And what we use instead
Yeah, I know. Cleaning wipes are convenient, but they come at a huge cost to you and the environment. There's another downside to wipes you might not have considered: They can damage your furniture, your surfaces (and even your skin)!
Here's why I ditched the wipes and what I use instead:
1. Most Wipes are Woven with Plastic
There are some wipes out there that are biodegradable, but over 90% of them contain some form of plastic material like PET, polypropylene, or plastic resin. This is why they don't break down in your pipes or in sewers and landfill. They are an environmental nightmare.
What I use instead: For most household jobs, an old tea towel and a natural All-Purpose Cleaner are all you need. BTW: I also stopped buying microfiber cleaning cloths a long time ago, initially because they aren't absorbent, but finally because the synthetic fibers in them don't break down. Instead, I give my old dishcloths a second life by cutting them in half for cleaning. When they finally become too grotty to use, I can compost them or throw them away guilt-free because natural fibers (like cotton) are 100% biodegradable.
2. “Quats” and Overkill
Some Wipes are "Anti-Bacterial," which sounds great if someone in the house is immuno-compromised or has been sick. One of the most common antibacterial chemicals in wipes are "Quats" (short for quaternary ammonium compounds). These are literally pesticides, and overusing them for daily cleaning can trigger asthma attacks and encourage the growth of "superbugs" - antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Yikes! For everyday cleaning, you just don't need it.
What I use instead: Disposable Paper. When I contracted Swine Flu in 2009 (remember that pandemic?) We were living in a tiny house with one shared bathroom between my Husband and our two young boys. I was able to stay home while fighting it, but every time I went to the bathroom, I sprayed everything, and I mean everything: seat, tank, handle, & faucets with MH Bathroom Cleaner. I used toilet paper and paper towels to wipe everything I touched and took my own towel back to my room when I washed my hands. I'm pleased to report that nobody got sick! To this day, I spray and wipe the toilet at least once a day using cleaner + toilet paper. It keeps everything clean and fresh at all times!
3. Kids and Pets
Young children learn about the world by putting things in their mouths. So do pets. You wouldn't dream of washing your wine glasses with chemical wipes, so why clean toys and other surfaces that your loved ones might lick? Yuck!
What I use instead: All of our M-H products are OK to lick. They won't taste great, but they are non-toxic. If I'm polishing a wine glass, I will definitely use our glass cleaner (even on the inside of the glass). It leaves a clean, streak-free shine on everything with two simple ingredients: Alcohol and water. And zero yucky taste.
Calm down. That piece of raw chicken isn’t radioactive! Cleaning your kitchen tools and surfaces with antibacterial wipes is just a really bad idea (see number 3 above).
What I do instead: If you’re using a wooden chopping board, for prepping meals (including raw meat) then hot water and gentle dish soap are all you need clean it. I use a dish brush instead of a sponge because sponges are bacteria farms.
5. Wipes and wood are Frenemies
You may be tempted to use a cleaning wipe in and around your floors. Don't go there. They're not designed to clean large areas, and regular contact with cleaning wipes will dull and degrade your surfaces over time. They contain alcohol and other harsh chemicals that will eventually compromise wood, marble, granite, lacquer, tiles, brass, chrome, and any other surface with a protective coating.
What I use instead: A gentle floor cleaner that won’t harm your surfaces. This natural floor cleaner can be diluted to match the surface you want to clean. You're in control! Please remember that less is more when it comes to wooden floors.
6. Dry Skin
Ten years ago, Baby wipes were all the rage for grownups looking for an extra clean. Then COVID hit, and Hand Sanitizing wipes became the solution for on-the-go protection. But both types of wipes contain alcohol and can lead to dry, cracked skin. Nothing is better than a proper soap-and-water wash but sometimes, you need something a little more portable between bathing.
What I use instead: I feel weird if this isn't in my bathroom and my bag. I just don't feel clean without it!
Look, we all want a comfortable and clean home. I started this company because my youngest son developed allergic sensitivities to the ingredients in traditional cleaning products. Because of that, we run everything we make and sell through a safe and sustainable filter. If it doesn't work or has a net-negative impact on the planet, we just won't sell it. We're here to make things better for your family (and ours)!