Following on from the findings from the 30-year research study released this week (of over 55,000 women) from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research revealing the severe impacts from weekly use of bleach in the home, MOLLY MAID is advocating the use of natural products as cleaning products. The research, which has featured heavily on the national news, states that using bleach just once again can increase your chances of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by a third.

We have always known that some harsh cleaning products, such as bleach, can cause skin irritation, itchy eyes and asthma. However, now bronchitis and emphysema, both painful diseases, are also linked to long-term use of quaternary ammonium compounds (bleach), which are found in daily floor and surface disinfectants. Other cleaning products containing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide were also associated with the disease, which is most commonly diagnosed in heavy smokers and those who have suffered long-term exposure to dust and pollution.

So, ban bleach and cleaning products containing these ingredients from your utility room and go for natural products instead – they’re better for your family, your pets and the environment. Did you know that you can use the following as effective natural cleaning products?

Bicarbonate of Soda

‘Clean and Natural’ Bicarbonate of Soda is a totally natural, clean and traditional cleaning product, renowned for its deodorising and mild abrasive properties. It’s a versatile product with several useful properties for house cleaning:

  • Sprinkle a bit of bicarb on a wet cloth and use it in bathrooms, kitchens and anywhere else that you would normally use a cream cleaner.
  • Add a small bowl of bicarb to your fridge to neutralise smells. Change it once a month and your fridge should stay fresh.
  • Pour 200g of bicarbonate of soda, swiftly followed by a kettle of boiling water down your sinks once a week to keep them clean and unblocked.
  • Soak smelly or stained Tupperware in hot water with a sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda overnight.
  • Lightly dust your carpets with bicarbonate of soda, leave overnight then hoover in the morning. Your carpets will be fresh and clean.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a perfect replacement for bleach! It has a variety of uses from cleaning to disinfecting tasks, but should also be used with caution on some surfaces, especially floors and kitchen surfaces if used in undiluted form:

Disinfectant or glass cleaner: Use a 50-50 vinegar-water mix to wipe down telephones, doorknobs, taps and so on, particularly when your family has been struck down with illness or you have a pet in the home.

As a toilet cleaner: Pour a cup of vinegar in the toilet and leave overnight. The next morning, sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda, give a brush and then flush.

General bathroom cleaning: An undiluted solution can be poured onto a cloth and then used to clean bathroom tiles, washbasins and so on.

Microwaves: Place half a cup of vinegar and fill the rest of the cup with water and pour into a bowl. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until it boils. Then, wipe away any of the build up inside.

Lemons & Citrus Fruits

No need for bleach with lemons and other citrus fruits! The natural acidity means that citrus fruits have antibacterial properties which make them the perfect purifier for sinks, fixtures, kitchen surfaces (not marble or stone), fridges, dishwashers and oven spills. Try rubbing the inside of the dishwasher with half a lemon and then turn on a hot wash and you will notice the difference! They can be used in the same way as white vinegar, but do be careful of certain surfaces.

So, take care of your family’s health and ban bleach and instead, replace it with natural and more economic cleaning alternatives.

Good luck!