7 Outdated Cleaning Supplies to Avoid for a Greener Home

7 Outdated Cleaning Supplies to Avoid for a Greener Home

Going green when cleaning your home is easier now than ever before. Many companies offer eco-friendly alternatives to harsh chemicals, but some old standbys still linger on store shelves. I’ve compiled a list of 7 outdated cleaning supplies you’ll want to avoid for a greener, healthier home.

1. Chlorine Bleach

Chlorine bleach has been a go-to for whitening clothes and disinfecting surfaces for decades. However, breathing in fumes from bleach can irritate your lungs. Plus, it’s harmful to marine life.

There are safer options that get the job done without harsh chemicals:

  • Oxygen bleach powder – Made from sodium percarbonate, it naturally whitens and disinfects with oxygen.

  • Hydrogen peroxide – This mild bleach alternative disinfects surfaces. Bonus: it breaks down into just oxygen and water.

  • Baking soda – Gentle abrasion from baking soda lifts stains on clothes and surfaces. For disinfecting, combine with vinegar.

2. Ammonia-Based Cleaners

Products like glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaners often contain ammonia. Ammonia gives off noxious fumes that are risky to inhale.

The good news? You can DIY effective, green cleaners using ingredients like:

  • White vinegar
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Essential oils
  • Lemon juice

These homemade cleaners get the same sparkling results without harsh chemicals. Try them for windows, countertops, floors, and other surfaces.

3. Antibacterial Cleaners

During the COVID-19 pandemic, antibacterial cleaners flew off store shelves. However, research shows routine use of these products contributes to antimicrobial resistance. The CDC recommends saving antibacterials for limited, high-risk scenarios.

For everyday cleaning, regular soap and water remove germs effectively. Or opt for greener disinfectants like:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Thyme oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Rubbing alcohol

Using these occasionally when disinfecting is key. Overuse still promotes resistance.

4. Disposable Cleaning Wipes

Disposable wipes like Clorox and Lysol wipes seemed like a miracle. However, they pose environmental problems since most contain plastics that don’t degrade.

Reusable microfiber cloths clean just as well using a simple DIY cleaner and water. Ditch the wipes, and launder cloths after each use. It cuts waste while still effectively cleaning surfaces.

5. Conventional Scouring Powders

Scouring powder with harsh abrasives gets surfaces shiny and clean. But ingredients like chlorine bleach and ammonia are problematic.

Baking soda naturally scrubs without toxicity or fumes. Bonus – it’s super cheap! For tough scrubbing jobs, make a paste with baking soda and water. It works wonders without the environmental impact.

6. Drain Cleaners

Liquid drain cleaners with lye or sulfuric acid work quickly to clear clogs. However, they’re extremely caustic if mishandled. Plus, they don’t address the root cause of clogs.

Using a drain snake tool is safer and more effective long-term. For regular maintenance, I pour baking soda and vinegar down my drains weekly. It cleans buildup and prevents clogs sans chemicals.

7. Conventional All-Purpose Cleaners

All-purpose cleaners contain respiratory irritants like ammonia and chlorine that pollute indoor air. Studies link long-term exposure to asthma and other health problems.

Luckily, greener all-purpose cleaners get the same amazing results using plant-based ingredients like:

  • Castile soap
  • Essential oils
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice

The best part? You can make them easily and cheaply at home.

The Takeaway

Outdated cleaning supplies come with health and environmental risks. But going green doesn’t require compromise or sacrifice. Simple swaps to greener ingredients maintain cleanliness without harsh chemicals. With a few recipe tweaks and new techniques, you can transform your home cleaning routine. Ditch the toxic old standbys, and make the switch for a fresher, cleaner home.