Spring cleaning dangers and better alternatives
Published Wednesday, April 22, 2015 6:00AM PDT Last Updated Wednesday, April 22, 2015 7:59PM PDT
You may be ready to launch into spring-cleaning mode, but be careful because some of your cleaning products may contain dangerous ingredients.
Consumer Reports recommends avoiding antibacterials such as dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, which may help promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That harsh chemical can be found in several cleaners including Scrubbing Bubbles Heavy Duty All Purpose Cleaner and some types of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.
Better choices include Clorox Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner, which did well in Consumer Reports’ tough mess test.
Also consider Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Wipes, a good option for occasional disinfecting, like when someone has a cold or flu.
As for your bathroom, be aware that toilet-bowl cleaners can harbor some of the most dangerous chemicals in your house.
Products such as Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner Complete Clean contain hydrochloric acid, which can burn your eyes and skin.
For a safer option, select a cleaner without hydrochloric acid, such as Seventh Generation Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner, which did well in Consumer Reports’ tests.
Spring-cleaning also means washing windows and making glass sparkle, but be careful with ammonia. It can potentially damage your eyes or lungs.
Instead, try a glass cleaner that’s ammonia-free—such as Staples’ Sustainable Earth Glass Cleaner. Another option is to dilute ammonia: Use a half-cup in four cups of water.
If you're wondering how environmentally friendly your cleaning product is, look for the EcoLogo, which is Environment Canada's symbol of environmental excellence. Products with the logo meet strict standards that reflect their entire life cycle, from manufacturing to disposal.