Natural Cleaners You Should Be Careful With
There are many advantages to using substances that are found naturally instead of chemically synthesized ones. Firstly they come at a lower cost, if any at all, since most of them are commonly-found household items. They are better for you where your health is concerned, because they are not toxic or poisonous like chemicals, some of them are even put in food. But despite all their advantages they are not a be all end all solution to everything.
Vinegar – a natural substance used widely from cleaning surfaces to cleaning the inside of espresso machines. While it has found its use in many a kitchen in some other places it is less than ideal. Vinegar is not suitable for cleaning natural stone. The acidity of vinegar may etch the stone surface and ruin it. This effect is not exclusive only to vinegar but to most acidic substances such a lemon juice. Vinegar is less than ideal for cleaning hardwood floors and some metal surfaces because of the aforementioned acidity that may burn beyond the stain and into the matter beneath it.
Baking soda is also a commonly used substance to clean with even by professionals like Finchley Efficient FlatClean . It is a base or alkaline, where as vinegar is acidic, meaning it has the opposite effect. While baking soda is greatly effective in removing stains from carpets and cleaning bathroom surfaces, its use on aluminium as a detergent is not recommended, as it diminishes the unreactive protective oxide layer of this metal. Furthermore continued exposure of bare skin to large amounts of baking soda changes the natural pH level of the skin, destroying its acid layer and disturbing the bacterial composition.
Some natural cleaners also should not be mixed, as they might react in an unpleasant manner. Vinegar and baking soda are on the opposite sides of the pH scale, one is an acid the other – a base, and when mixed in a closed container the vinegar may cause the baking soda to foam, which might lead to an explosion. Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are excellent cleaners on their own, but when mixed create peracetic acid, the fumes of which can irritate the eye and skin and cause lung damage. Castile soap when mixed with vinegar causes the castile soap to become unsaponified. While not dangerous this substance accomplishes the exact opposite of the task it was probably meant for. It becomes a nasty paste that just takes more of your time to clean up. To get the full effect of both substances they should be used separately, one after the other.
Many products found in supermarkets are labeled as Green or Natural, but this is done only for marketing purposes. One need only look at the content description to get a real sense of what these products actually are made from. Most of the text you will read will make no sense to you unless you have a background in chemistry. Some natural cleaners have been found to contain cancerogenic substances such as benzene or 1,4 dioxane. The ‘Green’ label on the product may also stem from the possibility that the manufacturer uses biodegradable containers rather than ‘green’ cleaner. In fact the terms ‘Green’ and ‘Natural’ are only used as a marketing tactic and have no basis at all in science. If one wishes to avoid the dangers of synthetic substances and use truly natural cleaners, the prudent decision would be to stick to the classics baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar, where their use is applicable of course.