Cleaning Products: It’s Not Just About the Environment Anymore

As I approach my tenth wedding anniversary this summer, I can laugh at the evolution of my cleaning product entourage.  We tend to follow in the footsteps of our parents shortly after our departure to college or post-high school living-on-our-own.

If you have ever watched “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, you may appreciate the fact that there those of us that grew up with Windex being the product of choice–even if for some crazy things like a cut on your finger or dusting the houseplants (I don’t personally recommend any of those, but I did get much mileage out of experimenting with the product as a child on many objects).

Windex, Bleach and Comet…that was it in my childhood. Very simple and in my college days I stuck to Windex out of cost savings and preference for the simple spray bottle.

Fast forward to now and I have tried most cleaning products out there at least once.  I remember having picked up Murphy’s Oil Wood Cleaner for kicks and feeling so sophisticated.

Then a few years ago I received news that I was pregnant and suddenly I started to pay close mind to what cleaning products I was inhaling inadvertently during my intense cleaning modes.

Before I really did any research I automatically began to cut back on the amount of cleaners I was using.  And yes, I returned to Windex as my tried and true product of choice.  I also tried to limit use of antibacterial gels and switched my dishwashing liquid to just plain Palmolive.

As I delved deeper to try to find out what I should avoid during my pregnancy in ’07-’08, I found more information about what I should stick to.  Turns out that most of our cleaning products on the supermarket shelf start with a basic recipe that we can concoct ourselves if we have basic items like baking soda and vinegar.  I remember my mother telling me as a teenager that a quick way I could clean my silver jewelry was to make a paste out of baking soda and water…in my cheap collegiate days, I went on to desperately use toothpaste a few times to do the same thing that somehow worked well.

Perhaps we are caught up in the era of convenience we live in where anything we want can be found at a store in-person or online, but it is possible lessen our dependence on receiving instant gratification.  Moreover, maybe by deconstructing what our cleaning products are made of, we may find that we can put together more simple homemade products that are not only less damaging to the Earth’s biochemistry but also more safe and healthy for ourselves.

As cancer has become an ever constant word in our vocabulary and unfortunately for family and friends a reality to battle, there are doctors, scientists and regular folks that are asking is there something we can do better to help our bodies not be so vulnerable.  Besides altering our diets (another blog post, another time), it has been speculated and studies are being conducted on the effect of exposure to cleaning chemical agents over a prolonged amount of time.

As with anything we use on a daily or hopefully weekly basis, the choice will ultimately be yours on how to clean your home.  I have come to a peace that I will do my best to choose Earth-friendly products, however, that doesn’t mean I have to buy the pricey Whole Foods grade items either–unless I want to (ah, the freedom we have as consumers in America for better or worse).

Yet, I do admit that the Earth’s ecology is not the only factor in my cleaning product choices and not even the major one.  I now do sense that we may be overloading our complex bodies with too much synthetics that occasionally may not cause harm, but over time may very well be creating havoc with our enzymes and overall functionality of our human organism beings.

Note:  Google may be your guide or your parents, friends, et cetera.  Here are a couple of sites if you only have a moment to indulge that I found to be fun and helpful: ,,


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