Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Are Your Green Cleaning Products Toxic?

Yep, I said toxic.  We live in this hectic, technology-obsessed world... but it's time to get back-to-basics. Your safe and truly green products are already inside your kitchen cabinets and sub-zero refrigerator.   Your Grandmom Evelyn probably swore by them. 

I'm 23, and a recent college grad... finding out that some of our so-called green cleaning products are actually toxic was an eye-opener, to put it mildly.  What else don't we know about the products claiming to be green or organic?

Miracles and Blessings... and believe me... we'll need them... April here.  I'm so glad Kiki let me produce today's text-webisode.  Well, to tell you the truth, I came to her in a panic the other day after reading an article on - a Natural Health website titled:  "Be Careful of `Green' Cleaning Products as they May Not Be Very Green... It's Common for Green Cleaners to Contain Toxins."  

Most of us, iCafe Woman Moderne Divas... (that's what we call ourselves since we're always here and of course, we're fabulous.)  are striving to live healthier lives.  So after my friend and fellow iCafe Woman Moderne diva, Sunny, e-mailed me this article... and it blew me away... I asked Kiki if I could share it with all of you.

Here's a fast breakdown... 

A study analyzed 25 commonly used, scented products, including cleaning products (disinfectants, all-purpose cleaners, dish detergents), half claimed to be green, organic or natural.  But in reality, they emitted an average of 17 chemicals each, but only one compound was actually listed on the label. 

Be suspicious if a cleaning product you pick up doesn't have its ingredients clearly labeled. Every single product tested in the study emitted at least one chemical listed as toxic or hazardous!

Buyer,You Better Beware!

Simple Green and other popular products like it claim to be green.  But if you check out the product's material safety data sheet (MSDS)--which is federally mandated that manufacturers make available to consumers--it states that the formula contains up to 4 percent 2-Butoxyethanol by volume.  2-Butoxyethanol is linked to birth defects, reproductive problems, liver, kidney, blood disorders and more.

So make sure you check out a product's MSDS before taking it home.  Where do you find them?  Good question.  I googled MSDS and found this:

             Chemical Safety Right-to-Know Information Station - Click on the link and it'll lead you to a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) prepared by the manufacturer of a product for the purpose of providing information on ingredients and safe use. 

Now here's the good news.  Most likely, you already have all the products you need to keep a safe and clean house. 

Mama Really Does Know Best!

I thought these 1970s vintage kitchens would put you in the back-in-the-day-basics frame of mind.  These are the kitchens my mom and her girls grew up in during the Razzles & Now Laters' days.  Maybe you did too.  She learned her back-to-basic tips from her mother.  These tips go back for generations when they had no choice but to use what was on hand.

Okay, do you have vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice for starters?  Check out these tips... most I've already learned from none other than Mom.

1. Lemon juice naturally whitens.

2. Water and vinegar do mix when you want clean windows.

3. Combine vinegar with hydrogen peroxide and you've got a great disinfectant and sanitizer.

4. Baking soda is awesome for scrubbing your bathroom and kitchen.  Add a few drops of essential oils like lavender or teat tree oil and you'll get a nice fragrance and added anti-bacterial agents.  

5. Baking soda is also a safe, non-scratch scrub for metals and porcelain.

6. Clean a nasty oven by sprinkling a cup or more of baking soda over the bottom of the oven, then cover the baking soda with enough water to make a thick paste.  Let the mixture set overnight.  The next morning the grease will easily wipe up. When you've cleaned up the worst part of the mess, dab a small amount of liquid detergent or soap (a non-toxic one) on a sponge and wash the remaining residue from the oven.

7. Unclog a drain by pouring 1/2-1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2-1 cup of vinegar in after it.  Cover the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes.  When it bubbles like a volcano, then it's doing its job.  Flush with a gallon of boiling water.

7.  Deordorize dry carpets by liberally sprinkling with baking soda.  Wait at least 15 minutes, then vacuum.

Happy Cleaning!

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