The BAD Guys in Cleaning Products:
Try to avoid these substances whenever possible. Read your labels!
- Butyl cellosolve cresol - Formaldehyde - Glycols - Hydrochloric acid - Hydrofluoric acid naphthalene - PDCBs (paradichloroben zenes) - Perchloroethylene - Phenol - Propellants - TCE (trichloroethylene) - Petroleum distillates - Phosphoric acid sulfuric acid
The GOOD Guys:
- Baking soda. Effective mineral with mildly abrasive cleaning, whitening, and deodorizing properties.
- Vinegar. Derived from the fermentation of fruits or grains, vinegar has a high acid content that makes it great at killing germs, cutting grease, and dissolving mineral deposits.
- Borax. A naturally occurring mineral (containing water, oxygen, sodium, and boron) with tremendously useful antiseptic, antifungal, deodorizing, and disinfectant properties. It stops the growth of mold and mildew, and kills roaches.
- Vegetable oil-based liquid soap. This biodegradable alternative to petroleum-based detergents can be found in health food stores.
- Essential oils. The boiled-down essences of different plants, like peppermint, lavender, and lemons, for instance, can be used as natural air fresheners and to add pleasant scents to homemade cleaners.