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The top 3 household cleaning products to avoid

Why removing these items from under the sink can improve your health

Take a good look under your kitchen sink. What do you see? Chances are it’s a whole lot of brightly coloured bottles promising to cut through your greasy cooking disaster like some sort of stealth cleaning ninja. But don’t be fooled, although they might clean sticky benchtops or eliminate fingerprints on windows but at what cost? Most conventional cleaners contain a cocktail of chemicals that range from carcinogens to endocrine disruptors to those that play havoc on skin and delicate airways. If you’re slowly trying to reduce your toxic load, we suggest eliminating these top 3 offenders.

Drain cleaner

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that drain cleaner is dodgy. Yet, when the sink backs up or there’s a funky smell coming from the shower, reaching for the Drano is almost second nature. Sodium hydroxide – AKA caustic soda – might work wonders on drain junk but it can burn skin and vapour can cause damage to eyes and airways. Then there’s sodium hypochlorite, an ingredient EWG raises a red flag over its cancer risk, development and reproductive toxicity and the fact it’s also deadly to aquatic animals.

Try; a mix of baking soda, salt and vinegar instead.

Air fresheners

See the word “fragrance” on your ingredients list? It’s the most underregulated ingredient in almost every single product we consume. The law doesn’t require manufacturers to disclose the hundreds of possible ingredients of said ‘fragrance’, many of which contain endocrine disrupting phthalates.  More often than not they’re also housed in an aerosol containers, and while the jury is still out on the effects of newer hydrocarbon propellants on the environment, they’re often still considered hazardous waste if they’re not disposed of correctly.  

Try; essential oils mixed with water in a spray bottle.

Window cleaner

It’s easy to reach for that bright blue spray when you’ve got grubby glass to contend with but the key ingredient in many window cleaners – 2-butoxyethanol – is one to steer clear of. This solvent can wreak havoc on red blood cells and has been linked to neurotoxicity, fertility and reproductive issues.

Try; vinegar mixed with distilled water and newspaper instead

For more on natural cleaning ideas check out our favourite products here

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