7 hazardous chemicals to avoid in your home cleaning products

Publish DateOct 21, 2021

Did you know that conventional cleaning products can introduce harmful toxins into your home?

Cleaning products are designed to sanitize and sterilize, so your home can look and feel squeaky clean.

Most of us grew up using highly hazardous products without thinking twice about it. However, these chemicals can have a detrimental impact on your skin, sensory organs, internal organs, and biological systems.

According to the US Poison Control Center, household cleaning products cause about 10% of all toxic exposure.  Out of 206,636 phone calls they received, 120,434 (around 58%) of those calls were reports about toxic exposure to children under 6 years old. These household cleaners are known to result in severe burns both internally and externally if inhaled or touched. If ingested, they can even result in death.

Instead of using common household cleaners that may include harmful substances, focus on using safe cleaning products that harness ingredients from nature for a chemical-free and clean home.

Here are 7 hazardous cleaning chemicals to avoid when you are choosing your products:

1.  Perchloroethylene (PERC)

Perchloroethylene is typically used in fabric cleaners that dry clean clothes and remove food and stains from carpets. This chemical is potentially carcinogenic and acts as a neurotoxin if it is inhaled consistently over time. If you clean carpets or pick up clothes from the dry cleaner, you could reach dangerous exposure levels.


2.  Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is sometimes used in heavy-duty cleansers. This substance has been associated with diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is a neurodegenerative disease that reduces the brain’s ability to control the body. In some cases, formaldehyde poisoning can affect the delicate balance of chemicals in the brain, which could cause depression, mood swings, headaches, insomnia, irritability, and attention deficit.


3.  2-Butoxyethanol

2-Butoxyethanol is a common ingredient in multi-purpose cleaners, window sprays, and floor cleaners, as it has a sweet and slightly floral scent. As a glycol ether solvent, it helps to break down dirt and oil. Prolonged exposure to 2-butoxyethanol can cause liver and kidney damage, narcosis, and even pulmonary edema.


4.  Ammonia

Ammonia is used for its polishing and glass cleaning properties. While it is highly effective at leaving a streak-free shine, it is also damaging to human tissue. For those who suffer from lung or breathing problems, ammonia causes immediate pain and discomfort. Long-term exposure can cause permanent damage to mucous membranes and the functioning of the cardiovascular system.


5.  Sodium Hydroxide

Oven cleaners, as well as clog removers and bathroom drain cleaners, use heavy-duty chemicals including lye or sodium hydroxide. These substances effectively corrode baked-in food and clumps of hardened hair and skin. Even mild contact with the skin or breathing it in can result in severe reactions, with a burning sensation in your throat or on your skin that can last for days.


6.  Bleach

Bleach is a toxic chemical that produces fumes with high toxicity to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. For this reason, bleach should not be used by those suffering from asthma or lung issues.

7. Chlorine

While it is commonly known to clean pool water, chlorine is also concentrated in scouring powder, laundry whiteners, and toilet bowl cleaners. Prolonged exposure irritates the skin, resulting in chronic dryness. Animal studies have revealed that too much exposure to chlorine is highly disruptive to thyroid function and can interfere with iodine absorption in the thyroid gland, which over time can cause thyroid disease.

Chlorine is the main component in bleach. Chlorine bleach liquid can damage the skin, eyes, nose and throat and causes irritation when the vapors are inhaled. Dermatitis may result from direct skin contact.

Remember never to mix chlorine bleach with any other household cleaning products, especially ammonia. Mixing chlorine bleach with ammonia can release a toxic concoction of gases, which can result in very serious respiratory problems.


Instead, choose natural, toxin-free household eco-cleaners cleaners that use natural ingredients such as baking soda and vegetable soaps.

OrgHive Marketplace’s disinfectants to keep your home free from harmful toxins with brands such as Zoflora – the UK’s leading disinfectant brand.

Author: Jesamine Dyus


Image source: FreePik

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