Moving over to ecological cleaning products – for your family, your pets and the environment
The rapidly approaching Passover holiday traditionally brings with it a cleaning frenzy. Not many people are aware that using a large variety of cleaning products not only doesn’t really clean, but can produce a harmful, contaminated environment. The main groups at risk are infants, young children and pets. The good news is that there are safe alternatives that do not harm humans, animals or the environment.
Caution – It’s too clean!
Shiny surfaces and artificial scents carried in the air are usually signs of a sparkling clean house. In effect, many of the common cleaning products we use contain petrochemicals – synthetic substances which are byproducts of fueloil and which are also found in plastic, cosmetics, food and fashion products. It’s no wonder then that many cleaning products carry safety labels regarding their proper usage.
The chemical substances in cleaning fluids are liable to cause contamination and safety hazards in the home, since chemical vapors carried in the air we breathe remain on floor tiles and on other various surfaces, and even on our dishes and eating utensils. Even ordinary laundry products may contain dangerous synthetic chemicals with which our body comes into constant contact, for example, through our laundered clothes.
Some claim that exposure to these synthetic substances may cause skin irritation, allergies, asthma and even attention deficit disorders and a weakening of the immune system. The highest risk groups for potential harm are, of course, babies who crawl on the floor, young children and pets. But while we have the freedom to leave the house after cleaning, our pets usually remain in the contaminated space.
In this way, for example, dangerous chemicals remaining on the floor after mopping can attach to the skin of a cat that comes into contact with them and, subsequently, enter its body when it licks itself. Our pets’ food and water, which are usually in bowls on the floor, may also be exposed to toxins.
So what do we do?
We all know that it’s important to keep cleaning products and other toxic substances out of reachand store them in a place that is not accessible to children or pets. We also know that after using aggressive chemicals we should physically leave the cleaned space and make sure to air it out. However, if we want to maintain a safe environment and protect the health and wellbeing of our loved ones, we can simply replace the cleaning and laundry products we use with ecological ones.
Ecological cleaning products, which are usually based on plant extracts and natural minerals, are available today at all retail outlets. Floor and dish-washing liquids, laundry and dishwasher products, sprays for cleaning windows, ovens and grease – and even products for cleaning the bathtub and toilets – all have ecological alternatives. Users of these products affirm that their cleaning capacity is no less than that of ‘ordinary’ products and their prices are not as high as they used to be in the past. Another option (recommended!) is not to buy cleaning products at all, and instead, use bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, lemon salt or fresh lemons.
Not only will your family and pets thank you, but the environment, too, will benefit because ecological products disintegrate biologically and thus return to nature without polluting the air, water and soil.
We wish you a clean, safe and happy Passover holiday!