Clean Your Kitchen Simply and Safely

04.16.12 Clean Your Kitchen Simply and Safely

kitchen cleaning kit

Green cleaning products are everywhere these days.  But when it comes to safe, effective and eco-friendly cleaning supplies it can be difficult to determine which products are best for your home.  Did you know that many ingredients in common cleaners, even "green" cleaning products, have been linked to allergies, asthma, and other long-term effects like reproductive harm and cancer?  Chemicals found in cleaning solutions may be impacting the way our hormones work by either mimicking estrogen, androgen or thyroid hormones, or by stimulating or blocking production of these hormones when the chemical is absorbed into our bodies. While it is true that small amounts of chemicals found in these products may not pose a problem in isolated instances, it's important to keep in mind that there is a cumulative effect.  

According to the EPA, our greatest exposure to toxic chemicals is right in our own homes. Without proper ventilation, chemicals undoubtably accumulate, especially when the windows need to stay closed. With countless chemicals lurking in the majority of household cleaners, it's makes you wonder if you could be doing more harm than good while cleaning your home.  Some of the basic myths around household cleaning only add to the confusion.

  • Disinfect, Disinfect, Disinfect: The approach behind disinfecting is actually counterintuitive. Killing germs doesn't equal protection of our health and in fact, may be doing more harm than good.  Disinfectants are pesticides which often are endocrine (hormone) disruptors and even worse, are carcinogenic. Pesticides are also fat soluble, which means they are very difficult to eliminate from our bodies and may build up over time.
  • Anti-bacterial is a Must: Triclosan, a key ingredient in many anti-bacteiral products, has the ability to interfere with the human endocrine system and may interfere with immune function. "Despite the initial safety data demonstrating triclosan's tolerance by humans, more recent studies have found that it may have detrimental effects on the central nervous system and may be linked to allergies and asthma," according to a 2010 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives.  Similar to the health drawbacks of overusing antibiotics--bacteria becomes resistant to the medicine and superbugs are produced, the same is true when it comes to using too many antibacterial products. It is believed that antibacterial products may accelerate the growth of superbugs and weaken the human immune system. 
  • It's Not Clean Unless it Smells Clean: This is tricky as the idea of a "clean" smell is deep seated in most people. We have come to associate a "sanitized clean" with a strong smell--an antiseptic chemical-like smell. Fragrances not only trigger asthma but, the researchers say, have been shown to mimic estrogen, and can make breast cancer cells grow in laboratory tests. Synthetic fragrances, protected as "trade secrets," can contain up to 200 suspect ingredients which do not have to be disclosed to the public.

The good news is that there are a lot of great options available which will both protect your family from chemicals and create a safe and clean house. Instead of using harsh chemicals that could linger (in the air, on fabric and rugs) or leach into foods, opt for equal parts white vinegar and water for a safer alternative when combating bacteria. Or, if you're looking for a simple, ready-to-go cleaning products check out our Cleaning Supply section which contains only products made from REAL, safe, effective, non-toxic, plant derived/scented ingredients to meet your everyday cleaning needs.  

UPDATE: For an even simpler solution, sign-up to receive our Clean Kitchen MightyPack on a recurring basis - we'll deliver everything you need to your door, as often as you need it.  After all, who wants to spend more time than necessary on cleaning? 

This article is part of our 4 week get real drive.  Here are three other changes you can make to keep your family healthy and safe and to help the planet.

About MightyNest:

Founded by two parents, MightyNest  is an online store, resource center, and community dedicated to helping parents create healthy, safe homes.  Our mission is to give families the ability to research, get advice, and buy natural, non-toxic products all in one place.  From kitchenware to skin care, MightyNest's safety experts have built the web’s broadest selection of products that are free from known toxic ingredients such as BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Lead, Melamine, Formaldehyde, Parabens, and more. MightyNest is a place where people feel motivated and welcomed, not discouraged or judged; somewhere people are empowered to make changes in their lives, whether large or small.  For the growing number of parents seeking high quality, healthy and safe alternatives to everyday products for their family, MightyNest  is their most trusted resource.

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