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Chemicals You Should Not Use in the Bathroom

Although cleaning chemicals have proven to be useful in our 21st-century struggle to keep our homes, hospitals, and bathrooms as sterilized as possible, the public at large is generally unaware of the potential dangers posed by these chemicals, especially in an unventilated space.

Chemicals found in everyday cleaners have the potential to adversely affect your health, and, in most cases, the companies producing the cleaners are under no obligation to report the presence of these chemicals in their product.

Bathroom Cleaning Chemicals

In order to stay safe, you have to stay informed. Below we’ve made a short list of the most common offenders and the types of cleaners in which they’re found.

Toilet bowl cleaners – Toilet bowl cleaners understandably must contain chemicals that are strong enough to fully sanitize the most unsanitary portion of your home. Unfortunately, this means that companies that produce toilet bowl cleaners end up using things like:

  • Sodium bisulfate
  • Oxalic acid
  • 5-dimenthyladntoin
  • Phenol
  • Hydrochloric acid

Apart from being naturally corrosive to the skin and eyes, some of these chemicals also give off fumes that could damage your liver and kidneys, corrode your esophagus and stomach lining, or even cause cancer. Take caution when using any toilet bowl cleaner, and be sure to wear a face mask and gloves when dealing with any suspected chemicals like this.

Drain cleaners – Sodium hydroxide – also known as lye – is a corrosive chemical that helps drain openers drill through the grime that clogs your sink. While it may seem like a useful cleaning tool, especially when the alternative is calling a plumber for a potentially expensive visit, it’s also especially dangerous.

Vapor from drain cleaner can cause irritation if inhaled, and it can also burn the skin and severely damage your eyes. If swallowed, it can even prove to be fatal.

Mold and mildew removers – Most agents created to combat mold and mildew contain a great deal of chlorine, a chemical that works great at neutralizing mold but which can cause breathing problems if inhaled or swallowed.

Toxic Bathroom Cleaners

Fragrances – If you use any kind of synthetic plug-in fragrance, be sure to check to see if it’s made from toluene, a byproduct of petroleum and tar. In some cases, you won’t be able to see if an air freshener or dish soap uses toluene (or worse, phthalates that can disrupt your endocrine system) due to proprietary non-disclosure laws. Although toluene and phthalates are most disruptive when inhaled, they can also do damage when absorbed through your skin.

Healthy Alternatives to These Chemicals

Modern commercialized cleaning products have made cleaning without chemicals seem almost unsanitary, but it can be easy to do if you know exactly what each product does and how it can be replaced by a natural substance. We’ve listed a few examples below.

  • Toilet bowl cleaners – Take a mixture of baking soda and hot water, and add a small amount of vinegar. Once the fizzing subsides, use the mixture to scrub the toilet, and then rinse with hot water and repeat.
  • Mildew removers – Use a mixture of water and tea-tree oil and then ventilate the area.
  • Fragrances – Any artificial fragrances you use can be replaced by essential oils of whichever scent you like.

Although it may not be easy to use natural cleaning products for everything, using them as an alternative to harsher chemicals found in modern products is a good way to keep your home clean while keeping your family safe.

Sources -
1 - http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/healthy_living/hic_Steps_to_Staying_Well/hic_Household_Chemicals_Chart_Whats_in_my_House
2 - http://bathcare.mercola.com/
3 - https://experiencelife.com/article/8-hidden-toxins-whats-lurking-in-your-cleaning-products/