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In my chaotic house, we need a safe natural household cleaner, but we also need effective cleaners. We run a small zoo in our home and it’s basically anarchy with fur and slobber. Everyone is always licking something they shouldn’t– like outlets and floors. Or laying somewhere they shouldn’t– like the tub after I sprayed it with cleaner. Seems like everything has the ability to be dangerous or deadly in our home. But what cleaners should we use?
Your Current ‘Safe Natural Household Cleaner’
So, the real tea on your current household cleaners will probably piss you off. I know it upset me because I thought I was doing the right thing. Call me a hippie or a witch- Hunter does it all the time. But, I like using natural anything. It’s better for me, for the Earth, for my pets, for guests in my home. Therefore, I have always tried to buy the safe alternative when possible or so I thought.
An Emotional Decision
I’m going to jump right in and tear the bandaid off. The ‘green‘ brand you pay an arm and a leg for… isn’t actually ‘green’. Chances are, it probably isn’t any more safe than the store brand cleaner on the shelf right next to it.
I know, it sucks. I’m sorry.
But it’s true.
It’s not your fault- you’ve been totally mislead by the marketing companies that reel you in out of emotion.
You buy the $7 bottle window cleaner because all you can think is your baby or dog pressing their face on the glass (and how many times you clean that damn window every week).
I know because that’s why I used to buy them too. I worried about the dogs and cats laying on the floor if I had just mopped. The bathrooms were always off-limits when I was cleaning (and maybe a few hours after). All I could picture was one of my babies getting poisoned.
As a result, I forked out the extra bucks and started buying the ‘green’ option. Method, GreenWorks, and Mrs. Meyers. Just throw it all in the cart cause I’m gonna need one of everything.
Damn. Thinking back on it… they really took me for some serious money…
Disclosing Ingredients on ‘Safe & Natural Cleaners’
The main reason they were able to mislead us so easily is due to the fact that they can just flat out lie and get away with it.
Cleaning product manufacturers are not required to show their full ingredient lists on their labels.
They can just leave out those ingredients that look scary on the label to make you think they’re safe and it works.
Sneaky. Sneaky. Very sneaky.
Requirements To Be Labeled ‘Safe & Natural Cleaners’
Honestly, there are none.
Not a one. Similarly to the ingredients, there are no federal regulations that qualify a product as ‘safe’.
So, they can have the exact same chemicals as the harsh cleaners and still claim to be safer.
No one checks to make sure that they are safe either. Only 300 of the 62,000 chemicals approved in the United States have even been tested to see if they are safe.
What’s In Your ‘Safe & Natural Cleaner’?
If you’ve read up to this point so far, we can just about guarantee that we have no idea what is in your ‘safe natural household cleaner’. I’ll take a shot in the dark and guess that it’s neither safe or natural.
Just a hunch.
Or fact. Whatever you wanna call it.
There are so many things that almost every ‘green cleaner’ has as an ingredient that is anything but safe and natural.
The marketing geniuses at these companies trick us with smell. ‘Ooooooo… eucalyptus… lavender… tea tree!!!! These are so safe and healthy. I might as well be doing yoga and drinking a tea cleanse while I use this’.
Not gonna lie- I was totally that person. Except I suck at yoga and ‘tea cleanse’ is just a nice way of saying ‘poop your brains out’.
But they had me thinking that if it had an essential oil-like fragrance, it was better for you and the environment.
Fragrance adds ZERO to the efficacy of the cleaning product. So why add it? They add fragrance to persuade you to buy it. That’s it.
A real, effective household cleaner will remove any odors… not cover it with a fake scent.
The Dangers of Fragrances
I don’t feel like I need to say that you should stay away from from bleach an ammonia. That’s a given, but fragrance is the #1 ingredient you should keep out of your cleaning routine.
Fragrances aren’t just ‘harmless’ ingredients- they are truly dangerous for you and your family. There’s a 99.9% chance that the lavender you’re smelling isn’t really lavender essential oils. They will most likely use an artificial fragrance too. (Real lavender doesn’t smell like what most people think it smells like.)
Fragrances can pass through your skin and enter your bloodstream. They are classified as carginogens, hormone disruptors, neurtoxins, skin & respiratory irritants.
The fragrance industry is self-regulated and they do not have to do safety testing before selling the product to the consumers.
Also, because they consider fragrances to be ‘trade secrets’, they aren’t required to disclose the hundreds of ingredients hiding behind the word ‘fragrance’.
You can’t trust fragrance-free, unscented, odorless, botanical scented, natural scents and organic. None of these words are regulated. Technically, bleach could say ‘botanically scented’ if they wanted to.
Other Ingredients In ‘Safe & Natural Household Cleaners’
Most of these are basically gibberish unless you’re a scientist but these can all be in every ‘safe natural household cleaner’ in your cupboard right now:
- Quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATs)
- They can be listed under a variety of names on the label.
- Purpose: Disinfectants
- Cons: Infertility, asthma, allergies, and birth defects
- Ethanolamine Compounds (MEA, TEA, DEA)
- Purpose: Fragrance additives, pH adjusters, emulsifiers
- Cons: Cancer and hormone disruption
- Purpose: Fragrances
- Cons: Endocrine distruptors
Dyes, SLS, SLES, MIT, SCMIT…. I have letters for days ya’ll….
Your Long Term Health
It’s not only the immediate toxicity that you need to be concerned about. So many people will read this and think ‘This girl is crazy. I’ve used the same bleach, ammonia and household cleaners for years. I’m just fine‘….
Not to be a Negative Nancy but you’re fine right now.
Most of the ingredients have long-term effects on your body.
Think about the crazy amount of disorders, diseases and ailments that we deal with now that were unheard of years ago. While part of that is just a better understanding of our health. Part of it is because we are finding more and more ways to inadvertently poison ourselves.
Most people wouldn’t attribute their depression, cancer or infertility to their household cleaners… but it’s scientific fact.
After I learned about these chemicals and industry secrets, I panicked. I re-evaluated our household cleaners, laundry detergent, carpet cleaner solution and so much more. We even stopped buying my treasured Bath & Body Works 3-wick candles and we only use essential oils as fragrance in our home. I went extreme, but I’m also a hypochondriac hippie.
‘So What The Hell Should I Buy?’
Haha. Yeah right. Like I’m gonna tell you that.
I found what works in our home by researching.
You’re gonna have to do the same, but I will share what I found when I did my research.
Pinterest. Pinterest and more Pinterest.
Most of the ingredients that people suggest are vinegar, baking soda, epsom salts, rubbing alcohol, Dawn dish soap, Borax and of course essential oils.
I bought 6 empty spray bottles. Printed labels and taped them on the side. I mixed up my concoctions and went to town cleaning.
The next day, I cleaned again because those cleaners sucked.
I made glass cleaner, general purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, toilet cleaner, stainless steel cleaner and a wood cleaner.
The glass cleaner was okay and wood cleaner was decent. Other that, I was sorely disappointed.
I already know I’m gonna have a few readers up my ass saying ‘you didn’t make the right ones‘ or ‘maybe you did it wrong‘. Whatever. I did the ‘best’ recipe I could find with tons of comments about how amazing they were.
Maybe my house is too grimey for DIY or maybe I’m not as much of a hippie as I thought. DIY cleaners were not a winner for me.
Ironically, a lot of the ingredients are just as bad for you as the store bought cleaners.
Borax? You mean powdered acid. Tea tree essential oil? You mean ‘cat killer’?
***Not blaming this on the oil itself. In college, I learned the hard way that tea tree oil can kill cats. Nala hopped in the shower after I tried a ‘natural’ shower cleaner spray. She spent 2 days in the ER and shes okay. Read my post about pet care and prevent this from happening in your home.***
Force of Nature Cleaner
This is the point when some of ya’ll jump ship.
‘I know this wackadoo was trying to sell me something‘.
I’m sharing what I found. If you like it then buy it. This is something I really believe in.
What Is ‘Force Of Nature’?
Force of Nature is a simple cleaning system.
How Does It Work?
Basically, you pour water into the bottle, pour the ‘capsule’ in, set the bottle on the ion charger, press the button, and wait 5 minutes. Pour into your spray bottle and use.
You can read the real science here.
What Can You Clean With Force Of Nature?
You can read my post about cleaning here. I list the 90 billion cleaning supplies I used to have in my cabinet. Now, I use Force of Nature and Mr. Clean erasers (well, the knock off Mr. Clean erasers).
It does a better job than any of my ‘specialized cleaners‘ ever did.
Glass, countertops, stainless steel, tubs, toilets, shower doors, light switches… even carpet and rugs. I have yet to find a surface that it discolors or stains. I spray it on clothes and the sofas like I would Febreeze!
It’s tough enough to clean the stove after making fried eggs and safe enough that I clean our Water Pik with it once a week….
‘But Is It Effective Against Germs?’
Like I said, my house is a hot bed for nasty stuff. My cats drag their asses across the sofa and our dogs lick the cabinets.
Force of Nature has studies and lab results that prove that is as ‘effective as bleach’.
They claim it kills 99.9% of germs including MRSA, Norovirus, Influenza A, Listeria, Salmonella, Staph when used as directed.
I can’t deny or back this up. I don’t have a lab. Well I do, but he’s not helpful…. ::shameless dad joke::
However, I can say that it is the only cleaner that effectively gets rid of the pee smell from the bathroom, the cat litter smell from the carpet, and the old egg smell from tupperware.
We use it on literally everything and haven’t been sick since we started using it. We’ve both had a few ‘bugs’ or whatever. If we are good about using Force of Nature to sanitize whatever the ‘sicky’ touched, we dont end up both being sick.
So, I’ll agree that it’s incredibly effective. Read their studies and lab results to decide for yourself. I find it to be pretty compelling. We’ve been using it this long and our nasty house is still healthy.
You can see their third-party lab test results here.
*Also, as a side note, I brought it into work when I was still in dispatch. Everyone was getting the flu and I did not want it. Most dispatch centers are absolutely disgusting so that was the true test of Force of Nature. I sprayed basically everything when I came in for a shift. Not only did I manage to get out without getting the flu, it eventually stopped instead of continuing to pass back and forth between everyone. Impressive.
Safe & Natural?
‘So you just told us that cleaning companies can lie about being ‘safe & natural cleaners’. Why should we believe that Force of Nature is any different?’
Don’t. Do your own research.
Again, I’m just sharing this to share. You should do your own research to decide what works for your family.
But, I think Force of Nature will be that solution.
Force of Nature proudly posts their SDS (Safety Data Sheet). Compare it to other cleaners.
If you look up Clorox’s safety sheets, they urge consumers to visit the ‘ingredients inside’ and not download the Safety Data Sheet. SNEAKY!
Force of Nature’s SDS shows it as negative for skin, eye, carcinogenic, and mutagenic effects. I can attest that it doesn’t irritate my skin, eyes, and doesn’t trigger my asthma (breathing is kinda necessary to clean).
None of my pets have had any reaction to it either. The cats and squirrel are actually drawn to it. Not sure if it’s the salt but Otter (the squirrel) usually licks it off his cage as I’m cleaning. Never even gets an upset tummy.
The only real disclaimer is that if you drink more than one liter, you may have the runs. Ok. That’s fair. You deserve a little discomfort if you drink a whole bottle of it. Some other cleaners have you calling poison control if you get more than a drop in your mouth.
They literally include kid-friendly instructions for using the system. No company is going to take one on a that much liability without truly knowing it’s safe. Lawsuits are expensive and that’s a BIG claim!
Force of Nature is 2 ingredients:
- Hypochlorous Acid
- Sodium Hydroxide
They sound scary. I’m not a scientist, so any big word is a nope. But then again, water is actually called Dihydrogen oxide.
Hypocholorous acid is the badass in this solution. It kills 99.9% of germs and isn’t dangerous. It’s actually used as the main ingredient in eye, wound & veterinary care products. Hypocholorous acid literally used in baby products. Uh… hellur…
Sodium hydroxide is an ingredient but barely. Other cleaners use sodium hydroxide but almost 10,000 times as much as Force of Nature. It’s the ingredient that cleans grease, soap scum and grime… and your teeth. Sodium hydroxide is commonly found in toothpastes, cleaners and skin care products.
The only real con I’ve found behind Force of Nature is also a pro. They say to use the product within 2 weeks of ‘making it’ because it basically turns back into water.
They mention that it’s earth friendly because the capsules and shipping products are all recyclable. Plus, you keep refilling bottles instead of buying new bottles of cleaner. I’ll also put it in the Earth Friendly category because it’s such a powerful cleaner that I can use these microfiber cloths and use less paper towels.
You’re going to do what I did. Click the link, look at the price, and close the site.
I won’t lie. The price seems steep. I believe my exact words were ‘It better clean the damn house for me if it costs that much!’
Well, I obviously bought it… and I gotta say it does almost clean the house for me. It doesn’t throw on an apron and do the dishes, but it saves me time and does a better job.
Break It Down
The Starter Kit has everything you need to make 5 bottles for $90.
Most of the time they have a code for $30 off & free shipping so that drops it down to $60. (Sometimes as affiliates, we get codes for $40-$50 off)
Now, think about how much money you’ve spent on your current hoard of ‘Safe Natural Household Cleaner’…. $5 here, $8 there, $18 for that tiny bottle of natural carpet cleaner.
Do you still think it’s so costly?
My initial investment of $60 + the $25 refill pack is $85. I also bought an extra bottle to keep upstairs so my lazy butt doesn’t have to walk downstairs to get the other bottle-$1 from the Dollar Store. That makes for a grand total of $86 for a year, but lets call it $92 with tax.
$7.67 a month
About $1.92 a week
$.27 a day.
I bet you buy more than one bottle of cleaner a month and probably more than $8 worth.
If you buy the Starter Kit + Year of Capsules Bundle, you save even more. It comes with everything PLUS 55 capsules. Which is more like 1.5- 2 years worth of capsules (unless you’re a cleaning nut). Roughly $45 a year.
If you have the SwagBucks toolbar on your browser, you get 16% cash back!
They have a chart on their site that shows the cost per ounce vs other cleaning products. 7 CENTS per ounce. Way cheaper than other ‘safe & natural cleaners’.
So once you break it down to cost, effectiveness, safety and that’s all wonderful. But I’ll tell you what turned me into a believer: ease.
I keep a basket like this upstairs and one downstairs.
Isn’t that just more simple?
We did a big purge of the house last year and threw out everything that wasn’t worth the space. As a result, I threw away 16 partially used bottles of cleaner. Things that were toxic, things that claimed to be ‘Safe & Natural cleaners’ but were toxic, actual safe & natural cleaners that sucked.
Talk about a waste!
My Perfect Safe Natural Household Cleaner
Is there any perfect cleaner?
No. If there is, I expect you to tell me about it pronto.
However, this is as close as I’ve been able to find in my past 10 years of obsessive cleaning.
I was beyond skeptical when I bought it and I am beyond pleased that I finally pulled the trigger.
Finally, let me know your thoughts on Force of Nature and any other cleaners you think I should try!
Get 30% off Extra Value Bundles AND free shipping.