Household Chemicals To Avoid

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Everybody uses cleaning products in their home, and most probably think they are actually doing something beneficial for themselves and their family by keeping a tidy living space. Unfortunately, many household cleaners contain potentially hazardous chemicals that could do more damage than good. Luckily, there are some alternatives to chemical-filled household products that will still get the job done effectively.

Perchlorethylene and Ammonium Hydroxide

Perchlorethylene and ammonium hydroxide are commonly found in combination in household carpet cleaners and shampoos. Perchlorethylene, which is also used in dry cleaning, is a known carcinogen, and it has been linked to liver, kidney and nervous system damage when used regularly. The fumes emitted through perchlorethylene use may cause dizziness and nausea as well. Ammonium hydroxide is a corrosive ingredient that can cause severe eye, respiratory and skin irritation.

Instead of using carpet cleaners and shampoos that contain these ingredients, use a mixture of baking soda and water to regularly clean your carpet. Remove dark stains with a salt and water paste.

Hydrochloric acid

Hydrochloric acid is often found in bathroom and tile floor cleaners, as they work to remove tough stains on toilets, bathtub, sinks and tile. However, hydrochloric acid is corrosive to the skin and eyes. Short term use may lead to nausea and vomiting, especially if you are cleaning an enclosed space like a guest bathroom. Prolonged use of products that contain hydrochloric acid may lead to kidney and liver damage.

Remove stains from bathtubs and sinks with pure white vinegar instead, and clean tile with a mixture of natural washing powder and water.


Phthalates are used to stabilize household products during the long shipping, shelving and home storage process most go through. Phthalates are actually a known neurotoxin, and prolonged exposure may lead to long-term problems with reproductive health and thyroid disorders. Phthalates have been banned in some parts of Europe, but they are still widely found in cleaning supplies throughout the rest of the world. More alarming, phthalates can be found in some cosmetics, including nail polish, perfume and makeup.

Look for phthalate free cleaning products and cosmetics, such as those found on They don’t do anything for the effectiveness of the product – they just extend the products shelf life.

Household products can contain a wide variety of different chemicals that could lead to serious health problems later in life. While it can be difficult to avoid all of them, you should seek out retailers and companies that do not use these types of ingredients in their products like stores that sell only products with natural ingredients.

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