Antibacterial and harsh cleansers are usually unnecessary, and some raise concerns about our health and the environment.
These products don’t work any better than their natural or non-toxic counterparts, and they damage the environment and potentially place our long-term health at risk.
Chlorine bleach is one of the oldest cleaners. It’s also one of the harshest. Chlorine bleach kills germs on contact, and isn’t much friendlier to your skin, if accidentally splashed. Manufacturers include chlorine bleach in a wide variety of cleaning products as well as some laundry and dishwasher detergents.
Bleach is also renowned for its mold-killing ability, but it’s not the only way to kill mold and mildew. Hydrogen peroxide or vinegar also works to kill mold.
Because it’s used so frequently, chlorine bleach is the most common cleaner that kids accidentally swallow. And chlorine poses another special danger: when mixed with ammonia — another common ingredient of cleaning products — and acidic cleaners, such as toilet bowl cleaners, the mixture releases poisonous gasses.
Use a hydrogen-peroxide-based bleach in your laundry instead of chlorine bleach. Hydrogen peroxide kills mold and mildew, sanitizes counters and cutting boards, and removes stains from counters.
For household cleaning, opt for chlorine-free products to eliminate the risks. Specifically look for “chlorine-free” on the label. Use one product at a time, and rinse surfaces thoroughly. A simple tip: Keep an old toothbrush to scrub counter and those hard-to clean tile corners.
Ammonia: Avoiding Hazardous Fumes
Want a clue to ammonia’s hazardous properties? Consider its well-known harsh smell. Undiluted ammonia is highly irritating to the eyes and respiratory system. Because it does everything from cutting through grease to cleaning windows, ammonia is found in a wide range of conventional cleaning products. There are other ways to clean that are just as effective.
Look for “green” and non-toxic cleaners that don’t contain chlorine, alchohols, triclosan, triclocarbon, lye, glycol ethers, or ammonia. Choose ones that say “petroleum-free,” “90% biodegradable in 3 days,” or “phosphate-free.” Choose safer products that say “petroleum free,” “biodegradable,” “phosphate-free,” “VOC-free,” and “solvent-free.”
I’ve used tea tree oil, and although expensive, it does work well. To kill the mold you need to wash it with something that will definitely kill the mold. The first way is to use tea tree oil. You mix 2 cups of water and 2 tsp of tea tree oil in a spray bottler and spray the mold. Let it sit and then wipe it away. Another way is to use baking soda and vinegar. First, place the baking soda on the mold. Second, spray the vinegar onto the baking soda. Rinse the wall and it should have killed the mold.
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