We assume they are safe, but in fact many popular household cleaners are dangerously toxic. According to environmental experts, the average household contains around 62 toxic chemicals, and the scary fact is that we are exposed to them routinely.
These harmful ingredients found in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity and living in a household of fur-kids, there is no way I am going to knowingly expose my babies to these harsh chemicals if I can help it.
While manufacturers argue that in small amounts these toxic ingredients aren’t likely to be a problem, we can’t ignore the fact that we’re exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis, which certainly can’t be good for our health.
While we can’t avoid exposure to toxic chemicals completely, it makes sense to reduce our exposure to as many of these nasties as possible, by simply swapping our cleaning products for healthier, safer and greener options.
While these greener and cleaner options definitely cost more than their chemical laden counterparts, they are to me, definitely worth the cost. Two brands that I have been using for several years and personally love and trust would be method and ecover.
method products are free of nasties like chlorine bleach, triclosan, phosphates, 2-butoxyethanol, phthalates, paraben, ammonia or mea (ethanolamine).
For me personally, I have been purchasing and using the method glass cleaner for ages, and it is by far the best glass cleaner I have tried (and trust me when I say I have tried many), it is closely followed by the one by German eco-brand Frosch Bio Spirit. I also use the method squirt and mop wood floor cleaner on my wood floors for daily mopping, as well as their dish soap and hand wash.
So it goes without saying that I was excited to try their all purpose cleaner in pink grapefruit and their hard floor cleaner in spearmint.
method All Purpose Cleaner- Pink Grapefruit – $8.50, 828ml
This would be my first time trying the brand’s all purpose spray cleaners and I must say that I loved it! Let me start off by saying that I have a white glass stove top that is almost impossible to keep looking pristine. But a few squirts of this cleaner and even the gunkiest and oiliest bits just wipe off clean (for dried on stubborn bits, spray and leave it on for a minute or two before wiping clean).
It smells amazing and is a fresh and refreshing fusion of pink grapefruit, blood orange and cassis. This non-toxic plant based cleaner uses powergreenTM technology and is really able to cut through oil and grease with ease with its naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients that is derived from corn and coconut.
method Squirt + Mop floor Cleaner- Spearmint – $7, 739ml
squirt + mop floor cleaner has no-wax and is super simple to use. You literally spray and mop, that’s it. This fragrant combination of crisp spearmint and soothing sage is subtle and herbaceous and keeps my floors silky smooth and clean.
The full range from method is available at all major supermarkets and online.
Another green brand that I have been using for years is ecover. I swear by the ecover floor soap which keeps my wood and tile floors clean and silky smooth, I can’t get enough of their fabric softeners which smell absolutely divine and recently I tried their multipurpose cleaner and cream cleaner which I shall talk more about below.
ecover Cream Cleaner $5.70, 500ml
Is sort of like a non scented eco-version of Cif. It very gently lifts grease and erases stubborn stains on cookers and fridges, chrome and enamel. The non-scratch formula is made with plant-based and mineral ingredients and leaves no residue. It is even suitable for septic tanks and very importantly is not tested on animals.
ecover ZERO Multi Action Spray $10.90, 500ml
This multi-purpose cleaner has been specially formulated to minimise the risk of allergies on sensitive skin. This means it has 0% fragrance and 0% colouring and is super gentle on the skin.
Using renewable plant-based, biodegradable ingredients, this quick drying spray gets the job done, leaving surfaces squeaky clean with no streaks or smell.
ecover products are available at all major supermarkets and online.
Beware of Greenwashing
Just because a cleaning product claims to be “green,” “natural” or “biodegradable,” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s nontoxic. A report published by environmental consulting firm TerraChoice Group found more than 95% of green consumer products had committed at least one “greenwashing sin,” like making an environmental claim that may be truthful but unimportant. “CFC-free,” for example, is a common one, since CFCs are banned by law and therefore wouldn’t have been included as an ingredient in the first place.
When gauging ecological claims, look for specifics. ‘Biodegradable in three to five days’ holds more meaning than ‘biodegradable,’ as most substances will eventually break down with enough time, so the next time you are at the shops, be smart, read the labels and do your research before you make a purchase.