We’ve all felt overwhelmed, guilty, and confused as heck about which products to bring into our homes. It seems like we are being pulled in every direction from big corporations, promising us they have the healthiest cleaning products, but how can we trust them when they won’t disclose a full ingredients list? In some cases a full ingredients list is provided, but what do all of those words even mean? Reading the back of a bottle is one thing, but it’s another to try to decipher what it all means, and what impact it can have on yours and your family’s health.
There are a few key items to look for on any cleaning product label.
Directions: Always use products according to the directions. This ensures that you are using it in the most safe and effective way. This will include the surfaces & fabrics it is recommended to use the product on, how much of the product to use, and how long it takes for the product to work.
Caution/Warnings: Most commonly, this portion of the label will include the following cautions:
- Do Not Ingest
- Do not mix with other cleaning products*
- Avoid contact with eyes and skin
- Occasionally, it will also recommend to only use the product in a well ventilated area.
Storage and Disposal: Specifications on how to store the product are to ensure not only safety, but to help the product last. This can include:
- Temperature range
- Places NOT to store the product
- Keep out of reach of children
Disposal instructions will say how to discard any remaining product For example, some leftover products can be safely poured down the drain with the water running. Look for the recycling symbol and instructions to determine what packaging is recyclable.
Ingredients: This is the tricky part! Labels on cleaning products typically contain the scientific names of ingredients. Some will include the common names or source of the ingredients in brackets, but generally understanding these ingredients lists requires a degree in chemistry. The information is also available online, but that can be an exhausting amount of research.
We have compiled a list of the most common ingredients that are considered toxic and are best avoided if a healthy home is your goal.
Diethanolamine: Diethanolamine (DEA) makes products soapy and sudsy but irritates the skin. It can cause negative effects to the immune and nervous systems.
Formaldehyde releasing agents (Preservatives): Formaldehydes irritate the skin and eyes, while harming marine life when flushed into water systems. Examples are chemicals such as: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.
Parfum: Fragrances are considered “trade secrets” and many contain toxic chemicals. If a company is not willing to disclose their ingredients, consider avoiding their use.
Triclosan: Found in antiperspirants, deodorants, cleansers and hand sanitizers as a preservative and anti-bacterial agent, which interferes with hormone function.
As a manufacturer of healthy home products, we ensure that we use nothing but natural, family-safe ingredients. We proudly list our ingredients on our products, and use only the necessary ingredients to make sure our products are effective. If you have any questions about our products, and how they can safely be used in your home, reach out to us! We are always happy to hear from you, and we are here to serve you.