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It’s been some time since Mr. Yuk™ was in our household cabinets, telling us and our families what products to handle with care due to their harmful and toxic nature. But even in the time of Mr. Yuk, a sticker doesn’t stop the furrier of our family members from getting into things that could be harmful to them.
This month plays host to an entire week devoted to poison prevention. And while the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) can tell you absolutely everything you need to know about using, storing, and disposing of potentially poisonous home products, I’d like to address a few hazardous items in your home that may be totally unnecessary!
Ironically, some of the most toxic chemicals we have in our homes are used to clean. Taking every precaution to lock these products away when not in use can only go so far when we’re using them to cleanse our belongings and the surfaces of our homes. Consider making a few minor changes that will make your wallet, earth, and family a bit happier and healthier. Read on to learn about pet-safe alternatives to common household cleaners.
Potentially Harmful Household Cleaners
The first thing to do is to identify what cleaning products pose a risk to you and your furry family-members. The list below isn’t comprehensive or brand specific, but it does address the most common, most toxic cleaners that lurk in our homes.
- Oven Cleaners
- Drain Unclogging Chemicals
- Pre-Mixed Surface Sprays and/or Wipes
- Mildew and/or Tile Cleaners
- Air Fresheners
Consider seeking out alternatives for these products. Still unsure which ones are the most toxic? Read the instructions. If they tell you not to allow contact with skin or require a well ventilated area… I would seek out a more natural alternative!
Household Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Had
Now that you’ve separated out the harmful products from your cupboards, take a second glance and see if you have any of the following products…
- Baking Soda
- Essential Oils
- Natural & Organic Dish Soaps
- Olive or Vegetable Oil
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Vodka (whaaaat?)
Alone or mixed together, the items listed above can clean, disinfect, and bring new life to almost anything in your home.
I wouldn’t recommend serving any of these on a platter to your pets as none of them are necessarily safe to ingest. However, they are a great deal safer than the chemicals usually found in a cleaning cabinet. A nose pressed against a window freshly cleaned with a vinegar solution will be much healthier than one pressed against a window freshly sprayed with the blue stuff!
I’ll let you get lost down the rabbit hole of natural cleaning alternatives, but I will share my favorite multi-surface, pet-friendly, homemade cleaning solution.
1-2 Parts White Vinegar
1 Part Water
Optional Lemon or Lavender Essential Oil (Follow dilution instructions.)
Put this in a spray bottle and clean away! This solution will cut through the grease of a stovetop, clean slobber off of just about anything, brings shine to glass surfaces, safely cleaners floors, and disinfects.
Store-Bought Natural Alternatives
If you’re not in to mixing your own products or just like the simplicity of picking up a new bottle of cleaner when you run out, there are still options.
There are plenty of ready-made, natural cleaners out there that are definitely more pet-friendly than the bleach you’ve been using in your bathroom or the cleaning solution used on your floors. With just a bit of research you’ll be happily surprised to find a good handful of companies dedicated to more natural and pet-safe ways of cleaning.
Try these recommendations from our friends at Chewy:
- Made in the USA with non-toxic ingredients that are safe for pets and humans.
- Safe on all colors and fabric types, including rugs, carpet, upholstery, and clothing.
- From the makers of ECOS, a leading brand in green cleaning.
- Uses organic enzymes and plant-sourced cleaning agents to break down, lift and eliminate stains with no harsh chemicals or synthetic odors.
- Easy-to-use spray works on stains and odors such as urine, feces, vomit, blood, food, mildew and more.
- Multi-surface formula works on carpets, upholstery, fabrics and hard surfaces so you can use it anywhere you need it.
- Leaves behind a light mandarin orange-green tea smell, with no harsh fragrances, and is great for bedding, kennels, floors and furniture.
- Non-toxic and safe to use around pets and family, and helps discourage repeat marking by totally eliminating odors.
What changes will you be making?