- Chlorine: It's been linked to many respiratory ailments as it can form a toxic gas when mixed with other chemicals It also burns and destroys tissue with direct contact.
- Ammonia: This chemical has also been linked to a variety of respiratory problems.
- Phosphates: This chemical softens water but is currently being banned from many states due to it's damaging effect on fish and freshwater systems.
- Lye: This chemical is used in drain and oven cleaners, detergents, pool cleaners, metal polishers, and soap. It can irritate skin and eyes and has also been linked to many respiratory problems.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: a fantastic natural bleaching agent and antimicrobial. It's compatible with body tissues and doesn't give off caustic fumes.
- Vinegar: Dissolves soap scum and mineral buildup and kills mold and bacteria. Great for sinks, bathrooms, and makes a great glass cleaner.
- Castile or Glycerin soap: These are great natural soap choices that aren't toxic.
- Baking Soda: softens water and neutralizes minerals, helping soap clean better. It's also a great abrasive. When applied directly to a sponge it makes scrubbing stains easy.
- Essential oils: Adding a little lavender, tea tree oil, thyme, or even lemon juice to the above ingredients and water makes a nice scented cleaner. In addition, all of the oils I mentioned above have their own anti-microbial properties - more help with cleaning!
For a post on how to mix a few of these items into your own cleaners click here.
Seriously folks, I went to Costco recently and bought a huge container of vinegar and 2 large bottles of hydrogen peroxide that will last me for months and I think I spent a total of $5.00. Baking soda - I bought a large box for $2.00. My house seems a lot fresher and it is one of the things you can do for very little expense. I know I used to spend way more on cleaning supplies when I was purchasing them from the grocery store in individual bottles.