Green Cleaning Tips: You Don’t Need Bleach
December 6th, 2017
Two Bettys Cleaning Tips:
You don’t need Bleach!
For our green cleaners, we recommend avoiding chlorine bleach whenever possible. From the invisible tiny water mite to the top of the food chain, all of your fellow organisms of our shared eco-system will thank YOU!
Did you know basic bleach is considered toxic? While it was once the popular choice, we now know that bleach does not fight mold, that it’s toxic, and that it’s corrosive, which are three very good reasons to consider it unnecessary for standard household cleaning projects.
Worry not! We have much healthier alternatives for your whitening and germ killing needs. We’ve learned how to retrain our noses and so can you– the smell of bleach is not the smell of a truly clean and healthy home. Do you know that tingly feeling you get in your nose when using bleach? When bleach is at room temperature, it becomes a toxic gas that’s can easily cause havoc in your respiratory system after being inhaled.
It’s simply no good for your lungs or for your skin! When bleach comes in contact with skin it can cause a range of problems from mild irritation to severe rashes to chemical burns. If you do use bleach around the house, it’s important to keep the area ventilated, use gloves, and wear a face mask.
The residue from bleach and bleach fumes are especially hazardous for children and animals. We like to remember that anything we put onto surfaces or into the air can spread very easily around the house and be absorbed into the skin or mouth. We especially like to think of pets who are prone to licking their paws to keep them clean.
Mixing bleach with other chemicals can cause real issues. As a gas or liquid form, you want to keep bleach away from ammonia especially, which can be found in other common household cleaners and is even produced by the human body. Storing bleach next to these chemicals is bad news.
On the environmental side, bleach production is not regulated by the EPA and has been linked with major pollution issues in the air and water around production and waste sites. Bleach was used as a chemical weapon in World War 1, it’s probably not something we want in our soil, air, or water. Dioxin, a byproduct of bleach that forms when it mixes with other minerals in water, is linked to the extinction and mutation in wildlife. This has especially affected areas around the Great Lakes which and led reduced fish and bird populations. Bleach has also been linked to global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. What a bummer!
Alternatively, we recommend making your own cleaners from natural basic ingredients white vinegar, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide, which are all gentler, more natural solutions to bleach and can be very effective. We also offer our cleaners the option of using Biokleen oxygen bleach which received an A grade from the Environmental Working Group, a favorite resource of Two Bettys Founder, Anna Tsantir’s, for checking out the best natural products. This powder style bleach is a less toxic but still an effective solution and works well for sanitizing our microfiber cloths in the laundry. If you’re interested, you can click here to use the EWG site to review safety ratings for your favorite cleaning products.