Part 3: BATHROOMS
Ok. You’re probably shocked bathrooms made the list. Part of the reason is that when you shower the heat and humidity from the shower “activate” every toxin around and lift them in the air for you to breathe. The other part of the reason is many bathrooms are connected to your bedroom where you spend much of your life. Toxins are good at following you.
A lot of people use bleach-based cleaners in their showers, tub, and flooring. In case you have forgotten from the beginning of this post……NO BLEACH. Remember that bleach leaves a small residue after drying that can be activated with heat and humidity.
VOCs in the bathroom are bad for you as well. When you breathe in the steam from a shower the cells in your lungs expand. This makes your lungs more susceptible to the absorption of toxins. If any of you have had asthma, you know one of the treatments is steam or a nebulizer.
Similar to kitchen tile and grout, most people use fluro chemical-based sealers. While it is very important to seal your tile and grout it is really important to avoid the use of fluro chemistry for the same reasons you want to avoid VOCs in your bathroom. Heat, humidity, and toxic chemicals don't mix well.
HOW TO CHOOSE A NON-TOXIC CLEANER FOR BATHROOMS
- ZERO VOC. Not low VOC. Zero means zero. You will not sacrifice performance with zero VOC grout sealers.
- ZERO flurochemicals. Manufacturers try to hide it in the ingredients but you are now on to them. If you see the following letters anywhere……run. F-L-U-R-O. Just look for those 5 letters together anywhere in the ingredient list.
- Inexpensive. Calculate the cost of the project not just the cost of the bottle. For example, Company 1 sells its product for $30, and one bottle covers 50SF. Company 2 sells its product for $40 dollars but one bottle covers 100SF. So to compare, you will have to buy 2 bottles ($40) of Company 1 products to equal the same coverage.
- Repels mold, mildew, oil, and food stains. Many companies say “prevents black/black spot stains” instead of using the words mold/mildew stains. This is OK. The reason most do it is because Amazon/Walmart/eBay will not allow the use of the word mold/mildew unless the product is EPA registered. This protects Amazon/Walmart/eBay, etc. from fines by the EPA but it is not the law so don’t shy away from those products.
HOW TO CHOOSE A NON-TOXIC GROUT CLEANER
- ZERO VOC. as always. NO VOC.
- Natural or naturally occurring ingredients only. There is no reason to add toxic chemicals.
- Premium. It’s worth paying a little extra for premium, non-toxic ingredients. Even so, it should not cost more than about $20 for a 16oz bottle of grout cleaner. Cheaper products contain toxic chemicals or are diluted to the point they won't work well.
Here is what I use:
Zero VOC, all-natural ingredients
Zero VOC, plant-based penetrants, inorganic binder
To summarize, we have learned:
Toxins can hide out in unexpected places.
Bleach is bad.
VOCs are bad.
Fluro chemistry in the home is bad.
Heat and steam make toxins worse and more easily absorbed into your lungs.
We know how to choose vinyl siding cleaners/outdoor cleaners, tile and grout cleaners, and tile and grout sealers.
Thank you for taking the time to read. I know you will now be able to begin minimizing your exposure to toxins.
About the author: Richard Winget is a chemist, inventor, author, and speaker. He is a Kindle #1 Best Selling Author (Home Improvement Category), Has multiple patents for his inventions, and is the founder of OneSource Organics, Inc.