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5 Most Common Toxic Cleaning Products

Posted on August 5, 2022

Take it from a professional carpet cleaning service: you do not want to mess around with dangerous chemicals. When it comes to cleaning where these chemicals are involved, don’t get creative. Don’t experiment. There are very serious health risks to consider.

1. Ammonia

In low doses ammonia can severely irritate your mucus membranes, such as your nose and lungs, along with your eyes. In the case of ammonia, the irritation is in the form of a burning sensation. Higher levels of exposure can result in blindness, lasting lung damage, and even death.

Each year, many homes have fatal or near-fatal accidents where ammonia is mixed with bleach during cleaning. This results in fumes that are commonly referred to as mustard gas (used in WWI before the ban on chemical warfare). Gas such as this is extremely dangerous to breathe.

2. Chlorine

You will find chlorine in many toilet bowl cleaners, mildew removers, and detergents used for laundry and dishes. You never want to get any chemical in your eyes or orifices, but chlorine can cause irritation without entering the body. Skin irritation is common with chlorine.

With enough exposure you can suffer from pulmonary edema (or lung congestion), which causes your lungs to fill with fluid. This can cause death, but even without that finality, it can create lasting harm to your lungs and respiratory tract.

3. Bleach

If you are cleaning tile, bleach may seem like the perfect solution, as it even lightens surfaces. But sodium hypochlorite is toxic itself, with the standard irritation you would expect to eyes and throat in small doses. The risk of skin irritation makes wearing gloves a necessity when handling bleach.

Similar to chlorine, you are at risk of pulmonary edema if exposure to bleach is severe enough. Additionally, you may suffer from gastric perforation. That is a fancy way of saying that a hole can develop in the wall of your organ. In this case, your stomach. As was mentioned earlier, NEVER mix bleach with ammonia.

4. Certain Spot Removers

There are spot removers that use ethylene glycol monobutyl acetate, which you also do not want to get on your skin. In minor instances of exposure, you could suffer from a cough. It can also cause headaches and even feelings of nausea. This is why cleaning up upholstery stains or rug cleaning, suggests a light application of most spot removers.

Enough exposure, and you can damage your kidneys. And even more alarming, these spot removers can damage your red blood cells themselves. So always be very careful while handling spot removers, and check if what you are using contains ethylene glycol monobutyl acetate.

5. Grease & Paint Removers

You may have seen trisodium phosphate branded as “TSP.” This is sold as a grease and paint remover. Commonly you would not use this indoors, removing paint from outside brick or concrete. With even low levels, you could have trouble breathing and even have your throat swell.

This substance can also harm your kidneys as well as your heart. Deaths related to trisodium phosphate are often heart or kidney related. TSP would not be something you would use during a DIY carpet cleaning, even if you are dealing with a paint or grease stain.

Closing Thoughts 

Any time you use a chemical without understanding the risks, you place yourself in danger. And even if you come out of the encounter unscathed, what happens to what you are cleaning? In most cases, you are going to damage surfaces, especially fabric surfaces.

Don’t make the mistake of improperly using toxic cleaning products. If you need help with cleaning, contact Top Carpet Cleaning in Irvine today, and we can make you a trouble-free appointment.

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