Friday, January 9, 2009

Safer Alternatives to Hazardous Cleaning Products

I have a 3 and a half year old at home and recently we were watching "The Care Bears" on a kids tv station when an episode came on about dangerous items in the kitchen drawers and cupboards etc so, this article comes from the heart.

There are so many dangerous chemicals found in the average kitchen or bathroom cabinets that it would make you shudder if you had little ones or pets at home.

In fact, look in any storage cabinet in your home and you may see such products as paint thinner, spot remover, oven cleaner, furniture polish, drain opener, pool chemicals and hair spray for just a few examples. These products are hazardous because they contain chemicals that are corrosive, explosive, flammable or toxic.

Here are a few suggestions on safer alternatives to some hazardous products out there.

Tub and Sink Cleaner:

Sprinkle baking soda on the porcelain fixtures and rub with a wet rag. Add a little of the liquid Murphy's soap to the rag for more cleaning power. Rinse well to avoid leaving a hazy film.

Window and Mirror Cleaner:

Put 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle and fill to the top with water. Spray on the surface. Rub with a lint-free rag. For outdoor windows, use a sponge and wash with warm water with a few drops of liquid Murphy's or Castile soap in it. Rinse well and squeegee dry.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner:

Sprinkle baking soda inside the bowl as you would any scouring powder. Add a couple drops of soap also. Scrub with a toilet bowl brush and finish outside surfaces with a rag sprinkled with baking soda.

All Purpose Cleaner for spots on woodwork, tile and linoleum:

Add a few drops of Murphy's liquid soap to a wet washcloth and rub surface briskly.

Oven Cleaner:

Mix 1 cup of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply to oven surfaces and let stand a little while. Use a scouring pad for scrubbing most surfaces. A spatula or a bread knife is effective in getting under large food deposits. This recipe will require more scrubbing effort but it is not toxic to you or your child. Commercial oven cleaners are severe irritants. Do not use this cleaner recipe on self cleaning ovens.

Drain Cleaner:

This recipe will free minor clogs and helps to prevent future clogs. Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain first, ten a half cup of vinegar. Let it fizz for a few minutes. Then pour down a tea-kettle full of boiling water. Repeat if necessary. If the clog is stubborn, use a plunger. If very stubborn use a mechanical snake.

Other Recommendations:

In future, buy wisely and consider the environment as well as your family's health. Read labels carefully. Look for "non-toxic" on the label and compare products before you buy. Many times a general household cleaner is just as effective as a specialized product.

Buy only what you need (and in quantities that you will use quickly) and this will limit the need to store unused products in the home and reduce the need for disposal. Look for child proof packaging and when possible choose non-aerosol products. Aerosol produce a fine mist which when inhaled can settle deep in the lungs and pass into the bloodstream.

To learn more about safe disposal of Household Hazardous Wastes, visit Durham Region who kindly provided this information.

No comments: