MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: Harmless cleaning products

Area: Earth Sciences
Posted By: Rolf Marteijn, Grad Student, dept of Foodscience -> Bioprocesengineering and dept. of Virology, Wageningen Agricultural University
Date: Sat Jun 14 18:17:08 1997
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 864184296.Es

Hi Maurice,

The best and most environment-friendly cleaning product there is, is probably just plain water. Most cleaning products rely on some sort of detergent to remove the stains. Even the 100% natural ones have some sort of detergent in them. You could try to use products like vinegar,but they are not as good in disinfecting as most commercially available cleaning products.

Actually it is really simple, if you have a product that is effective in destroying bacteria and the like in your kitchen, they will also be good in destroying bacteria (that are a very important part of the environment) when they end up in the sewer or soil.

However, it is possible to clean environmently friendly. First of all, whatever cleaning product you use, use it in small amounts. Next, water will do a good job in many cleaning applications, just by rinsing away the dirt/bacteria. If you have some stains on a surface (like a kitchen top), use of physical energy (that is intensive polishing) could do the job without the use of many cleaning products. And last, there is a natural soap, it pretty cheap and could be used for household cleaning, but also for doing laundry. It's a green kind of liquid soap, but to be honest, I haven't seen it in the grocery store either (at least not in the USA).

One warning! Do NOT experiment yourself with mixing several cleaning products! Although you might get a beter product, in most cases you will produce DANGEROUS situations. There are cases known of people that succeeded in filling up their bathroom with Chlorine-gas (a chemical warfare gas, used in world war I), just by mixing some bleach and some other cleaning agents.

Regards and good luck with the cleaning,


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