Health Concerns With Glass Cleaners
One of the leading glass cleaning brands was considered a D on the Environmental Working Groups safety scale. There were respiratory, skin irritant and environmental concerns. Today I wanted to talk about the health concerns with glass cleaners.
When someone asks me what I think of a particular product the first thing I do is look at the label for the ingredients. Let’s do this. The image below is the list of ingredients for this leading household glass cleaner.
If you look a the bottle the ingredients are vague.
The label lists,
SCJ formula #35*14153
terms such as carriers, cleaning agents, wetting agents are very broad, we don’t know what specific ingredient is in it.
Let’s do a little research. If you go to the manufacturer’s website you can look around a little. Look all the way at the bottom. You will see ingredients. It too a little searching but I was able to locate the ingredients as well as an explanation of what each ingredient does.
Source What is inside
Glass cleaner Health concerns -Ingredients
Provides a liquid base for a product.
2-Hexoxyethanol Cleaning Agent
2-hexoxyethanol is a cleaning agent that acts as a surfactant. It surrounds dirt particles to loosen and lift them away.
My thoughts on 2-Hexoxyethanol
The environmental Working group lists this ingredient as a D. There are skin irritation, developmental and reproductive concerns. Let’s try to avoid this ingredient.
Isopropanolamine Cleaning Agent
Isopropanolamine is a solvent cleaning agent. It helps dissolve the residue that remains on household surfaces such as oils and soaps.
My thoughts on isopropanolamine
EWG gives isopropanolamine an C- F. It is used in smaller amounts in this product but there are skin irritation, developmental, reproductive and carcinogenic concerns.
Let’s avoid this ingredient as well.
Ammonium Hydroxide Cleaning Agent
Ammonium hydroxide is commonly referred to as “ammonia.” It’s a cleaning agent, or “surfactant,” that removes dirt, and it can also be used as a pH adjuster that alters the pH of a product to improve stability. Household ammonia has a strong odor; by using ammonium hydroxide in combination with other ingredients, we can achieve the same cleaning results while using much less ammonia.
My thoughts on Ammonium Hydroxide
According to EWG’s website this this ingredient as an F. Ammonium hydroxide has respiratory, skin irritant and environmental concerns. Let’s try to avoid this ingredient.
Lauryl Dimethyl Amine Oxide Wetting Agent
Lauryl dimethyl amine oxide is another surfactant.
Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate Wetting Agent
Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate is another cleaning agent.
benzyl acetate; butylphenyl methylpropional*; c9-11 pareth-3; citronellol*; citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil*; dipropylene glycol; ethoxydiglycol; hexyl cinnamal*; linalool*; terpineol*
*Item on SC Johnson’s list of skin allergens, learn more
I have written about fragrance before. The manufacturer is allowed to list “fragrance” even though there are over 3000 substances that make up fragrance. In most cases, it would be difficult for anyone with allergies to determine if this particular product would be problematic for them. In this case they actually list the fragrances.
Liquitint® Sky Blue Dye is a colorant, or dye. We add dyes to products for a variety of reasons including helping you see where you applied the product, when a product is used up, or for aesthetic reasons. Liquitint® is a trademark and product of Milliken & Company, which is responsible for its contents.
My thoughts on blue dye
The manufacturers website mentions that the color allows us to see where we put it. I don’t know about you but once I spray it I can’t see blue anywhere, I just see that the area is wet. Plain water also leaves a wet area so I am not sure why the color is in this product. We would also be able to determine the amount left my looking at the level. Don;t we do that with a glass of water? We are able to determine whether a glass of water is near empty. lastly, they suggest aesthetics. Do we really need dyes in our cleaning products. Are we trained to associate certain colors with cleanliness?
Are there safer alternatives to window cleaners?
How about a DIY window cleaner?
If you have health concerns with glass cleaners than you may like these DIY recipes.
If you like the smell of the traditional sweet window cleaners, add a drop or two of your favorite citrus essential oil. Lemon essential oil is my go-to essential oil for cleaning but you can customize this to whatever smell you like:)
If you missed the list of 6 Chemicals to avoid in the lesson on Day 1, go back and take a read over it. You can go through all the Days in the “UNITS” tab. When you check out this list from Day 1, you will find one of these ingredients is called 2- Butoxyethanol. Please do not ask me to pronounce this word.? The important take away is that this chemical is used in all window cleaners to give the cleaner that sweet, recognizable smell to ultimately mask the chemical blend that is actually in the window cleaner.
1 cup Water
1/2 cup of Rubbing Alcohol
1/2 cup Vinegar
5 drops Lemon Essential Oil (optional)
Recipe #2 This one is my favorite.
1 cup Water
3 Tablespoons Rubbing Alcohol
1/4 capful Thieves Household Cleaner
1-2 drops Lemon Essential Oil (optional)
You can buy Thieves cleaner here
Mix all ingredients in a glass spray bottle. I buy my glass bottle here.
You can use plastic if you are not storing this solution in the bottle or if you are not using the Lemon Essential Oil.
Shake before each use.
The ratio to water is a personal preference. You can adjust the rubbing alcohol to larger amounts if you feel your cleaning job needs more power! This is a DIY recipe you really can’t mess up the ratio’s on as it will still work well with more or less
If you or someone you are with has an exposure, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.