Getting Started: Analysis of Household Cleaners


As my cleaning chemicals and soaps are depleted, I've been replacing them with green, homemade cleaners. There are a lot of nasty chemicals in cleaning products that I don't want to expose my family to. Making your own is not only simple and better for your family, but better for the environment, and easier on your wallet. 


I started my investigation with a simple approach: analyzing typical chemicals that I use in my own home. Like most people, I have a collection of cleaning items that I drag around the house with me when I clean. It contained the usual suspects: Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, Pledge, and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Seems pretty innocent, but I wondered: What kind of chemicals are in these products? To answer this question, I went to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) site, specifically their Guide to Healthy Cleaning, which analyzes chemicals found in typical household cleaners. The site uses a rating system from A-F (A being the best, and F being the worst), making it easy for the everyday consumer to understand product scores. 

Windex: Rated D. Why? According to the EWG, it "may contain ingredients with potential for actue aquatic toxicity; respiratory effects; skin irritation/allergies.damage."

Scrubbing Bubbles: Rated F. I now regret buying the blister pack from BJs! It poses a "regulatory violation; May contain ingredients with potential for respiratory effects; cancer; developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects." 

Pledge: Rated D. It may contain "ingredients with potential for damage to DNA; cancer; biodegredation" (chemicals that dissolve materials). 

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: Rated C, mostly because of poor ingredient disclosure.  What's in it? I read some interesting things on Snopes and on this site, where the author says the sponge is made of melamine foam (the author claims to have contacted BASF for the information). 

Conclusion: Yuck. If I ever needed a push to replace every cleaner in my home, this is it. This Mamma's Goin' Green.

Check out EWG's site for cleaners in your home. You'll want to make the switch, too.

Why stop here? I will soon be analyzing all soaps, cleaners and detergents in my home and finding an easy, green solution.

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