Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: wife is allergic to cleaning products

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    18th May 2016
    Posts
    1

    Question wife is allergic to cleaning products

    Hello all, please help. My wife is suffering from a severe allergy to limonene, isoeugenol and such chemicals and she has gone through all the cleaning products in market and thrown out everything. Can anyone recommend a cleaning product which doesn't contain such chemicals? I think almost all the cleaning products contain such chemicals and her skin is too sensitive. She asks me to get the help of a good cleaning service. Will it be worth ? I have heard about RBC cleaning in Canada. Is it a good choice ? It's two months since we have properly cleaned our home. There are 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms,a dining hall, a living room and a kitchen in our home and how much may I have to pay them ?
    Last edited by hugh35; 05-23-16 at 08:39 AM. Reason: Typing mistake

  2. #2
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    18,301

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    Sadly, hugh, commercial cleaning products all contain harsh chemicals. The good news is, there's no need of them. There are plenty of safe, harmless alternatives to harsh cleaners, laundry detergents and such. I suggest you start by browsing through some of the articles in our DIY Recipes: Health, Hygiene, Homemaking forum (scroll way down). Regular standys in my house include baking soda, white vinegar, ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. If you have a dishwasher (I don't, so I can't make a personal recommendation), I think a product called Seventh Generation makes a cleaner for dishwashers as well as manual washing-up.

    I'm not in the socioeconomic class of people who can hire cleaning services so I can't speak from experience. I'm going to assume that they all use the kind of products that your wife reacts to. You would have to make inquiries to explain your problem and determine whether or not the products they use are safe for your home. Other items you will want to get rid of, even though they are not touched, are fabric softener sheets and any fragrances or "air fresheners." For fresh air, open a window! Oh, winter? Simmer a few cinnamon sticks on the stovetop. Once you start thinking this way, other workarounds will occur to you. For instance, there's a product called "soap nuts" that you can find in natural foods stores or order online; it's an actual tree nut that cleans clothes in the washing machine effectively and leaves them soft and fluffy. Borax is another natural (as opposed to chemical) laundry additive. There are safe alternatives to shampoo, deoderants, cosmetics etc. as well and you will find some on our site.

    We exist in a world of chemicals: they are in the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe. In a way, your wife is the canary in the coal mine, because her sensitivities are alerting the rest of us to be more cautious of the things we expose ourselves to.

    EVERYBODY ELSE, please add your suggestions and advice! And hugh, welcome! Hope you find some good ideas here!
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
    Join Date
    2nd November 2012
    Location
    Grant County, NM
    Posts
    1,364

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    Hello Hugh, welcome to HH. Based on your descriptive post, it sounds as if you may have complex problems. The size of your house, as you describe, must be very hard to maintain, which leads me to look at a bigger picture and holistic approach, and think beyond chemical cleaners and ask the question if you have a mold problem. Also, HH has a forum category on environmental toxins that you might find informative and interesting; http://www.hawkeshealth.net/communit...play.php?f=105

    Some of the most subtle sources of mold in the home can come from under the kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets. In the good old days, cabinet makers used to install good sized cabinet vents in the face plates in front of the sink basins. But that practice seems to be minimal, if not non-existent, anymore, resulting in water pipe and garbage pail moisture turning into condensation and eventually mold.

    Last year, I took my two sink cabinet doors to a cabinet maker to have him replicate those doors with large stamped aluminum sheet metal screens, much like a framed painting. That has virtually eliminated all the condensation and resulting mold, and in my particular case, has also helped to avoid freezing water pipes in the winter time.

    Condensation problems can also result from water droplets dripping off of the cold attic ceiling in the winter from the lack of adequate attic ventilation. It is just the attic floor, and not the entire attic, that should be used to well insulate the abode down below. The upper attic's temperature in the winter time should be as close to the outdoor temperature as possible to prevent triggering a dew point off of the attic ceiling resulting in water droplets dripping and compromising the attic floor insulation, and creating mold as well. Substandard sized attic vents are the real problem, and should be enlarged as much as possible, which also helps to keep the house passively cooler in the summer time. A lot of the new architecture, freestanding Arby's Roastbeef and Pizza Hut fast food restaurants have perforated sheet metal eve panels for plenty of rain-tight attic ventilation. Check it out next time you DRIVE BY one.
    Last edited by grulla; 05-23-16 at 12:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Katee's Avatar
    Join Date
    30th September 2007
    Location
    Big Bear, CA (tiny town in the mountains)
    Posts
    1,247

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    Many years ago i tried "Simple Green" assuming from the name and their marketing that the product was a healthier, safer, etc. I found i had horrible reactions to this product. I had trouble breathing at all if i used it, or (in those days i had someone clean for me), the cleaning person used it. Evidently i'm not alone in this reaction. http://www.organicauthority.com/sanc...all-costs.html

    These days my main go-to cleaner is baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and a squirt of dish soap (i use Ecover Zero with no problem but if that is problematic for her, she could try Dr. Bronner's. http://www.vitacost.com/ecover-zero-...FYRrfgodoBAHzQ)

    I have found that the BS/H2O2 combo to be amazing. I make it into a paste and it is the best grease-cutter ever. If i have burnt-on stuff on a pan and the pan is still warm, the heat also seems to potentiate the formula and most of the burnt on stuff lifts right off. It takes out tea stains in my favorite cups. I use it as a toilet cleaner. Many years ago i'd tried using BS alone or with vinegar in an effort to be earth-friendly, but it didn't do much for me and i always was left with a white powdery residue from the BS. The H2O2 works with it to make it much more powerful and i rarely have that white left-over to bother me.

    I also make a spray cleaner of water, vinegar (every recipe i've seen states "white vinegar" but i've had no problem with apple cider vinegar) and a little of the Ecover Ecological All Purpose Cleaner, and sometimes a little essential oil i can tolerate for some scent. I put this in a spray bottle and use it on counter tops, and to clean our dog's crate, and i've used it on spilt messes on both the carpet and floor, and use it to clean the tub and shower.

    These are my main go-to cleaners. I also use the soap nuts Islander mentioned and have for almost 10 years now, although i usually also add 1/3 cup each of baking soda and borax. I also found i didn't like the smell of stored items (mostly sheets and towels) with the soap nuts, so i do buy a 7th Generation liquid laundry detergent i use on sheets and towels. The scent wasn't bad and didn't make me ill or sneeze or anything, but it was a bit odd. We do not notice anything like that on our clothes for which i always use soap nuts. As an alternative to dryer sheets i have made wool balls (http://livesimply.me/2014/09/04/home...l-dryer-balls/). I have two sets, one that has no scent and another (different color so i can tell the difference) that i put on a few drops of essential oil for a bit of scent.

    I do keep a cleanser on hand but it is simply Bon Ami, which is mostly feldspar and about as safe as i can imagine.

    I will admit i have bleach in the house, but i use it on a rare occasion (once or twice a year) mostly for stains on whites i can't seem to get out otherwise. I just finished a gallon jug this week, and i think i've had that same jug for 5 years or more.

    Best wishes. I hope your wife is able to find things that help.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    I use Bon Ami in the bathroom (with a splash of bleach occasionally in the toilet), cheap dish soap in the kitchen or for mopping floors, and an all-natural glass cleaner (ammonia-free). You really don't need a lot of products to clean your house. I use a Swiffer duster as well that I think is available unscented. I like to use essential oils sometimes for scent.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member bmc65's Avatar
    Join Date
    17th November 2010
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,296

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    Welcome Hugh35. I don't really have anything to add. Seem the others have covered the based pretty well. Hope you find some answers here.

  7. #7
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    18,301

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    Oh, windows. Plain white vinegar diluted with water works a treat. You used to be able to clean windows with vinegar and the NY Times but they changed their ink a few years back so that no longer works. I have to use paper towels, but frugal as I am, that's one of the few uses for paper towels. I use newspapers for anything that needs draining, and rags or sponges for cleaning up spills.

    Katee, I love your "live simply" site. I'm going to make wool dryer balls — I still have a few skeins left from 25 years of raising sheep. In summer I hang my laundry on the line and in winter I have clothes horses inside, but a few items, like towels, are much softer and fluffier when done in the dryer... and the same is true of some "permanent press" fabrics. Actually I try to avoid those; I look for real fabrics: cotton, wool, silk. Silk blouses are so lovely ($5 at Goodwill) that I don't mind ironing them a bit.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Katee's Avatar
    Join Date
    30th September 2007
    Location
    Big Bear, CA (tiny town in the mountains)
    Posts
    1,247

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    Sometimes my wool balls don't felt as i want them to, but then i didn't use roving. So i've crocheted a covering for them.

    To reduce my use of paper towels i've purchased flour sack towels (muslin?) and then cut them in 4 pieces. And then zigzag the edges so they won't ravel and try and use these in place of paper towels 80-90% of the time.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
    Join Date
    29th August 2009
    Location
    Saint Croix
    Posts
    2,840

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    To reduce my use of paper towels, I generally use ripped up pieces of packing paper. Whenever things are sent in the mail (such as supplements from the place from which I order them) they come wrapped in paper that looks just like newspaper, but with nothing printed on it. This paper is excellent for use in cleaning windows and cleaning many other household things.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member highlander's Avatar
    Join Date
    18th December 2010
    Location
    Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    I know that vinegar is very useful for cleaning, but my daughters and I think it smells retched -- like dirty underwear that's been stuffed into rotten gym shoes. Seems a bit ironic. There are sites with suggestions on how to mask it if you use it for cleaning.

    Other than glass, the only thing I use paper towels for is cleaning up cat barf.

  11. #11
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
    Join Date
    16th September 2007
    Location
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.
    Posts
    18,301

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    I've seen guests and even family members visiting at my house, dry their wet hands at the kitchen sink by grabbing a paper towel or two. I have to speak up and say that there's a hand towel hanging right below! Despite their name, which must have been a marketing ploy, I can't imagine anyone actually using paper products as towels when cloth towels are made for the purpose. The same with napkins: why kill trees to make throwaway paper products that cost money, when a cloth napkin in a pretty napkin ring serves the same purpose for free? When we were a family of six, everyone had a different napkin ring to identify theirs, and the napkins were used all week, then tossed in the wash with the rest of the laundry on the weekend.

    Here's something new and different: I see rags for sale at Walmart. Rags? Well, square cloths that are apparently intended for cleaning up spills and such. Does no one save rags any more? My mother had a rag bag hanging behind the cellar door and so do I. Old t-shirts cut into squares are ideal for dusting, polishing, giving furniture a quick wipe-down etc., and old washcloths and retired towels are great for cleanups or washing the car.

    Sorry, I'm getting off topic. I am the mistress of frugality. It just makes me a little crazy to see money wasted, when forethought and ingenuity and plain common sense could do the job.
    Last edited by Islander; 05-29-16 at 08:47 AM.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

  12. #12
    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
    Join Date
    2nd November 2012
    Location
    Grant County, NM
    Posts
    1,364

    Default Re: wife is allergic to cleaning products

    When I buy paper towels at the SM, I always choose the plain white, 1-2-3 half size paper towel option. Who ever thought that up, it was a great idea, to help avoid waste. If my paper towel isn't too dirty, it's left to hang and dry at the edge of the sink for future use. One "future" use is to blot excess, drain clogging, cooking grease/oil in the skillet , as that keeps the mess contained in the garbage, helping to reduce smells that could attract wild animals in the outdoor, 55 gallon garbage drum.

    Also, there is a galvanized, 30 gal. garbage pail outside full of rags, a lot of which were badly torn garment rejects from the washing machine. Can't have enough rags.
    Last edited by grulla; 05-29-16 at 08:08 AM.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. The 'Dirty' on Cleaning and Personal Care Products
    By Aaltrude in forum Environmental Toxins
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-31-13, 02:59 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-05-12, 11:59 AM
  3. Do It Yourself Recipes for Eco-Cleaning
    By mellowsong in forum DIY Recipes: Health, Hygiene, Homemaking
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-19-12, 06:46 PM
  4. Toxins in School Cleaning Supplies
    By Islander in forum Environmental Toxins
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-11-10, 07:49 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
<<<<<<<< Your Customized Value <<<<<<<<