Updated: Jul 15
Whether you love or loathe it, you can’t deny that cleaning is necessary for maintaining a healthy home. Plus, since the pandemic, many of us are scrubbing a lot more than usual.
Some household product giants saw this as an opportunity to capitalise on our new habits. Ads bombard us with products promising to kill every spec of bacteria and germs. We’re sold the idea that stronger and harsher equals better and safer. And, let’s not get started on the huge amounts of plastic packaging… (read our last blog to learn why recycling plastic is not the answer!)
So, what exactly are IN these cleaning products?
Harmful and toxic ingredients, that’s what. Here are some common chemicals used in the UK:
Chlorine - Found in bleach and toilet cleaners. Chlorine can react to produce corrosive and damaging acids, especially when diluted in water.
Sodium hypochlorite - Found in toilet cleaners, disinfectants and laundry whiteners. Inhaling sodium hypochlorite can cause coughing and a sore throat. Swallowing can cause stomach ache, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Ammonia - Found in window, oven and toilet cleaners, car polish and all-purpose cleaners. The vapours can irritate your skin, eyes, throat and lungs. High exposure can lead to chronic bronchitis and asthma.
Sodium hydroxide - Found in oven, bathroom and toilet cleaners, disinfectants and drain unblockers. It is corrosive, and exposure can cause skin and eye irritation. Direct contact can cause thermal and chemical burns.
Phthalates - Found in laundry detergents, fabric softeners, air fresheners and deodorisers. Common for products with fragrance. Phthalates can disrupt your reproductive system with prolonged exposure.
Yikes. Before that list gives you nightmares. Let’s take a look at some of the eco-friendly and plastic-free alternatives you can pick up from Filling Good!
We love the smell of freshly laundered clothes. Yet, what we don’t love, is washing our clothes with harsh chemicals.
For those with sensitive skin, laundry products with toxic perfumes can be irritating and harmful. And it’s not just us. Once they enter the waterways, these chemicals harm marine life and biodiversity.
Our refillable detergents and fabric softeners from SESI are the complete opposite. They’re made from vegan, cruelty-free and biodegradable ingredients. Making them great for you and the planet.
SESI has a closed-loop system. It collects empty containers from Filling Good. Cleans them. And puts them back in circulation. From manufacturing to delivery, SESI’s operation is truly zero-waste!
When it comes to drying, avoid the tumble dryer. Stick your clothes outside instead (especially during the warmer months). You’ll find you won't need perfumed detergents since the fresh air does it for you.
Berkshire is beautiful, but it’s a county with the hardest water in the UK. And, you know what that means? Limescale.
Our kettles, coffee machines, sinks and showers fall victim to the scummy buildup. But, using common descalers could see us fall victim instead!
Descaling agents work because they’re corrosive. Which means they’re corrosive to the eyes and skin if they come into contact. Products also warn against ingestion. Ironic when they're advertised to descale kettles and coffee machines.
Luckily, there are several environmental, safe and easy alternatives.
Take white vinegar, for example. Yep, that’s it. Just half-fill your kettle with our refillable white vinegar for cleaning. Top the rest up with water and give it an hour. Make sure to rinse it out, otherwise, your next cup of tea may taste a bit odd.
You can also use citric acid in much the same way. Add one tablespoon to half a kettle of water. Leave to sit for an hour, rinse and enjoy your next cup limescale free.
We have a convenient plastic-free pouch of citric acid available from Eco Living. Or a refill option if you bring your own container.
The primary pollutant found in washing-up liquid (phosphates) is banned in the UK. But, some companies still use it. Some chemicals are harder to filter out at water treatment facilities. Anything we put down the skin can threaten aquatic species.
Phosphates, in particular, can cause a rapid increase in algae growth. This disrupts the ecosystem leading to biodiversity decline.
Doing the dishes doesn’t have to be dirty work. Whether you wash things by hand or have a dishwasher, Filling Good has effective, environmental products.
Hand washers, bring your own containers to refill with our Spiced Ginger washing-up liquid from SESI (trust us, it smells great!).
For those lucky enough to have a dishwasher, we’ve got a selection of plastic-free dishwasher tablets from EcoLeaf and Ocean Saver. Each comes in small cardboard boxes, which are easily recyclable and work well at low temperatures in hard water. We also have dishwasher salt and hard water rinse aid available as refills.
Out of all the cleaning products, the all-purpose cleaner works the hardest. It makes cleaning (and life) easier since you can use one product on multiple surfaces.
We have a lovely-smelling lavender and rosemary all-purpose cleaner from Miniml available as a refill. Use this anywhere in your home, knowing the ingredients are safe, eco-friendly and without nasty chemicals.
For more specific areas, we’ve got floor, toilet and a glass/window cleaner, also from Miniml. Bring your empty spray bottles and containers to refill!
Like SESI, Miniml has a closed-loop system. The products arrive in big containers, then picked up when empty to reuse again and again. Working with closed-loop companies means the supply chain is zero waste higher up. We provide our local community with award-winning, planet-friendly products. And, we are part of the plastic solution.
Fancy DIYing plastic-free natural cleaning products? We stock refills of bicarbonate soda, castile soap, white vinegar and citric acid. And, you better believe we have a range of plastic-free brushes, sponges and cloths to use with your chemical-free products.
So, if you're ready to ditch the chemicals and the plastic for your health and the planet - you know what to do. Find us on Maidenhead high street for all your eco-friendly cleaning needs.