In recent years, people have started to put more emphasis on “eco-friendly” or “green” solutions to help save our planet. Many of the everyday products that were used over decades have slowly been releasing toxins and other bad chemicals into the atmosphere, putting our planet and our lives in jeopardy.
Cleaning products are no exception. Many of the products available in stores today are chemical-based because of their effectiveness and efficiency. Businesses are also able to charge relatively low prices because the production of these chemicals is a much simpler process than natural products. So, what is the difference between chemical cleaning and green cleaning products?
A chemical cleaning product is basically a cleaner that makes use of multiple different chemicals as ingredients to formulate a cleaning solution. They are highly effective for specific purposes because of the chemicals included in each of them. For example, there are different cleaning products for floor tiles, walls, marble, glass, and so on.
For the most part, these chemical products are safe to be used around humans (or else they wouldn’t be sold everywhere!). That doesn’t mean we’re completely safe from each and every one of those chemicals, but we’re speaking in relative terms. Cleaning products technically ensure that disease-causing germs and bacteria are removed from your home, but certain chemicals have other effects as well. This includes chemicals that give off fumes that can worsen asthma or contain carcinogens that you will inevitably be breathing in.
Even though they don’t affect us too much, the resulting impact on your surrounding environment is much worse. Many of these chemicals are still undergoing testing and we don’t know the long-term effects that they can cause. But, there is documented evidence of these chemicals polluting water supplies and not breaking down into harmless products over time.
We may end up drinking the water ourselves or animals that we consume may have come in contact with the water as well. If they still have these chemicals in their body when we consume them, there will be much more adverse effects than when it touches our skin because they can be toxic.
These are the cleaning products that don’t make use of chemicals and instead provide a deep cleaning without all the harmful toxins and residue left behind. They have no toxicity, have little to no impact on the environment, and may actually be able to preserve your surfaces better than harsh chemicals can.
These cleaning products are made from natural, biodegradable ingredients and are much less harmful to both human health and the environment. When you’re buying these products, you need to look out for the correct brands. Words such as “green, recycled, and chemical-free” are marketing terms thrown around by businesses to attract the crowds. What they really mean could be many reasons such as that it was made using recyclable material or less water, but not actually “eco-friendly”.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- They are efficient when cleaning and will work faster than green cleaning products in most cases.
- They tend to be cheaper as the ingredients are easier to source than natural products
- Some chemicals can be hazardous for both humans and the environment
- We still don’t know enough about all these chemicals to deem them 100% safe to use
- Harsh chemicals are used so continued exposure to them can cause health problems. Some people may even have their allergies flare up because of these chemicals. For example, eczema and asthma.
- They eliminate any harmful odors or fumes associated with chemical usage and so are much safer to use for humans
- All ingredients are sourced naturally so there won’t be a heavy impact on the earth when these products are released into the environment, such as through drains.
- The indoor air quality will improve as there won’t be pollution from chemicals when the cleaning product is evaporated into the air after use.
- You can make your own eco-friendly cleaning solution at home with household ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar. This is a cheaper option than even chemical-based cleaners.
- Sometimes, chemical products are better at cleaning jobs than green products can be. For example, if you have a clogged drain, a chemical drain cleaner would do a much better job than a homemade solution.
- Prices are more expensive than chemical products. Though it should be noted that green product prices are steadily on the decline and will hopefully continue in the future, making it a viable option for everyone.
There’s no doubt that green cleaning products are much better for the environment, and your home, so make the right investment for the future.