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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Problem with the Smell of Clean



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What does clean smell like? Ask most people and they will tell you it smells like lemons, or spring rain, fresh air, or  clothes dried on the clothes line.  but many of these so called “scents”  are artificial fragrances Manufacturer’s of cleaning products know and understand this too. Why do you think they allude to these scents in their products and advertising?  Many cleaning products have added fragrance.  Many fragrances are made up of a complex cocktail of natural scents and synthetic chemicals, many of these are petrochemicals. Even many so called green cleaning products are not really all that green.
Why do manufactures add fragrance? Fragrance is a key component to cleaning products – as it is often what distinguishes one product from another, and what creates brand loyalty. Companies take great measures to ensure that the fragrance is experienced fully by the user. Our sense of smell is one of strongest and we associate memories with certain smells,  Chemists, manufacturers and product companies know this.  If something does not smell clean how will we know that it is clean? Once a upon a time ago my husband helped a friend with a cleaning business. They cleaned with vinegar but before leaving a place they would spray in the air a little bit of Pine Sol. . Yup it was just so that there was the ‘smell” of clean. They got more referrals and compliments when they sprayed the bathrooms for the smell. The clients thought if it smelled clean then it was truly clean. 
The scents added to cleaners do not enhance the cleaning ability of most cleaners. Quite the contrary many fragrances can cause more harm than good.   Among the chemicals that are used to produce fragrance are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions.  Also in the ranks of undisclosed ingredients are chemicals with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues. These include diethyl phthalate, a chemical found in 97 percent of Americans (Silva 2004) and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies (Swan 2008)
Currently the United States does not require manufacturers to disclose the ingredients in fragrances, including the fragrances in cleaners, as this is considered proprietary information.
What can you do if you want to avoid chemical  fragrances that can cause problems ranging from allergies to cancer? 

  • Make your Own Cleaners – personally if it is not safe enough to put use on  my body I will not use it in my house.
  • Check out EWG they will soon be coming out with a data base of Cleaners but for now they have a Hall of Shame List for Cleaners, check it out make sure none of yours are on here. Surprisingly some  so called “green” cleaners are on here.
  • Use Alternatives for Chlorine in Cleaning

For More Reading.
Dirty Secrets - What's hiding in Your Cleaning Products
Physicians for Social Responsibility
EWG  Cleaners Hall of Shame

Tell me do you have a favorite Cleaner you like to use? It is safe?




this post is linked up with Your Green Resource

1 comment:

Crunchy Con Mommy said...

We mostly use vinegar with tea tree oil, lol. We do use stinky toilet bowl cleaner a few times a year, and we use unscented dye-free laundry and dish detergent!

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