The Best Kid (And Pet) Friendly Cleaning Products
As environmental and health issues continue to be a rising concern amongst people, learning how to clean a house in a way that is “green” and family-friendly is becoming a hotly debated topic. Many stand to wonder whether it is even possible to avoid the use of harmful chemicals when attempting to kill dangerous bacteria in the home. Well, thanks to advances in research over the years, today, cleaning experts can confidently recommend multiple non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products and solutions that are 100% effective, and safe to use in homes with pets and kids.
The added benefit of using kid and pet-friendly products is that they are also economical alternatives. In fact, many of the best green cleaners can be sourced from common household products that are inexpensive, and easy to use!
Read on to learn what the best kid and pet-friendly cleaning products are, and what you need to avoid.
Bleach Is A No-No
Chlorine bleach is quite commonly used in household cleaning due to its powerful cleansing properties. Unfortunately, it can also be the cause of toxic injury to children (who drink it by mistake).
Even when not consumed, bleach can still be hazardous to your children and pet’s health in a number of different ways. Along with skin and eye irritation, bleach can affect the respiratory system while the fumes from bleach-based cleaners are extremely harmful to the lungs.
This is especially dangerous in young children because their lungs are not fully developed.
If you do have bleach or bleach cleaners in your home, be sure to store them out of the reach of children and pets, and avoid using them when they (pets/kids) are around or in the house.
You should also make sure to specifically label spray bottles containing the chemical so that they don’t get mixed up with your non-toxic cleaning solutions.
Plain white vinegar either full-strength or diluted with water, makes an excellent all-purpose cleaner for household surfaces. It is also an effective way to sanitise surfaces naturally. You can use white vinegar to wipe down countertops, wash the floor, scrub the walls, polish glass, clean out the refrigerator, and sanitise bathroom surfaces, among many other cleaning uses. Unlike harsh chemical disinfectants, vinegar will not leave potentially harmful residues on household surfaces (a particular concern in areas where food is prepared).
White vinegar is often used with baking soda to double up on cleansing power while essential oils can also be included to make scented DIY household cleaning solutions. Most importantly, white vinegar is 100% non-toxic and safe to use around pets and children. Simply store the ingredient or homemade cleaning spray in a cool, dry place, and shake well before each use.
Another inexpensive household product, bicarbonate soda is a harmless, light abrasive which can be used to scrub tough areas of caked-on dirt, or to remove mould from shower grout. It's also an excellent deodoriser; when finely dusted over carpets and upholstery and left to sit overnight, the powder absorbs musty or foul odours. All you need to do is vacuum up the baking soda the next day, and those pet odours and other bad smells will be gone! This little trick will also leave your carpets and upholstered furniture looking clean and fresh.
It is important to switch to an eco-friendly and pet-safe product in place of toxic carpet cleansing powders (which are especially harmful to pets, as animals often lie on the carpet and then groom themselves afterwards). Apart from carpets and upholstery, baking soda has plenty of other household uses including cleaning bathroom surfaces, kitchen appliances (removing grease and gunk), as well as freshening up your refrigerator by keeping an open box of bicarbonate soda inside (after deep cleaning it) to keep old, musty food smells to a minimum.
Chemical-free laundry detergent and fabric softener
Though the majority of conventional laundry products are not especially hazardous, if your child has allergies, sensitive skin, or you're simply concerned about him or her being exposed to chemical residues via clothing, you should likely trade in your old brands for plant-based “green” alternatives such as Earth Choice Ultra Concentrate Laundry Liquid and Earth Choice Ultra Concentrate Fabric Softener. These products make sure that your domestic cleaning doesn't effect Sydney's pristine environment.
Of course, if you would like to make your own non-toxic laundry detergent for regular loads, you can do so using the recipe below:
- Grind or grate 1-2 bars of castile soap (you should have 4 cups of the grated/ground bar soap).
- Combine 2 cups baking soda, 4 cups washing soda, and 4 cups borax in a clean, dry plastic basin or mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
- Add the grated/powdered castile soap to the basin, and combine well using the whisk.
- Add 15-20 drops of tea tree oil or essential oil. Scented oils are used purely for fragrance while tea tree oil has antiseptic properties.
- Mix the ingredients one final time, and transfer to an airtight container (this DIY laundry detergent can be used immediately).
- For a full load of laundry, use 2 tablespoons of the detergent.
- If you find that the detergent does not dissolve completely during the wash, pre-mix it in half a cup of hot water and then add it to your laundry the next time you use it.
Nothing is more important than the health of your loved ones, especially children and pets who are vulnerable to so many things including harmful chemicals. Make the switch to kid and pet-friendly products today, and enjoy the peace of mind that your house is no longer home to traces of dangerous chemicals.
Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.