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So Fresh and So Clean

3 Ingredients to Try to Avoid in Your Cleaning Products

So Fresh and So Clean BY liz 05/26/2016


Before she founded her essential-oil-based line of all-purpose cleaners Saint Olio, Sherri Kaven thought what she was using to wipe down her counters was environmentally friendly. “I started actually looking up the ingredients in this supposedly more natural spray, and it had all the same stuff I was trying to avoid,” Sherri says. Ok, so what exactly does she try to steer clear of? Read on, read on... [Ed. note: We feel it’s important to add here that these are just considerations! We don’t have PhDs in anything besides really good taste.]



“Pretty much anytime you look on the back of a bottle, be it personal care or cleaning products, you’ll find these. Perfume, laundry detergent, you name it. I think the biggest problem with synthetic fragrances is that they contain phthalates, which is a chemical that’s included to make the scent last longer. Essential oils will eventually oxidize in the air, and the smell will fade, which is normal. These chemicals prevent that reaction. There’s a lot of debate about them, but it’s been suggested that they aren’t great for your endocrine system. My first and foremost goal when starting my line was to create something using only non-toxic scent.”



“Of course everyone wants their cleaner to have antibacterial properties—it’s important if you’re washing your cutting board or your kitchen sink after cutting up a chicken or something. But unfortunately, many things marketed as disinfectants contain triclosan. It’s a pesticide, and it’s everywhere these days, even in handsoap. It acts like an antibiotic, so using it too much will likely lead to more resistant germs. Studies have indicated that just plain soap and water can clean things just as well. Saint Olio uses some good old hydrogen peroxide, which kills pretty much anything on the spot, as well as botanical ingredients that are germ-killing. For example, our Neroli spray has geranium oil, which is a great naturally occurring antiseptic—it’s even really good for clearing up blemishes.”



“One thing I never thought of when buying home products is that most things on the shelf have synthetic colors. Most of us worry about that more for things like makeup or food, but they’re used all over the place. It’s important because anything you’re using in your house is going to leave residue in your environment. You know how when you buy a plastic shower curtain, and you first hang it up, it smells? That’s called off-gassing. The same thing happens with cleaning traces, and it’s not great for your air quality. The cleaning industry in America is pretty unregulated—Europe and Japan have banned many ingredients that are still okay to use here. So you really have to do your own research. I will say that Whole Foods has their own, really stringent guidelines, so it can be a good place to start looking if you want to replace what you’re currently using.”




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