6 Harmful Chemicals in Your Commercial All-Purpose Cleaner

All-Purpose Cleaner Chemicals

When we grab for our all-purpose cleaner to clean up a mess, most of us never consider that the chemicals in the spray may be causing more harm than good. Conventional all-purpose cleaners may get rid of the mess, but they leave behind toxic chemicals that are harmful to your health and the environment.

Conventional cleaners fail to get the job done without harm

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) routinely evaluates and rates cleaning products. Its analysis of hundreds of all-purpose cleaners found that more than 60 percent of them earn a D or F rating—yikes!

Cleaning product companies are not required to disclose the chemicals in their products because the government considers chemical compounds trade secrets. Some companies disclose a limited list of ingredients, while others make it impossible to find data on their products.

Six of the worst offenders

The EWG’s latest analysis found 75 percent of cleaning products contained chemicals that cause respiratory irritation and distress. All-purpose sprays were the major offenders of this group. Other products contained chemicals linked to cancer.

Here’s a list of the most common harmful chemicals in your conventional cleaning products.

Benzene Exposure to benzene can cause dizziness, irregular heartbeat, eye and skin irritation, and a decrease in red blood cells leading to anemia.
Disinfectants Ethanolamine and quaternary ammonium compounds are common disinfectants and can trigger and even cause new cases of asthma.
Formaldehyde A common chemical in cleaners and detergents, formaldehyde is linked to cancer, irritation of the eyes, nose, and skin, asthma, and COPD.
Fragrance Chemically, the word “fragrance” in an ingredient list can mean anything. Studies have linked fragrances to allergies, immune system effects, and respiratory irritation.
Solvents The solvent 2-butoxyethanol is an ingredient found in all-purpose sprays, including some “green” sprays, and can cause damage to red blood cells and eye irritation.
Surfactants Alcohol ethoxylate surfactants are banned in the EU for their poor health effects, but not in the United States.

 

A better choice for a greener clean

Fortunately, you have better options for an all-purpose cleaner. Environmentally friendly, all-natural sprays powerfully clean up your worst messes without hazardous chemicals. My Earth’s Natural All-Purpose Cleaner uses thymol and citric acid, two plant-derived, all-natural ingredients that will wipe out your mess without making you and your employees sick.

To learn more about the hazardous chemicals in your commercial cleaner or to switch to a greener clean, contact me today.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

Sources:

EWG All-Purpose Cleaners

EWG Spring 2016 Update

Organic Authority

Green Clean Your Coffee Maker!

greek-coffee-1328798-639x511Coffee scum. We’ve all seen it. It’s the brown stuff left behind in your coffee mug and the filter basket and carafe in your coffee maker. Coffee scum comes from the fatty acids in your coffee and is exacerbated by the quality of your water and your coffee beans. Here are my tips for how to green clean your coffee maker and prevent coffee scum from forming.

What causes coffee scum?

Coffee’s fatty acids are to blame, but scum can get worse if you have hard water or purchase low-quality beans. The minerals in hard water bond with the acids in the coffee and adhere as scum on your mugs and coffee maker. Poor-quality coffee beans are more acidic than other beans and may leave behind more scum.

How can I get rid of coffee scum naturally?

You need to be careful about the cleaning products you use in and on your coffee maker, since you eventually consume the coffee you brew. Cream and sugar? Yes. Hazardous chemicals? Not so much.

A diluted degreaser with natural ingredients can cut through scum without causing you harm. Look for one with limonene, derived from citrus fruits. After degreasing the surfaces of your coffee maker’s filter basket and carafe, rinse them thoroughly with water.

To clean the interior of your coffee maker, mix equal parts water and vinegar. Pour the mixture into the reservoir of your coffee maker, add a filter to the filter basket, and brew. The vinegar will help clear out the reservoir and lines. Repeat with just water to rinse the maker.

Can I reduce or prevent coffee scum?

Absolutely! If you have hard water, use filtered water to brew your coffee (or take the plunge and install a water softener). Buy high-quality coffee with low acidity and avoid flame-roasted beans, which can increase acidity.

You don’t have to start your morning with coffee scum. Use all-natural cleaners to remove scum and keep your coffee maker in good running order. I can help you find a product that works well and won’t harm you or your environment. Contact me today!

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

Why You Need to Add a Degreaser to Your Arsenal of Commercial Cleaning Products

Earth's Natural Sewer DegreaserWhat can a degreaser do for you? What can’t it do! A degreaser’s uses are as varied as your workplace cleaning needs. Here’s why adding a degreaser to your closet of cleaning supplies is a great idea.

A degreaser is a cleaning product that dissolves substances, such as oil and grease, that can’t be removed with water. Most conventional cleaners contain harsh chemicals and come with a long list of warnings, but some, including Earth’s Natural Sewer Degreaser, are powerful without the health and environmental hazards.

Degreasers don’t just keep the plumbing in working order, though. They can be used to cut through grease on floors, walls, grease traps, and even tools and heavy machinery. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use degreasers at the workplace.

  1. On Heavy-Duty Equipment

Machine parts, tools, and other heavy-duty equipment get grimy fast. This is especially true when industrial lubricants are involved. Use a degreaser to remove lubricant build-up and other grease, grime, and oil. A highly concentrated degreaser allows you to adjust the potency of the degreaser to fit your needs, whether you’re an auto body shop or parts manufacturer.

  1. In Restaurants

A degreaser banishes grime from grease traps, commercial kitchens, and bathrooms that get heavy use. It keeps your grease trap plumbing clear and in working order, reducing clogs. Use a degreaser to remove oil and grime from kitchen walls, floors, shelves, vent hoods, and garbage cans. It’s also handy for removing grime from the walls, floors, and garbage cans in your restaurant’s bathrooms.

  1. At Dog Kennels

Whether you run a doggie day care, shelter, or boarding facility, your kennels get a lot of heavy use, and it’s important to get kennels as clean as possible before a new dog moves in. Degreaser can remove the most persistent grime from kennel walls, floors, and doors. My environmentally friendly one won’t harm your furry lodgers, either.

If you’ve got grime, you need a degreaser to help you keep your commercial space squeaky clean. Choose an all-natural degreaser to avoid harsh chemicals without losing cleaning power. To try Earth’s Natural Sewer Degreaser or learn more about degreasers, contact me today.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

5 Tips for a Healthier and Greener Pregnancy

Healthy Pregnancy TipsA recent poll found that 69 percent of expecting mothers who read the popular pregnancy website The Bump were more interested in going green during their pregnancies than they had been before they were pregnant. Using all-natural, organic products during pregnancy can reduce your baby’s exposure to hazardous chemicals. But switching to organic, all-natural products can also improve your health and well-being during pregnancy. Here are five ways to green up your pregnancy.

  1. Add More (Organic) Green to Your Diet

Greening up your pregnancy diet will make you feel more nourished and support your baby’s development. A well-balanced diet rich in protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and folic acid includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Go organic as much as possible to boost nutrition and avoid toxic chemicals found in pesticides.

  1. Spend Time Outdoors

Taking a moment to enjoy the green outside (or, in Minnesota winters, inside at the Como Park Conservatory or Minnesota Zoo) can boost your mood and increase your activity. Both are good for your well-being and the health of your baby.

  1. Avoid Artificial Fragrances

The Environmental Working Group calls the label “fragrance” a code-word for “chemical cocktail.” Companies are not required to disclose the chemicals in their fragrances. Many of these chemicals may cause hormone disruption, allergic reactions, or worse. Go all-natural during your pregnancy by avoiding products with “fragrance” or “parfum” in the list of ingredients. If you need a scent, go for an organic essential oil.

  1. Chose Organic Supplements

Pre-natal vitamins, omega-3s, and vitamin D are commonly prescribed to expecting mothers. Before heading to the pharmacy to find the cheapest option, take a look online at what organic products are available. Quality and pureness of supplement ingredients is as important as the quality and pureness of your food.

  1. Slather on Organic Personal Care Products

Choose organic, all-natural shampoo, soap, and other personal care products for the same reason you want to avoid artificial fragrances and choose organic supplements. Using organic, all-natural products reduces your and your baby’s exposure to toxic chemicals.

Need more green and healthy pregnancy tips? Watch for my follow-up post next month! In the meantime, shop GetGreenwithGene.com for all-natural maternity and baby products.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

5 Creative Uses for All-Purpose Cleaner

Earth's Natural All-Purpose CleanerMy referral networking group has a saying: When you ask for “anybody,” you get “nobody.” Great networkers know that the more specific they are about whom they’re asking for, the more referrals they get.

The same holds true for all-purpose cleaner. Its name says you can clean anything with it—but what does that actually mean? Many times, people end up using their all-purpose cleaner on just one or two surfaces.

No more! Here are five specific, creative ways for you to use your all-purpose cleaner.

  1. Commercial Refrigerators and Cold Trays

Commercial refrigerators and cold trays get grimy fast. Cleaning them out and spraying them down is a daily necessity. Use all-purpose cleaner to scrub away grime, bacteria, and mold from exterior and interior surfaces.

  1. Auto Body Shop Public Surfaces

The surfaces in an auto body shop are easy targets for grease, grime, dirt, dust, and germs. All-purpose cleaner keeps your shop squeaky clean and smelling fresh. Use it at the reception desk, on waiting room furniture, in the bathroom, and on the floors.

  1. Fitness Center Exercise Equipment

‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions, which means your gym is packed. Keep your equipment clean to keep your clients healthy. Spray all-purpose cleaner on weight machines, yoga mats, cardio equipment, and free weights. Don’t forget to wipe down reception desk surfaces and studio door handles, too.

  1. Dog Kennel Crates and Cages

We love our furry friends, but they can really make a mess. If you run a boarding kennel, grooming salon, or volunteer at a shelter, an all-natural all-purpose cleaner can be your best friend. Use it to disinfect and freshen up kennel crates and floors, grooming equipment, and the surfaces in your work room and waiting room.

  1. Horse Fly Spray for Your Boarding Stable

When your all-purpose spray is all-natural, it’s safe for you and your animals. Dilute your all-purpose spray down for an effective fly spray for horses and livestock. Then use it to clean out feed and water pails.

It pays to be choosy when purchasing commercial cleaners. Conventional ones are full of harsh chemicals.

Instead, I recommend my Earth’s Natural All-Purpose Cleaner, which cleans powerfully with all-natural citric acid and thymol. It’s tough on all sorts of workplace contaminants without being hard on your health or the environment. Purchase online at www.lifespurebalance.com.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance