Q: Which environmentally friendly cleaners work best on bathrooms?
A: Freud would say our culture has some serious potty-shame issues. We keep whatever it is we do in there behind locked doors, then regularly douse the room in enough bleach, artificial fragrances and harsh disinfectants to throw any CSI off the trail.
It's important to keep your salle de bain clean, but do you really need to eat off your toilet? Yes, you say, my two-year-old niece just might lick the bowl. But do you want her licking highly caustic chemicals?
Pretty much every bathroom product comes with the "cleaning power" of bleach. Too bad chlorine is a hazardous air pollutant and can react with chemicals in the environment to form dioxin, a particularly nasty hormone disrupter that builds up in our tissues.
Then there are all the corrosive ingredients in toilet bowl cleaners, some of the most toxic in your house. They can burn your eyes, skin and lungs, not to mention the ozone layer as smog-inducing VOCs evaporate into the air. To add insult to injury, we're all buying landfill-clogging disposable toilet wands pre-filled with bleach to do our dirty work. Suck it up, people. You didn't need these before, and you don't need them now.
And what of those nifty new antibacterial cleaners we wash down the drain? Wouldn't you know it? They're filled with the persistent eco contaminant triclosan, which has turned up in a staggering percentage of waterways.
Anyway, enough of the depressing dirty details. Let's get to the, um, bottom, of just how effective green bathroom cleaners can be.
Eco-Max has to be ordered online at www.eco-max.ca. The rest are available at most health food stores.
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