With a steady rise of environmentally friendly cleaning products on the market, there has been some curiosity as to how efficient these brands are in comparison to traditional products. Many people wonder how essential some of the “harmful” chemicals found in the traditional products really are to having a sparkling, clean result. Can planet-conscious formulas really get rid of the germs and dirt we leave behind on a daily basis?
Before pondering that question further, first think about some of the negative effects of common chemicals found in the products many of the last few generations have grown up with. In fact, there are often hazardous warning symbols right on the packaging, cautioning what feels like pretty major things to watch out for such as being:
Aside from the intense warnings above, short-term exposure to the substances can be extremely damaging to your health in the long run. The risk potential can range from low to high, from causing slight allergies, watery eyes, congestion and stuffiness, and triggering pre-existing conditions such as asthma, to high-risk ailments such as lung damage, chemical burns, cell damage, hormone changes, and various types of cancer.
Not only are you potentially putting yourself and your housemates/family at risk by using these products, but they also have just as much of a negative effect on the environment. For example, think of how strong and barely breathable the smell of these products are. Perhaps you want to open the window to air out your home, but those chemicals will now seep their way into the great outdoors. Substances find their way into plant life, aquatic ecosystems, fresh, drinkable water, and lead to contamination.
While our ancestors certainly didn’t have it down (let’s face it, asthma isn’t as bad as the plague or dysentery), they shifted over time as more information came in, as each generation does over time. Thanks to this new awareness, there are many cleaning products on the market that both avoid using harmful chemicals that can hurt the environment and the humans who use them. And to answer our earlier question, these products also do a pretty darn good job getting rid of messes. They’re not just as good as traditional products, in some cases, they’re better because of the attention to detail and the work that goes into finding top-notch alternatives to harmful ingredients.
Some of the eco-friendly brands to keep an eye out for on the shelf are:
Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry Detergent Free & Clear (extra gentle for sensitive skin)
Mrs. Meyer’s Surface Wipes (gentle-cleaning agents and cloths that are also biodegradable)
Method All-Purpose Cleaner Spray (natural cleaners found in coconut and other food-based ingredients, non-toxic)
For the skeptics still reading with a distrusting raised eyebrow, you can use sites to compare different brands. If you do find that one product isn’t working as well as your traditional ones, there will most likely be another all-natural alternative that you can try instead. Just as some traditions brands do a better job with certain cleaning categories, the same goes for the environmentally-friendly brands as well.
There really isn’t much of a price difference when it comes to choosing between chemical-free VS chemical-filled options, so there isn’t anything to lose by giving the eco-friendly versions a try. If not for anything else, the smells are usually enough to persuade even the most loyal customers!
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