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Standard cleaning products are harmful for your health, bad for the environment, and not only kill bad bacteria, but the good ones, too. The majority of commercially produced cleaning products have toxic ingredients that have been linked to cancer, allergies, reproductive harm, asthma, neurotoxicity and more. When we use cleaning supplies, they are absorbed through our skin, and we breathe them in. If they are filled with toxic chemicals, so are our bodies. They irritate our lungs and cause our bodies to become very sick. It’s not safe for us or our families.

Here Are Just a Few on The Nasty List

Spic and Span Multi Surface and Floor Cleaner

Spic and Span contains Nonylphenol ethoxylates. This is a known endocrine disruptor that is banned in the European Union. It’s toxic to aquatic life. It’s also been shown to turn boy fish into lady fish. [1] That’s not what we want to hear.

Scrubbing Bubbles

This cleaner has an ingredient DEGBE, also known as butoxydiglycol, that belongs to a group of solvents commonly used in paints and cleaners known as glycol ethers. Short term use in high amounts can lead to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage.   It’s been shown in animal studies to cause reproductive and developmental effects from inhalation and oral exposure to the glycol ethers. [2] It’s nasty for the lungs, too.

Mop & Glo

Mop & Glo contains DEGME also known as methoxydiglycol, and this glycol ether has identified by The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe as being “suspected of damaging the unborn child.” This cleaner can contain levels 15 times higher than what is allowed in the European Union. [3]

409 All Purpose Cleaner

This spray, along with many others, contains quaternary ammonium compounds which is a class of compounds that have anti-microbial and anti-static quality, so they are used in cleaners, disinfectants, laundry and personal care products. They are also known for causing asthmatic problems, reproductive problems and a recent study has found they can cause neural tube defects in rodents. [4]

Comet Disinfectant Cleanser Powder

The Environmental Working Group performed an air pollution test that found Comet, “emitted 146 different chemicals, including some thought to cause cancer, asthma and reproductive disorders. The most toxic chemicals detected – formaldehyde, benzene, chloroform and toluene – are not listed on the label.” [3]

Cleaning can be toxic

Do Your Research

Many people assume any risky chemicals would be listed on the label but there is no FDA regulation requiring cleaning supplies to list ingredients. Comet doesn’t list over 100 on theirs and it’s not surprising that the most toxic ones were the ones left off the label. It’s also important to know that fragrance can mean a whole host of nasty chemicals because fragrance ingredients don’t need to be identified.

The Environmental Working Group has a website that grades products from an A- F and along with the grade you can see what contributing factors to the review. They have rated and reviewed over 2,000 common household products for safety and the information they disclose on contents. [5]

You can check out their guide for products you use and products you are considering using. Knowledge is the key to getting companies to stop using toxic chemicals in their products. If you don’t know what’s in it, you are going to keep buying the toxins because of their useless marketing claims. Don’t assume because it is green it is safe or that all products from a company are equally safe.

It’s long been recognized around The Wellness Way offices that cleaning products containing toxic chemicals are pretty nasty, so we have some experience in finding good alternatives. Toxic cleaning products are unnecessary for cleaning projects where a plain cloth, soap, water and/or elbow grease will do. Check out what our offices have to say for some great swaps for toxic cleaning products hiding in your cupboard.

There are various options from “where can I buy it crunchy” to “make my own crunchy.”

Non-Toxic Choices: What’s in The Wellness Way Team’s Cupboards

DoTerra Essential Oils

Crystal Pranke, The Wellness Way Headquarters, Green Bay, WI I enjoy DoTerra’s OnGuard because of how versatile it is. It can be used for; kitchen counter/bathroom spray, wash items, and even laundry detergent! I use it to disinfect, protect, and promote healthy immune response to foreign bacteria and viruses.

Vinegar and Water

Dr. Jason Nobles, The Wellness Way, Green Bay, WI We make our own mixture with 50% vinegar and 50% water. Some people don’t like the smell of vinegar, but it disappears fast. Suck it up buttercup. It’s better than chemicals.

Non-Toxic Household

Christy Flynn, Original Wellness Way Mama – The Wellness Way Headquarters, Green Bay, WI Norwex cloths for windows and mirrors for sure- no streaks!!! Also, Norwex cloths for stainless steel appliances. Essential oil blends and solutions for day-to-day cleaning, as well as Mrs. Meyers countertop sprays and Honest Company floor cleaner. There are lots of great “clean” and simple products that work great! Vinegar and water also are great to disinfect the entire house… just be careful not to use vinegar on hardwood floors, marble or granite countertops, or stone tiles.

Cleaning Doesn’t Have to Be Toxic

Keep your house nontoxic when you clean. Natural products do work. Vinegar, lemon, soap, hot water, baking soda and some elbow grease can work just as well. Vinegar has been shown to be effective in disinfecting tuberculosis. [6] Silver has been found to be effective in preventing infection and cross contamination in the home and also in hospitals. [7] Studies have also been done that show essential oils can be effective antimicrobial agents for food borne pathogens and prevent contamination of people and foods. [8][9]

Clean doesn’t have to smell like bleach. It doesn’t have to smell like anything when you’re done. It might be hard to get used to at first, but trust us, you will feel good without the toxins and so will your family.


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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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