Fragrance in Cleaning Products

Fragrance in Cleaning Products

By Amy Willard

We have been brainwashed to believe that clean “smells” good.  Taglines are on nearly every cleaning product from bleach to all purpose sprays that it will make your home “clean and fresh smelling”.  Fragrance in cleaning products is nothing new, but the truth of those seemingly tiny ingredients is that they pack a powerful health punch.  And not in a good way.

Is Fragrance Bad?

Not all odors are bad.  Imagine a fresh rose, or a fully bloomed lilac bush.  Heavenly, right? Using these delightful smells to cover foul ones goes back for millennia…when frequent bathing or good sanitation practices hadn’t really caught on yet.  Upscale homes were filled daily with fresh flowers, when available, to offset cooking and personal odors in the enclosed spaces.  Oils infused with natural flower scents (the beginnings of modern essential oils) were applied to the hair and neck (pulse points) to disguise body odors.  The better the perfume, the “cleaner” one could seem to be.  Again, frequent bathing didn’t become popular until the middle 1700’s, and even then, access to that much water was an aristocratic privilege.

At some point, it was decided that some of these fragranced oils could be added to soaps including laundry soaps. As these were more widely available, not just to the wealthy, the need for more perfumes became a booming business.  Since it takes (in some cases tons) vast quantities of flowers to extract the sweet-smelling essence, other ways to create good smelling components began.

What is in “Fragrance”

When you see the ingredient “fragrance” on any product, that is all that is required by law to be on the label. But that one part…can contain up to 300 more ingredients.  Chemicals. Chemicals that sometimes include known harmful substances like phthalates that have been linked to some cancers like breast cancer.  Many of these chemicals cannot be eliminated from the body easily and can cause or aggravate illness.  So using multiple products with “fragrance” in it, including lotions, perfumes, and scented candles can layer and layer your exposure.  Fragrance in the cleaning products also puts more in the air that, while smelling nice, can contribute to an overload of toxicity.

How Can I Cut Back?

“Clean” has no smell and we can help you get your home cleaned without chemical cleaning products.  We know you love your smells, but they really aren’t good for you and your family.  Using (truly) green cleaning products and methods is better!

Photo credit: Google images

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