know that nowadays children are born with over 200 chemicals found in their body? Did you know that those eye shadows, cosmetics, or lip gloss we put on our lips contain chemicals that are banned in other countries? Did you know that it takes 26 seconds of those chemicals to be absorbed into your body?

Scary stuff.

It gives me the chill knowing that my family is exposed to that kind of harm. The good news is, we can change it by being really careful of the products that we buy. We can change it by starting to read the labels more closely when we buy home products.

I took the Take The Toxic Test and I scored C. I am not too proud with that score. I already switched to non-toxic cleaners and personal care, yet there is still more that needs to be done to be toxic-free. Luckily, there are brands out there that dedicate their entire existence to provide us with better products, such as Healthy Home Company. If you are curious, you can also Take The Toxic Test and come back to me to discuss your result!

Bottom line is, always educate ourselves and make the change to live a healthier life. Our health is so very precious that extra effort to make sure we use safer products is definitely worth the time and resource.

So, what can we do to avoid and reduce the chemical exposure?

  1. Be a smart buyer and ALWAYS read the labels! There are several chemicals that are banned abroad, but still used here in the States. Check out EWG's Cleaners Hall Of Shame to see which brands are the biggest offenders. Educate yourself. If you don’t have the time, it is a wise decision to switch to safer products, such as Healthy Home Company.
  2. Make your own cleaners. Check out these compilations of DIY homemade cleaning recipes to eliminate the toxic ingredients found in store-bought cleaners.
  3. Stay away from microbeads/microplastics in your scrubs and personal care products. They are so BAD for the ecosystem and our health. Those beads are flushed to the sea and our marine animals eat them, mistaking them as food.
  4. Be mindful of what you are putting on your skin. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, cream, lotion, makeup, makeup remover. Every ingredient that touches your skin can be absorb into your bloodstream and can have negative effects in your body. Stay away from harmful chemicals.
  5. Open your windows every day to circulate the air in the house. Allergic reactions (such as runny nose, watery eyes, headache, fatigue, etc.) are very common in household because of poor indoor air quality. Get fresh air to reduce allergens in your house.
  6. Bring plants to the house. Several houseplants can purify the indoor air and filter pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. Some of those plants are aloe vera, spider plant, and chinese evergreen.

Remember that the longest journey starts with a single step. We may not be able to magically clean our house from all toxins, but every little change helps. Start small.

What are the things you do to minimize your exposure from harmful chemicals?


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Comment by Angela Agranoff on January 14, 2015 at 2:44pm

Nothing like a stagnant space to make a home feel toxic.  Fresh air is always best! 

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