With many people becoming aware of just how many chemicals are in normal household cleaners, and the adverse effects that these chemicals can have on your health, it is only natural that people are looking for organic and natural cleaning products to keep their home clean and germ free, without the use of those strong and harmful chemicals.
However, the problem is that while many cleaners on the market today claim to be “organic,” “natural” or “environmentally friendly”, they still may contain some unhealthy synthetic chemicals or other ingredients.
Other products may actually be all natural or organic, but simply don’t provide the type of “clean” that consumers want. This makes it important for those who are trying to live a more organic and natural lifestyle to know what ingredients to look for in those organic and natural cleaning products, in order to get the clean they want and the safety they need.
So here are some ingredients that good organic and natural cleaners should contain:
- Saponin: Saponin is an organic soap that often comes in nut/berry form and is a gentle but highly effective cleaner, that can be used in a variety of cleaning products such as, dish and laundry detergent, floor cleaners, all purpose cleaners, and even in window or glass cleaners. You can find saponin in a number of organic cleaning products or purchase saponin berries in bulk and make your own household cleaners. Just a few of these berries goes a long way.
- Vinegar: For centuries, people have used organic vinegar to clean glass sparkling clean as well as remove “burned on food” from pans (by boiling the vinegar into the burned pan), and also as a common household cleaner. Many natural cleaning products today contain vinegar as one of their ingredients.
- Baking Soda: Baking soda is a natural odour remover and is often used in natural and chemical free carpet cleaners, shampoos and laundry detergents.
- Milk or Lactic acid: Lactic acid is another organic cleaning ingredient. This acid has a whitening and brightening effect when use on kitchen counter-tops and is sometimes used in laundry products and floor cleaners as well.
- Citric Acid and Oils: Citric acid can remove grease and ground-in dirt and leave things clean with a slight fruity smell. The citric acids normally used in organic and natural cleaning supplies normally comes from lemon, limes, and oranges. Citrus oils on the other hand, are often combined with natural waxes, to make furniture polishes that leave wood panelling and furniture glowing.
- Essential Oils: Natural essential oils are used in polishes for wood furniture and stainless steel, as grease cutters, and upholstery cleaners. Oils such as organic tea tree oil, lavender oil, oregano oil, clove oil and thyme, help to kill mold, mildew, fungus, and bacteria and some even repel insects, while leaving your home smelling fresh and wonderfully clean.
- Hydrogen peroxide is used in some cleaning products because it not only disinfects but actually can bubble away dirt and grime.
Keep in mind when choosing products with both citric acid and essential oils, that you choose products that contain natural citric acid and oils as some companies do sell synthetic versions of these ingredients.
While many so called natural and eco-friendly cleaning products do contain some or even all of the natural ingredients listed above, they may also include the use of some synthetic chemical ingredients.
When choosing a natural or organic cleaner, make sure to check out any unknown ingredient to make sure that it is organic or natural.
While choosing household cleaners that contain mainly organic and natural ingredients with only a few chemical ingredients is certainly better than choosing to use cleaners made up entirely of chemicals, finding those products that are completely organic and natural and contain no chemicals whatsoever, is always best for your family, your health, and the environment.
What kind of cleaning products do you use? Have you experienced any rashes or allergic reactions to certain cleaning products? Do you make your own cleaning products?