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Five Natural, Safe and Easy Cleaners You Can Make

A 32-year-old man died after working with common cleaning products in the kitchen at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant near Boston, where he worked as the general manager, according to the Boston Globe

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Another worker had applied Super 8 — a concentrated liquid chlorine bleach — to the floor to clean it, unaware that an acid-based general-purpose cleaning agent called Scale Kleen had previously spilled in the same area, the Globe reported. When the two substances combine, they create poisonous chlorine gas.

Many people don’t even realize the number of lethal chemicals they have in their home and think that certainly those products must be approved as safe before being released into the marketplace. Sadly, this is far from the truth.

In fact, if you use cleaning products once a week for 20 years, it could be the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 to 20 years. Cleaning agents and personal care products are also the second and third most frequent cause for calls to poison control in the U.S.

Long-term exposure to household cleaners and disinfectants has been linked to increases in asthmatic symptoms, nervous system damage, low sperm count, irregularities in menstruation and miscarriage.

The most dangerous of all cleaning products are drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners and oven cleaners. Household cleaning products also contribute to air pollution, not just inside the home but outdoors, as well.

Surprisingly, in urban households, where the use of cleaning products is usually more prevalent than in rural homes, there were more types of fungi, aka mold.

Human fungal infections are increasing, which may be explained by environmental change, more immunocompromised people and the excessive agricultural use of fungicides. Fungal resistance to cleaning products and chemicals may be the reason for the greater amount of fungi in urban areas.

Urban homes are warmer and typically have reduced air exchange and lower levels of natural light than rural homes, which could also explain the higher levels of fungi.

Ditch the dangerous chemicals and make your own safe, natural cleaning products. Here are five natural products that are most likely already in your home that you can use for all types of cleaning jobs.

1. Lemon juice — This a great for whitening or adding a “fresh” scent to your cleaning jobs.  

2. Hydrogen peroxide — Mix with white vinegar and it becomes both a disinfectant and sanitizer. It’s also an excellent stain remover.

3. White vinegar — Mix with water to make an excellent window cleaner or pour into a garbage disposal, along with some ice cubes, and turn on disposal to get rid of foul smells.

4. Baking soda — Use as a scrubbing agent in your bath and kitchen, to deodorize your carpet, to clean your oven or, mixed with vinegar, to unclog drains.

5. Organic essential oils — Use in place of toxic deodorizers or do away with dryer sheets and fabric softeners and simply put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on wool dryer balls to give your laundry a light, natural scent.