It seems we are all using household cleaning products at a much higher rate these days. From our home to our office and everywhere in-between, keeping a clean environment is crucial to staying safe and healthy. Household cleaning products are effective because of their strong chemicals, which also means they should be handled with care. Reading the labels, shielding bare skin and only using the amount companies recommend are all crucial steps in protecting yourself.
Read the label on cleaning products before using
It may sound trivial to refer to the “use as directed” rule, but it’s an important rule to follow. Product labels have some vital information like how much you should use, how long you should let it stand and exactly how to apply. It can also explain clearly what surfaces the product is appropriate for, so you aren’t risking any cross-contamination. Using toilet bowl cleaner on your kitchen table for instance could be a major issue should your food touch the same cleaner before you ingest it.
Make sure not to mix your cleaning products
Cleaning products by nature contain acid or some form of base in order to clean effectively. If you mix these chemicals, you may create dangerous fumes which can be poisonous to your body. The chemicals in cleaning products are meant to get the job done by themselves. If you mix chemicals, you might defeat the purpose of even using those products. One important note to keep in mind is that the most hazardous mixture is an acid with a base. Some common products containing acids are toilet bowl cleaners and vinegar and some common products containing bases are bleach, and all-purpose cleaners.
Treat bleach with care
Bleach is an extremely effective chemical and so common that you can find it in almost every household. While it may be effective, it also happens to be one of the most dangerous chemicals out there. Bleach is the most hazardous product to mix with other chemicals so it’s best to use all by itself. Health.com recommends that you especially avoid mixing bleach with ammonia which could release a toxic chloramine gas. This gas can generate acid in your lungs if you inhale it and as a result can be fatal.
When using bleach, it’s incredibly important to use gloves and protect your skin from its harsh chemicals. The CDC recommends you use gloves when you’re disinfecting anything with bleach but it’s generally a good rule of thumb to also wear gloves with all harsh chemicals. Another important thing to note when using bleach is that the area you’re treating should be well-ventilated. Having a good air flow is key to lessening your exposure to the raw product.
According to the CDC, the number of calls to poison centers increased sharply in the first quarter of 2020. If you are concerned with the toxicity of cleaning products, there are non-toxic alternatives available. Many brands claim to be “all-natural,” “green” or “organic” but, knowing the difference between can be confusing. Checking the ingredient list isn’t that helpful as there still is no federal regulation forcing manufacturers to list all ingredients in their products. One company found to provide non-toxic cleaning and household products is Melaleuca, The Wellness Company.
Store your cleaning products safely
Cleaning products should be handled with care by adults. When you choose an area to store your cleaning products, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to keep them in their original containers. These containers carry crucial information like usage instructions and the expiration date. Second, you’ll want to keep cleaning products away from food. Because these chemicals can be poisonous when ingested, it’s important to keep them separate from food. Lastly, store your products in a cool, dry place.
There are many dangers if you misuse household cleaning products, but when you use them correctly you can be rest assured, you’re living in a clean and healthy environment. Pay attention to ingredients, keep chemicals away from small children, choose non-toxic alternatives and follow the directions to ensure you’re keeping yourself safe. At Xtreme Cleaners, we are experts in safely handling cleaning products and have experience in effectively cleaning hazardous spaces. If you need a deeper clean in your home in Louisiana, call us at (800) 524-9591.