Reaching for a cleaning product when the bathroom starts to look a little grubby is as much a part of daily life as brushing our teeth. Yet for many years not much thought has been given to the toxicity of conventional cleaners. With the rise of the super cleaning blogs it’s shocking to see how many people still believe that only bleach will get the job done, and when you stop to think of the miasma of chemicals that emanates from these products, it’s not hard to see the link between cleaning products and respiratory issues.
So, this is where green cleaning products come in and where the questions start. After years (if not generations) of having lurid coloured strong chemicals advertised, the tide is finally changing as the access to information and years long studies start to reveal the potential dark side of our "over cleaning". Whilst we certainly aren’t advocating that you never clean again, we do think that it’s time to ask why do we need so many harsh chemicals when plant-based alternatives are just as effective? Would you really want to wash your food in bleach before eating it? We all know the answer to that but so many choose to spray down their homes with chemicals we’d never want on our skin or on our food.
We’ve answered our top three questions when it comes to green cleaning below.
Why are “green” “eco ranges” good?
Eco products are formulated in such a way that the negative environmental impacts associated with their production and usage are minimized. The use of sustainable raw materials helps to protect wildlife and ecosystems by reducing the unsustainable exploitation of raw material feedstocks. Selection of raw materials which are biodegradable helps protect our local environments by reducing the risks associated with the eventual disposal of the end products.
Why are regular cleaning products harmful?
To call regular cleaning products harmful is simplistic and we’ll leave you to do your own research as to what you are ok with. Whilst we personally wouldn’t choose to use regular chemical-laden cleaning products, this is an individual choice. Products designed to be “Eco friendly” and “green” are typically designed to consume a smaller quantity of raw materials, use more sustainable raw materials and to reduce the risk using the product presents both to the end user and to the natural environment.
Are these products just as effective at killing germs? How so?
Sanitization is achieved by a) Removing bacteria which adhere to surfaces and b) removing contaminated matter (e.g. spilt food-stuffs) which can serve as a source of nutrients for microbes. For many situations in a household, an “eco” product performs these functions just as well as a non eco product, and many of the essential oils that we use in our cleaning products have natural disinfecting properties.
“Many other natural cleaners, both those you can make at home and those you can buy at the store, can disinfect as well as clean, says hygiene expert Donna Duberg, assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University”