Is your kitchen safe? A guide to cleaning products

The average home contains an alarming number of harmful toxins and they are usually located under the kitchen sink! Here is a simple guide about what to avoid when choosing household cleaning products.


What’s under your kitchen sink?

There’s something about starting a family and bringing a child into the world that really makes us think about our environment and the impact that we have on it, as well as how it impacts our own health. What some of us forget is that the biggest thing we can control in our world is the environment inside our own homes.

One of the biggest and most harmful sources of home pollution comes from our cleaning supplies. Mainstream cleaning products contain a bevy of chemicals, fumes and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that pollute the air in our homes.  This is especially problematic in the summer and winter months when we keep our homes closed up to stay cool or warm. Our families are breathing these toxins into their bodies, and as we wash these products down our sinks they are contaminating our water systems.  The burden is greater than we would like to admit.  Young children, as well as pregnant moms and babies are most susceptible to the influences of toxins – placing a heavy burden on their developing bodies and brains and even exacerbating allergies. It’s toxic stuff but the good news is — it’s very easily replaced with safe and effective products and home remedies.

Cleaning products to avoid

Take a look under your kitchen sink and see what’s lurking under there.  Chances are those colorful bottles of glass cleaner and multipurpose sprays are loaded with chemicals that pollute our air with VOCs, hormone disrupting phthalates and irritants. Many brands do not disclose their ingredients so choosing products can be tricky.  The most common and most harmful things to avoid include the following:

  • Perchloroethylene: A neurotoxin and possible carcinogen according to the EPA. Commonly found in dry cleaning solutions and spot and stain removers.
  • Triclosan: Found in toothpastes, hand soaps and dish soaps that claim “antibacterial”.
  • 2-butoxyethanol: Found in window cleaning and multipurpose sprays. Can cause breathing issues and throat irritations.
  • Phthalates: Found in fragrances and perfumes of all kinds of products that can act as a hormone disruptor.
  • Chlorine: Found in bleaching products like toilet and tub cleansers. It is a tough respiratory irritant and may cause things like thyroid disruption with longer term exposure.
  • Ammonia: Found in furniture polishes and is a powerful irritant contributing to asthma and bronchial irritation with repeated exposures.

There are hundreds of chemicals to avoid and these are just a few.  Can you imagine the combination of all of these and more mixed together in your air as you clean? It doesn’t sound very clean at all.

There are better choices with less chemicals

  • Better Life All Purpose Cleaner: This is one of my favorite products and it has so many uses.  Not only does it not overpower your nostrils with harsh chemicals, but it cleans surfaces without any residue as well as removes spots from carpets.
  • Better Life Laundry Detergent: There is nothing I love more than smelling a natural scent on my clothes rather than a chemical representation of “clean”. Hands-down one of the best laundry soaps I’ve used and doesn’t irritate my kids’ sensitive skin.
  • Rockin Green Dishwasher Detergent: Cleans dishes without harsh chemicals and rinses clean so you don’t need any additional boosters or shine additives.
  • Molly Suds Oxygen Whitener: Forego the bleach and whiten by breaking down the minerals left behind by your water, leaving whites brighter for longer.