Want to clean your house with worry of harming our environment? Then try organic and bio-degradable housecleaners instead of harsher commercial products. More and more ‘earth friendly’ cleaning compounds are appearing in both specialty shops and organic products stores these days. Though more costly (in America, organic and ‘natural’ soaps and cleaning compounds cost at least 50% more than standard brands like “Mr. Clean” and Ajax), people concerned about the effects of commercial detergents, bleaches, window cleaning fluids, and even furniture polish, are willing to pay the price, in order to help the environment. The ‘green’ products, alleged to contain these bio-degradable and environmentally friendly ingredients, note plant-derived essential oils and other similar compounds which can be disposed in the normal manner (i.e. in the garbage or down the drain or toilet) without worrying whether they will pollute the soil or water supplies.
The only problem at present, as noted by a spokesman for the American based Organic Consumers Association, is that these products have not yet been certified by U.S. Government regulatory bodies, such as the FDA and Federal Trade Commission.
Labels of many organic cleaning products, though claiming to contain ‘all natural’ and organic ingredients, still have not been officially proven to be so. If the products are noted to be “bio-degradable” for example; and without such ingredients as phosphates, chlorine bleach, and other similar ingredients, they still lack certification by an official government body to back up these claims.
A number of standard ingredients, such as phosphates for example, are actually natural, since they come directly from the ground and are not altered in their chemical composition. Many standard Israeli cleaning compounds, as well as soaps and detergents, contain phosphates and other similar compounds. Natural cleaning products are less available in Israel, though some of the older brands, utilizing ‘natural’ basic ingredients, like sand and soda ash, have been around for years.
With an annual American market of more $100 million per year for organic soap and cleaning products; more and more of them will eventually be sold in Israel as well. Families who still have grandmothers around, can testify that you can make your own ‘organic’ cleaning products, and be assured of what they contain. Some of these old favorites include using vinegar instead of window cleaner or drain cleaning products. Vinegar, in fact, has been used by women as a vaginal douche since time immemorial. Baking soda, also a favorite “old wives” cleaning product, has a variety of uses; from brushing teeth, to cleaning the sink and bathtub.
Even organic cleaners are not completely ‘friendly’ however; and one still has to be cautious when using – especially when small children are in the home.