Why switch to natural cleaning products. Easy DIY, effective homemade recipes. Avoid harmful QUATS in cleaning products and other chemicals.
In this post, I will show you how to make your own basic cleaning products using non-toxic, easy to find ingredients such as essential oils, vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and castile soap. I will also tell you why you should ditch toxic cleaning products and explain their impact on your health. If you are new to DIY cleaning products, I am glad you are here, because by the time you are done reading this article, you will be convinced to make the switch!
There is a misconception that DIY cleaning products are either hard to make, time-consuming, or ineffective. That is absolutely not true, and I will prove it. There are so many easy, effective, and money-saving products you can make yourself to live toxin-free. I will only present you with a few in this post. I will help you switch to a greener, healthier life one step at a time. We will start with a few basic products and take off from there toward a toxin-free home!
What is the problem with traditional chemical-based cleaning products?
In order to make a lifestyle change, it is important to understand why we are doing it. If we understand the reasons why we make the choices we make, the greater the chances we will stick with it, succeed in our goals, and consciously make better choices for ourselves. So, the question is, why are chemical-based cleaning products bad for you? So many reasons! Here is a quick and simple answer.
Traditional cleaning products are chemical-based. These chemicals are linked to asthma, respiratory issues, skin irritation, eczema, skin allergies, hormone imbalance, immune system impact, potential reduced fertility, and even cancer, just to name a few.
3 Key Reasons to Use Natural Cleaning Products
There are so many benefits of switching from chemical-based cleaning products to homemade natural cleaners. Here are my top 3 key reasons to switch.
- It is healthier for you and the planet – Read more below.
- Saves you money – DIY products cost you a fraction of the cost of traditional store-bought products.
- Helps your belongings last longer – they are effective and less harsh on surfaces.
Here is a list of some common chemicals found in cleaning products and their impact on your health:
Chlorine bleach and Ammonia – These two products are commonly found in cleaning products. Separately they are irritants to skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. Ammonia can burn your skin. When chlorine bleach is mixed with other chemicals such as ammonia, it releases dangerous chlorine gas linked to coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, and other symptoms.
Ammonium quaternary compounds (“quats”) – QUATs are chemicals used in shampoos, toilet cleaners, hand soap, shaving cream, baby wipes, body wash, sunscreens, moisturizers, disinfectant sprays, liquid fabric softeners, anti-cling dryer sheets, and others. These chemicals are listed as one of those identified below and often described as “biodegradable fabric softening agents” or “catatonic surfactants”
List of Common QUATs
dimethyl ammonium chloride
Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides (C12-16)
Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (C14 60%, C16 30%, C12 5%, C18 5%)
Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride (C12-14)
Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chlorides (C12-18)
This is a long list of products I can’t pronounce! In short, avoid anything that has an ingredient that ends with onium chloride.
Avoid Harmful QUATS in Cleaning Products
QUATs are powerful disinfectants and when added to products it allows for them to be marketed as antibacterial. While they are effective at killing germs, they also have harmful and potentially serious side effects on your health. These are all toxic chemicals associated with the following health risks
- Skin, eye, and lung allergies and irritations
- Contact Dermatitis
- Fertility Issues
- Birth Defects
And once you clean countertops with these quats, they linger for a long time. You run the risk of them coming in contact with the food you then ingest.
To see the list of sources, visit, Womensvoices.org
Triclosan and Triclocarban – These two were commonly added to household cleaning products. Surprisingly, they were found in hand and dish soap, and toothpaste. It has antibacterial properties and added to fabrics such as socks! These two chemicals have been banned by the FDA for use in soaps. But it is still present in some products. It is best to know about the dangers of this product and check all your lists of ingredients. These chemicals are linked to hormone imbalance and potential increased risk of breast cancer.
Nano-silver – This is also an antibacterial incorporated into textiles, plastics, soaps, packaging, and other materials. This additive gives each the natural antibacterial property of silver metal. The nano-silver particles have been shown to be toxic to the liver and brain if they find their way into your body.
You can always check the contents of your products against this list:
Environmental Working Group – they have a lot of information and also rank products based on their ingredients.
You Are Over Doing It!
There are many safe products with antiseptic and antibacterial properties you can use instead. Killing germs with QUATs is simply not worth the risk to yourself, your kids, and your pets. You can easily switch to effective homemade natural cleaning products and avoid harmful QUATS and other chemicals.
The bottom line is that most households do not need such deep, harsh disinfecting. It is best to go with a natural disinfectant and avoid the potential toxic effects
Consumer Affairs Report warns against the overuse of household disinfectants.
Green Alternatives | DIY Non-Toxic and Effective Cleaning Products
Now that we got the nasty details of chemical-based cleaners out of the way: Now what? What are the alternatives? Are they effective?
YES! But, you have to choose the right formula for the right job. When it comes to green cleaning, you have two options, a DIY product, or purchase green cleaning products from the many different labels. First, I will show you how to prepare several simple formulas that are effective, easy to make, smell amazing, and wallet-friendly. I will also share with you some of my favorite green products you can purchase for when the job calls for it!