More often than not, cleanliness freaks need their floors to impeccably shine and sparkle. And for that, they will scour the face of the earth for the best surface cleaner.
But if you’re also one to care for the environment, it’s important for you to know that most of these floor cleaners have harmful chemicals that have the potential to wreak havoc.
On you. Your pets. And of course, the water systems that affect our aquatic life.
What chemicals do our floor cleaners contain? Are they toxic?
Among the many active ingredients surface and floor cleaners contain, the most common ones are Ethanol – a fluid that acts as sanitizer; Isopropyl alcohol – which is partly responsible for the disinfectant’s strong odour; antiseptics such as p-Chloro-o-benzylphenol, o-Phenylphenol, and lactic acid.
However, the ones that are supremely toxic and must be checked for on the label are Perchloroethylene, Triclosan , and 2-Butoxyethanol. They’re potentially hazardous to health if one’s exposed to them on a regular basis.
What do the symbols on the packaging mean?
Almost all the floor cleaners come with a few symbols on their labels. The most common ones are:
a) Keep out of the reach of children and pets—Keep them inside a difficult-to-reach cabinet, because once ingested they can be harmful or even fatal.
b) Can cause eye and skin irritation—The dangerous fumes from chemicals and harmful ingredients like ammonia and bleach can cause skin burns, and can cause blindness if they come in contact with eyes.
c) Wash hands thoroughly after handling—The leftover chemicals from these products can cause dermatitis; a condition that involves itchy, dry, flaky skin or a rash on swollen, reddened skin.
d) Don’t mix with other household cleaners—Mixing different cleaners can be hazardous because the chemicals may react negatively to cause harmful gases or vapours, corrode the surface you’re going to clean, or simply lose their effectiveness.
e)Keep away from direct sunlight—Chemicals in the cleaners react negatively with direct sunlight causing damage to the efficiency of the product.
What can you use instead?
It’s a whole industry out there capitalising on years of ignorance on the customers’ part. Make informed choices. Rely on natural ingredients for cleanliness. Reliable, planet-friendly cleaners are now just a click away. Your laundry, dishwashing and floor and toilet cleaning is set to get safe. Follow this link to know how.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)