10 Harmful Cleaning Chemicals To Avoid: Read The Labels

10 Harmful Cleaning Chemicals To Avoid: Read The Labels

By : Angelina
Do you use store-bought cleaning products to remove dirt and stains? Of course, fancy cleaners and room fresheners and disinfectants available on the market can help you clean a house without much elbow grease, but these contain harmful chemicals that can lead to health concerns and also pollute the environment.

You should read the labels of cleaning products and avoid hazardous chemicals because these may cause respiratory irritation, allergic skin reaction, eye irritation and even cancer. Instead, use biodegradable or eco-friendly cleaners that can help you create a clean, hygienic and healthy home without exposure to toxic fumes.

If you are moving out of a rental property at the end of your tenancy, book a company that can offer you environmentally-safe end of lease cleaning Canberra and pass your property inspection with ease.

You can also spruce up your house in a safe and sound manner by avoiding these 10 harmful cleaning chemicals:

1. Ammonia

It is an inorganic compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, and the chemical formula is NH₃. It is a colourless gas and has a pungent smell. There is no denying that ammonia is one of the most common chemical ingredients in almost all store-bought cleaners. It is available in:

  • Window cleaners,
  • All-purpose cleaning products,
  • Drain cleaners and toilet cleaners,
  • Oven and microwave cleaners,
  • What are the potential health threats?

    The toxic fume can irritate the lungs, eyes and skin. It can also create problems if you have asthma. Some studies have revealed that high concentration of ammonia can lead to liver and kidney damage.

    Safe Alternatives to Ammonia:

    White or cleaning vinegar is one of the best substitutes of ammonia. The acidic nature of  vinegar is powerful to breakdown oil stains, grease, grime, mould and mildew from almost all surfaces. Do not use it on natural stone surfaces as it can damage its finish.

    2. Triclosan

    You should avoid buying cleaning products if you see  “TSC” or “Triclosan” on the label.  Triclosan has antibacterial properties and can kill lethal germs and bacteria.  It is used in dish soaps, disinfectants, antiperspirants, laundry detergents, and hand sanitisers contain TSC.

    Potential Health Hazards:

    Triclosan is an endocrine-disrupting chemical ingredient that can lead to hormonal imbalance. It can also cause:

  • Irritation to your eyes
  • Respiratory problems
  • Skin allergies
  • Trigger your Asthma
  • How to identify Triclosan on cleaning product’s labels?

    Do not buy cleaners and disinfectants if you see Triclosan TSC or Triclocarban TCC on the label.

    Instead, use baking soda and lemon to disinfect surfaces. These can help you clean your property with ease. You can keep cleaning requirements in Canberra in mind when at the end of your tenancy and hand over the rental property in a clean state.

    3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

    These two chemical ingredients should be avoided if you want to create a healthy and hygienic home environment. These are basically surfactants that can remove stubborn oil stains from surfaces. They also make products foamy in texture.

    What cleaning products contain SLS and SLES

  • Dish soap
  • Cleaning foams
  • Toilet bowl cleaners, and
  • Liquid laundry detergents
  • Potential Health Hazards:

    Both of these chemicals can pose a real threat to aquatic life and can also cause eye and skin irritation if used without wearing gloves and a face mask. You can also leave the cleaning task to the professional end of lease cleaners Canberra if you are at the end of your tenancy.

    Names used on the label:

    Sodium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphate, ammonium laureth, sodium n-dodecyl sulphate, etc are some of the red alerts you need to check on store-bought cleaners. Names used on the label:

    Sodium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphate, ammonium laureth, sodium n-dodecyl sulphate, etc are some of the red alerts you need to check on store-bought cleaners.

    4. Phosphates

    It is used as a chelating agent in dishwashing and laundry detergents. It can soften the water by preventing minerals like magnesium and calcium ions. Phosphates can boost the power of detergents and deliver sparkling results. It is used in laundry detergents, dishwasher detergents and bathroom cleaners.

    Potential Health Concerns:

    It can also be toxic to aquatic life, besides causing irritation to the throat and eye.

    How to Spot it:

    Avoid buying a cleaning product if you read “Sodium Tripolyphosphate” on the label.

    Chemical management is important to protect the environment. So, use environmentally-approved chemicals to clean your house.

    5. Sodium Hypochlorite or Bleach

    It is also a toxic chemical which is commonly used as a disinfectant agent. It can help you remove germs, bacteria, fungi, mould and mildew from different surfaces.

    Potential health Risks:

    Exposure to bleach can cause dizziness, headache and nausea. You should avoid it if you are pregent.

    How to Spot it:

    Bleach or titration.

    Safe Alternatives:

    You can use baking soda, lemon, salt, warm water and white vinegar to kill germs and bacteria. In fact, vinegar and baking soda is one of the cheapest ways to clean your carpet like a pro.

    6. Chlorine Dioxide

    It is a toxic gas which is used in very small quantities to disinfect water. It is a strong disinfectant and is used in store-bought disinfecting agents, laundry detergents, degreasers, and other cleaning products.

    Potential Health Hazards:

    Short-term usage of chlorine dioxide may cause eye and throat irritation. Difficulty in breathing and bronchitis are some of its serve problems that you may face if using it on a regular basis.

    How to identify it on the label of cleaning products?

    Chlorine dioxide or CIO2 are commonly used on labels of store-bought cleaners.

    7. Phthalates

    It is a group of chemicals used to boost the fragrance of cleaning products. You should avoid using phthalates-based products, such as:

  • Dish soap
  • Laundry detergents
  • Air Fresheners, etc.
  • Potential Health Hazards:

    Some of the common health problems are coughing, nausea, and headache.

    How to identify it:

    Perfume/Fragnance, Phthalate, DEHP, DBP and DEP.

    Instead, prepare DIY room freshener or deodoriser using essential oils, lemon, coffee, and vanilla extract.

    8. Parabens

    Parabens may not be as harmful as ammonia or bleach, but it can lead to various health concerns. It can cause male infertility or affect your immune system.  These chemicals are used in cleaners to increase their shelf life and prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria.  It is also important to remember that a dirty house can affect your health. So, use safe alternatives, such as vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda to clean you house.

    How to Spot Parabens on a product label?

    Butylparaben, methylparaben, isoparaben, and propylparaben.

    9. Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPEs)

    These chemicals are used in commercial detergents to enhance their effectiveness. These can remove stubborn stains and grime with ease. NPEs are commonly used in all-purpose cleaners, stain removers, liquid laundry detergents and degreasers.

    Potential health hazards:

    Long-term exposure to NSEs can cause breast cancer. They can also cause reproductive system in fishes and other aquatic life.

    How to Spot it:

    Nonylphenol (NP) and Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)

    10. Monoethanalomine, Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine

    These are common chemical compounds found in all cleaning agents because these can remove stubborn stains and grime with ease. MEA, DEA and TEA are present in oven cleaners, glass cleaners, mould removers, dish soap and floor cleaners.  Do not forget to hire professionals for a thorough end of lease cleaning Canberra if you want to get your full bond back with ease.

    Potential Health Threats:

    Exposure to MEA can induce your asthma, DEA can cause mild skin and eye infection and TEA can cause respiratory tracts.

    How to Spot it:

    MEA, Monoethanalomine, DEA Diethanolamine  and TEA Triethanolamine


    These are 10 harmful cleaning chemicals that you should avoid when using store-bought cleaning products. Read the label of all cleaning products and keep your house and the environment safe. You can also use eco-friendly alternatives to clean and disinfect your home without getting exposed to toxic chemicals.