The everyday cleaners and products you use may seem safe. But they really may be causing more harm than good. Some household products can have long-term effects on your health or could be deadly if not careful.
You may use bleach to disinfect surfaces, kill mildew and whiten clothes and fabrics. But the strong smell and chemicals may make you consider other cleaning products. If it gets on your skin it could lead to irritation, burning and change in skin pigmentation. There are other concerns about bleach having harmful impacts on your lungs if inhaled or consumed.
There are a few natural alternatives that are less harmful to try including a mix of baking soda and vinegar or disinfectants from brands that use natural ingredients.
Lint has the ability to cause home fires. In fact, according to U.S. Fire Administration statistics 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported annually. That totals to $35 million in property loss and over 100 injuries.
Before you dry clothes, it’s important to empty your dryer lint catcher every time. Regularly cleaning it can lower your monthly energy bill because if the lint blocks heat the dryer may need to run longer to dry your laundry. It’s also important to clean your dryer vent at least once a year or more depending on how often you do laundry. Regularly cleaning your dryer free of lint gives better airflow and even drying.
Furniture polish is extremely flammable and contains a number of chemicals that can irritate your skin or cause burning, permanent eye damage and lung irritation. It can also cause nausea and vomiting if inhaled. It’s important not to spray furniture polish near an open flame or heat source. This is also true for floor waxes, air freshener, nail polish and shoe polish. Try using olive oil or almond oil to polish surfaces as a safe alternative.
Wall outlets alone are dangerous but can be extremely hazardous when combined with the improper use of extension cords and power strips. Some extension cords wear over time – which can cause an electrical fire hazard. But that’s not the only way they can cause harm. Here are a few safety hazards for any cords you use at home.
- Never plug an extension cord into another one.
- Make sure the cord is intended to be used indoors and outdoors.
- The cord should be long enough for you to use your device without pulling.
- Always check your cords for damage before plugging them in.
- Never overload a power strip or use an extension cord for more than one appliance at once.
- Never plug an extension cord into a power strip.
Non-stick pots and pans
Most non-stick pots and pans are made with coatings such as Teflon to keep food and oil from sticking to pans. The coating from Teflon can release toxic chemicals that are dangerous – especially when the pan reaches a higher heat.
There are other alternatives to non-stick pots and pans such as cast-iron skillets or carbon-steel pans. Experts from Today Food recommend not putting non-stick pans in the dishwasher as the coating could wear off quicker. And if you notice the pan flaking it’s to buy a new pan and stop using that one immediately.
These aren’t the only household activities and items that are dangerous. Most appliances, sprays and other products have ‘Warning’ labels outlining risks and unsafe uses. Pay close attention to these and other labels before purchasing. Here are a few other household safety tips to remember to keep you and your family safe.
- Pay close attention to potential poisonous items around your home.
- Keep household items out of children’s reach. Consider adding childproof locks, gates and other safety measures to keep them away from danger.
- Only use products for their intended use. And always use the original bottle that sprays and cleaners come in.
- Always follow a home maintenance checklist to regularly check on appliances and other potential dangers that can easily go unseen.