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#1 of 10 Old 08-01-2007, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi! So, my partner and I are doing a deep clean of the house today and I just had to leave the bathroom (where I had just sprayed a bunch of stuff in the tub to let it soak) because it smelled too strongly and was making me cough. I had the exhaust fan on and the window open, but I guess the fumes were still pretty strong. How dangerous is this for me or the baby?

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#2 of 10 Old 08-01-2007, 04:34 PM
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i'm not exactly sure on specifics of danger, but i do know now would be a good time to go threw your house and get rid of all of your non-natural cleaning products. we did this with last pregnancy, and replaced things like comet, and clorox clean-up with vinegar, tea tree oil, and some ecover and seventh generation products. i think that one of the last few mothering magazines has had a special sections on natural cleaning products that work for almost anything. it also makes me feel a lot more safe with a toddler who goes through cabinets. i don't have to worry as much about him ingesting the products. i almost drank nail polish remover and attempted to drink several other cleaning products when i was little. it would have killed me if it got in my lungs. most of the seventh generation products we have say they are an eye irritant but i don't think it would kill ds if he drank them. i know your question was not about drinking them, but i was just pointing out the cleaning products can be dangerous in your house for other reasons than inhaling them. i also don't like to have lingering chemicals on surfaces that my children are going to play on, and eat off of.
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#3 of 10 Old 08-01-2007, 04:45 PM
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FYI - see this recent Mothering article:

Also for more info, there was a detailed study done recently:

Unfortunately I don't think they tested any of the 'natural' products like Seventh Generation but hopefully those are much better. I use the latter mostly and definitely keep the room well ventilated while cleaning regardless. I don't think anyone really knows how most chemicals affect pregnancy, but if it smells bad, I would stay away...
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#4 of 10 Old 08-01-2007, 05:22 PM
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I agree that now would be a great time to make the switch to natural cleaning products. I will never forget the episode I watched of 20/20 some years ago where they did a non-scientific test with traditional name-brand cleaners, and either just water, or water mixed with vinegar. They reported that the natural (and cheap!) cleaners worked just as well as traditional cleaners on all sorts of things. The trick is to use a good abrasive when cleaning (like a brush) and hot water. You can even disinfect cutting boards and counters using lemon juice.

There is no real good reason to use traditional cleaners. You can make your own just as easy as going to the store to buy something.

One thing I did do when making the switch is to keep my old cleaning bottles and cleaned them out really well before mixing my own home cleaners. I mix as I go as I am wary about water turning bad (even with vinegar in it) if it sits for too many days.

To answer your question though, I believe that limited exposure to toxins will not harm you or your baby. But, I would avoid any prolonged exposure.
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#5 of 10 Old 08-01-2007, 06:21 PM
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If you subscribe to Flylady at all, you'll know that when it comes to bathrooms and sinks...what put the mess on there can take it off as well.

I've been using shampoo to clean my tub and shower, handsoap or a little bit of toothpaste in the bathroom sink, and dishsoap in the kitchen sink.

They work as well if not better than the sprays and cleansers.

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#6 of 10 Old 08-03-2007, 10:20 AM
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I use dish soap and baking soda to clean almost everything. I do pour bleach in the toilet bowl, though. I just HAVE to. I save it for last, hold my breath, scrub quick, flush and turn on the fan.

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#7 of 10 Old 08-03-2007, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BeanyMama View Post
...I do pour bleach in the toilet bowl, though. I just HAVE to. I save it for last, hold my breath, scrub quick, flush and turn on the fan.
I assume you realize bleach doesn't clean anything, it's only a sanitizer.

FTR if you can smell the bleach it's *way* too concentrated. You can buy strips from restaurant supplies to test the concentration of your bleach water or, IMO much easier, just mix 1/4 tsp bleach in a 1 qt spray bottle or water or 1tsp bleach in a gallon of water in a bucket. That's the ratio used to sanitize hard surfaces in daycares, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.

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#8 of 10 Old 08-04-2007, 11:19 PM
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I love, love, love this book:

The Naturally Clean Home

To me, it makes much more sense to make your own cleaners, since they work better, cost less, and actually improve your health by using them (many are made with essential oils).
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#9 of 10 Old 08-05-2007, 12:30 AM
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I use vinegar for most cleaning but sometimes I use Method cleaners as well. The Method tub and tile spray shocked me by working better than my dh's kaboom or whatever toxic crap he tried to kill me with. (I guess thats what happens when you ask a man to clean a shower...they go to the industrial cleaners and try to destroy every germ within a 5 mile radius)

Alicia mama to 3 boys 6 and under.
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#10 of 10 Old 08-06-2007, 09:11 AM
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The only cleaners I use now are Sal's Suds by Dr. Bronner's which has a mild pine scent, baking soda or Bon Ami as an abrasive, and I do keep bleach around for sanitizing especially since I cloth diaper and sometimes when cleaning a poopy diaper, it gets a little nasty. I've had allergies for as long as I can remember and as a child/teen I always dreaded cleaning. I would hold my nose, put on a mask--just to clean. I find I only need those three products to clean the whole house thoroughly but I also like the all purpose cleaner concentrate from Bio-Kleen. There's a book called Clean House, Clean Planet that is really good, though, with lots of recipes for various cleaners. Anyone have any recommendations for a natural wood floor cleaner?

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Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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