You might be surprised and worried to learn that indoor air is usually far more polluted than outdoor air – anything from two to five times more toxic! This pollution is often due to a lack of ventilation, meaning that any chemicals we use in our home tend to stay there, building up over time. This pollution can be caused by cigarette smoke, paint fumes, new carpets and candles; but household cleaning products make up a huge proportion of indoor air pollution.
This is obviously not good for our health, but have you ever thought about how these chemicals might be affecting the health of your pets?
When people look to switch to a more natural lifestyle, they tend to focus on the things they come into contact with most – usually food and skincare products. After all, these are the products that will be inside our bodies and all over our skin, so we’d like them to be as toxin-free as possible. But when you think about it, the things that our pets come into contact with most isn’t skincare products, it’s our floors and surfaces.
The majority of cats and dogs spend most of their time walking, rolling or lying on the floor, as well as climbing across the counters and surfaces (even when they aren’t supposed to!). After this, they lick their paws and fur to get clean, inadvertently ingesting whatever chemicals have been used to clean those surfaces – whether that’s bleach, floor cleaner or antibacterial spray. Some dogs even lick the floor and drink from the toilet bowl!
Lots of standard cleaning products contain chemicals like bleach, ammonia, chlorine, synthetic fragrances and formaldehyde, which can pose a serious threat to your furry friends, especially if they are exposed to them every day! These chemicals can cause anything from irritated, itchy skin to severe liver damage. The problem with chlorine in particular is that it is heavier than air, so it will sink to ground level where pets are more likely to breathe it in. Many of the chemicals found in standard cleaning products are also known carcinogens!
Having a clean home is important, since mould and bacteria can be just as dangerous to you and your pets, so how can you keep your home clean without exposing your pets to potentially harmful chemicals?
Protect the health of your pets by switching to more natural household products. Ecover are one of our favourite household brands here at Jan de Vries, and our customers love them too! They have a fantastic range of eco-friendly and natural household products, including toilet cleaner, floor cleaner, all-purpose surface cleaner and multi-action spray. These are made from natural plant-based and mineral ingredients that are biodegradable and non-toxic – the perfect way to get a cleaner, greener home. Even though these cleaners are super natural and safe, we still recommend keeping them in a cupboard out of the reach of nosy pets!
There are also lots of ways to make your own cleaning products from just a few ingredients. Try lemon juice and baking soda for mouldy tiles, white vinegar to polish windows and mirrors, and castile soap to clean surfaces! Tea tree is a fantastic antibacterial and antifungal so add this to all your DIY cleaning products for some extra disinfecting power.
If your pets spend a lot of time indoors, for example housecats or dogs that stay at home while you work, try to ensure your home is properly ventilated. If it is safe to do so, try leaving a secure, screened window ajar while you’re out, or open a window in the morning and evening. This will help to clear out extra pollutants that don’t come from cleaning products, such as CO2 and cooking fumes. Plus, the extra ventilation will help to prevent mould from making an appearance!
Just like Ecover, here at Jan de Vries we believe in creating a healthy, pet-friendly home!