Every time you spray your windows with a conventional cleaner, you’re contaminating the air in your home. Each time you spritz the stuff, you’re letting loose a whole army of toxic chemicals that can negatively impact your children’s health.
And by the way, your lungs ain’t getting off scott-free either.
Take this very morning. After my alarm woke me up (and by alarm I mean my 7 year-old), I helped whip four kids into shape, took one of them to the eye doctor, talked shop with the PTA president and did a pretty hefty supermarket run.
So, by 10:15, I’d lived a whole day and I just wanted to relax with a cup of coffee.
You can then imagine my annoyance – no, my pissed-off-ness – when, as I sat down, latte in front of me, the guy with the rag starts spraying the glass table with, you guessed it, Windex.
The smell of the neon stuff is awful, obviously. But that was just the tip of the ‘ole iceberg for my detail-oriented self. I mean hell, I didn’t want to breathe in ammonium hydroxide and ethanolamine this AM! I wanted my coffee without respiratory toxicants, thank you. And back to that telltale smell that offends even the least neurotic out there. That’s a mashup of “nonspecific” synthetic chemicals – aka skin irritants and neurotoxins. And those will mess with anyone, Type A or otherwise.
As for the non-coffee drinking set? Your children are the most vulnerable to those very worrisome chemicals because, pound for pound, they breathe in more air than you and are still developing. The risks they face from inhaling these toxicants regularly are real and that’s without even mentioning the possibility of accidental ingestion.
But don’t worry, it’s never too late to make changes, and this one’s simple. Herewith, a DIY non-toxic window cleaner:
2 cups water
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon natural dish soap
Combine the ingredients in a bottle and spray away. Wipe down with a newspaper or a microfiber cloth. If you think the vinegar scent might offend tiny noses, open the windows or grab a non-toxic glass cleaner online or in your local market. Green Shield Organic Glass Cleaner and Whole Foods Market Glass Cleaner are two great options.
So, if I do nothing in this post other than to get you to consider swapping your chemical window and glass cleaner for a non-toxic version, I’ll sleep well tonight. And if you actually make the change, your kids will too.