Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured or even killed by ingesting household cleaners or splashing the caustic solutions onto their skin. But you don’t have to take a swig of the stuff or douse yourself with it to suffer serious harm. Here are three other ways that these scoundrels can sneak into your body:
Aerial bombardment. Spray-and-wipe cleaners release small amounts of fluid into the air and into your nearby nose. Aerosol sprays release a superfine mist that instantly vaporizes and spreads throughout your home, so every time you inhale, you take in some toxins.
Skin contact. Even though you may display no visible reaction, the toxins penetrate your body whenever you use a cleaner-soaked sponge or scouring pad, or wring out a mop using your bare hands.
Surface residue. Anytime you touch a surface you’ve used a caustic cleaning product to “sanitize,” the toxic residue goes onto—and right through—your skin.
Who needs cupboards full of harsh, toxic cleaning products? This simple formula combines the workhorse power of baking soda and vinegar with the antiseptic and clarifying properties of witch hazel and tea tree oil. The result: a super-strength, antibacterial cleanser that wipes up cleanly—no rinsing needed.
Mix ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of water, ½ cup of white vinegar, ¼ cup of witch hazel, and 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil in a handheld spray bottle, and use the mixture to clean all of your bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances, as well as countertops and ceramic-tile surfaces throughout your house.