When we stop to think about the impact we have on the environment, we usually think of things such as our car’s emissions causing pollution, or our non-recycled plastic clogging up the ocean. While these things definitely have a negative impact on the environment, they’re not the only thing you should be wary of. There’s something that you use in your home, every single day, that is causing harm to the environment: your cleaning supplies.
'Many of the cleaning supplies you use everyday can harm health as well as the environment.'Click To Tweet
The impact cleaning supplies have on the environment
Most household cleaning products contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals may not have much of an impact on the environment when used in your home on an occasional basis, but that doesn’t mean these products don’t hurt the environment. Commercial and institutional buildings in the United States use 6.2 billion pounds of chemicals every single year. That’s a lot of chemicals being released into the environment.
The components of your household cleaning supplies that are harmful, and will linger in the air in your home, include: ammonia, phosphorous, and nitrogen. Unfortunately, these chemicals are found in most of the cleaning products you have stocked up under your kitchen sink.
Entering the water supply
When you don’t physically see the effect you have on the environment, it’s hard to discontinue using the harmful culprits. But nitrogen, ammonia, and phosphorous are all dangerous water contaminants. When you use them to clean your home, they get rinsed down drains and enter the main water stream. Most pollutants are removed from water in waste management facilities, but these three pollutants (nitrogen, ammonia, and phosphorous) are not removed during the waste management process. Instead, they re-enter the water stream and can cause harm to plant life.
“Nitrogen, ammonia, and phosphorous
are all dangerous water contaminants.
When you use them to clean
your home, they get rinsed down drains
and enter the main water stream
causing harm to plant life.”
This can cause dense vegetation clogging up waterways, which will crowd out animal life and other marine plants. As these plants die, they’ll decay and deplete the oxygen levels in the water. This will cause an excessive amount of algae to grow. And then this will cause other animals, such as freshwater shellfish, fish, and other aquatic animals, to die as well. The more deaths there are, the more decaying will occur and contaminate the freshwater. The more this happens, the quicker the water becomes so contaminated that it can’t be used for everyday use by humans for things such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, or drinking.
'Vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice are some of the healthier cleaning alternatives than harmful chemical cleaners.'Click To Tweet
Keeping your home clean and free from harmful bacteria does not have to be at the hands of harmful chemicals. There are actually plenty of healthy alternatives to the harmful chemicals you’re already using. Many of these homemade options will work just as hard, if not harder, than the chemicals you’re used to using. Even on tough things, such as hard water stains, you can use natural products you make yourself. https://electricdrain.com/how-to-get-rid-of-hard-water/
Diluted white vinegar
This is a great cleaner for dirt, soap scum, and hard water deposits on smooth surfaces. But it’s gentle enough to not worry about it damaging the delicate surfaces you’re cleaning, such as hardwood floors. Granite countertops must never be cleaned with acidic materials like vinegar or lemon, as this guide specifies.
Non-diluted white vinegar
If you need something with a little bit more strength, don’t dilute the white vinegar before using it. This will tackle the tougher spots, and is great for use inside a toilet bowl or to remove the buildup around shower heads.
For general cleaning purposes, you can use lemon juice instead of vinegar, which will help make your home smell a little more pleasant. You can also use the outer rind of the lemon to clean your porcelain fixtures. You can also use the lemon rind to clear out your garbage disposal. Leave the rind in the disposal, and run cold water over it as you run the disposal. The oils in the rind will clean the unit, as well as sharpen the blades.
Baking soda is mildly abrasive, which means it’s great for scouring out your sinks and bathtub. You can also use baking soda to make a paste, and use this to scrub at really tough spots. You can also apply the baking soda paste to the tough spots, and let it sit for 10-20 minutes to soften up the area.
Isopropyl alcohol is a great evaporating cleaner for glass windows and doors. You can also use it on chrome finishes and hard-surface ceramic tiles.
Guest post by Aurora McCausland
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