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Cleaning is essential for cleaning frequently touched surfaces in your home. You want to keep them germ-free and spotless. In an effort to do this, you may reach for the most regularly available product you see at eye-level in the grocery store or on Amazon. But most popular and cheap cleaning products contain bleach. And bleach can do more harm than good for your home and your health.

Reasons not to use bleach

1. Bleach can be dangerous to breathe in because of the intense fumes that are released when poured out and used in mass quantities. When you regularly breathe in fumes from bleach, your respiratory tract and lungs can react negatively and become irritated, causing a disruption in your body. This can eventually lead to complications in previously healthy people, and can exacerbate conditions for people who already have respiratory issues, like asthma.

2. When bleach mixes with other household chemicals it can cause a chemical reaction that can be harmful to you. The fumes and gasses that form due to mixture of chemicals can create a harmful environment where it may become difficult to breathe, especially if combined indoors. As a rule of thumb, bleach should never be mixed with vinegar, ammonia, rubbing alcohol, and many other common household products.

3. When bleach is used in mass quantities, especially in industrial settings, it can be released into the environment and wreak havoc on bodies of water. Bleach can severely harm wildlife and pollute our oceans, causing a long-lasting effect on our earth. It also tends to linger in the environment for a long time, sometimes even years, which can cause a semi-permanent imbalance of our ecosystem. 

What to use instead of bleach

Instead of using bleach, reach for something more natural. Something that won't harm you or the environment. 

Vinegar is a great alternative to bleach. It has powerful cleaning abilities and works wonderfully in home settings. While it does have a strong smell, it can be diluted with water and still work wonders on cleaning surfaces around the home without harming your health or the environment.

Orange Oil is another great surface cleaner. It's perfect for degreasing and wiping away dirt, and it's safe for all surfaces in the house, including fabric and upholstery. The best thing about orange oil is that it smells delectable, a stark contrast to bleach's chemical, toxic fume-smell. 

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