When it comes down to it, the whole world is made of chemicals. The water you drink is hydrogen and oxygen and your own body is mostly carbon-based. So there is no need to be afraid of chemicals entirely, but some used in cleaning homes are not the kind that you want to be interacting with, especially in the concentrations found in certain products! We thought we would dive into what cleaning products are made of and how it applies to you when you are trying to hire a housecleaner, specifically here in Bloomington, IN.
Common household cleaning chemicals and products to be aware of:
- All-purpose cleaners are useful because, well, they can clean anything. But they do so usually by using pretty harsh chemicals like ammonia, trisodium phosphate and ethylene glycol monobutyl acetate.
- Window and glass cleaners, like Windex, also use mostly ammonia as the active ingredient.
- Sodium hypochlorite, also known as chlorine or by its more common name, “bleach,” is another fairly strong chemical used to clean around the house or do laundry. It can irritate the lungs or skin, so be careful when using it! Toilet bowl cleaners and mold/mildew solutions are often bleach based as well.
- Lye is a strong and caustic compound and is found in oven cleaners and drain cleaners, among other products. It can also be dangerous to lungs or skin and can damage eyesight.
So it’s important to keep in mind that even standard cleaning products used commonly are made of chemicals. Some are more dangerous than others, so if you have concerns feel free to ask.
Things to remember regarding cleaning supplies:
Bleach and ammonia do NOT mix
The trouble with household chemicals is not just in their individual toxic effects, but also in how they could combine to create something even more dangerous. One common deadly combination that people unwittingly concoct every day is bleach and ammonia. Consider all of the products above and how many of them contained one of these two chemicals! When these two are combined, they create something very harmful.
According to the American Lung Association, “The gases created from this combination can lead to chronic breathing problems and even death.” So be careful!
There are alternatives to harsh chemicals
When used properly and safely, the above chemicals are perfectly fine for everyday use. But many still prefer to go the extra mile and use simpler formulas that they feel more comfortable with.
Some options include:
- Instead of ammonia for glass cleaning, try vinegar mixed with some water.
- Instead of bleach or lye, try soap, warm water, and a little elbow grease in order to clean counters and other solid surfaces. A little baking soda can help for more difficult, stuck-on problems. Just don’t mix it with the vinegar or you’ll recreate the old volcano experiment.
- “All natural” cleaners and other “green” products use alternative active ingredients. Some have really found ways to get the job done without quite the danger to skin, lungs, and eyes.
Bloomington Cleaners can handle the process for you
You don’t have to be a chemist to clean a house, but a little bit of knowledge of what the chemicals are and how they are likely to react will protect you and your family. If you are concerned about handling chemical cleaning compounds and want a local Bloomington, Indiana company to do the job professionally instead, give us a call at (812) 929-9463 or submit a form.