Spring is here! Maybe you are finding yourself in a cleaning mood. Stop! Before you scrub that floor, wipe down those walls or dust the furniture, we want you to be aware of a few things. This information is important to your health and the health of the environment. Read the ingredients listed on the back of one of your household cleaners. Can you pronounce them all? Do you know what they are? Do you know what the environmental and health risks of those ingredients are?
Now, do you see the words, “Caution”, “Warning”, “Danger”, or “Poison”? If you see these words, the product contains ingredients that mean you will have to take care in the use, storage and disposal of these products. They also give us clues about the level of hazard we are dealing with.
Knowing what’s in that stuff you are squirting in your kitchen, on your bathroom surfaces, or on the floor where your pets and children play can be empowering. So here’s the low-down…
- “Caution” – Most cleaners have a “Caution” label on them. This is the lowest level of hazard. Products with this label are often times eye and skin irritants and should be used carefully. Take the time to read all instructions for use, storage and disposal before you use them.
- “Warning” – A product with this label on it is a little more hazardous than one with the “Caution” label. These products can be harmful if swallowed and can cause damage if released into our water supplies. These products should be kept in locked cabinets and out of the reach of children and pets. Follow all directions carefully and never pour the contents of the container into an unlabeled container.
- “Danger and Poison” – These labels are usually seen together. These are the most hazardous products and are very harmful or fatal if ingested. If you cannot avoid purchasing these products, please have a plan for their storage (locked cabinet) and their eventual disposal (Hendricks County Solid Waste Management District Tox-Away Day).
The best way to know exactly what’s in your cleaners is to make them yourself. Ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, hot water and Borax are not only easy to pronounce, but we also know they are far less likely to harm the ones we love or our the air, land and water we all depend on. Making your own cleaners is easy, a lot less expensive than buying traditional cleaners and they are just as effective.
Here are some recipes to get you started making your own green cleaners: [prettyfilelist type=”pdf,xls,doc,zip,ppt,img,mp3″ filestoshow=”1588,” hidefilter=”true” hidesort=”true” hidesearch=”true” openinnew=”true” filesPerPage=”3″]