Child-Safe Cleaning

child friendly cleaning

Keeping an area clean and safe for children is a tall order. After all, regardless if they are at home, in daycare, or at their parent’s workplaces, kids would touch and put anything in their mouths. This curiosity is part of their development, but that doesn’t mean that making sure they are safe is a simple and easy task. Likewise, the process isn’t very straightforward. 

There are plenty of cleaning products that contain toxic substances and have not been proven safe. In fact, out of the 62,000 substances that are active ingredients for most cleaning products, only 300 have gone through proper testing procedures. Even common household chemicals like bleach and alcohol can cause severe and irreparable health issues for children. 

Again, when it comes to our little ones, it is always best to err on the side of safety. In this guide, we will be exploring proper cleaning and disinfection for children, including the chemicals to avoid and the best way to maintain heavily used surfaces. 

Toxic Ingredients to Be Wary Of

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of toxic substances lurking within standard household cleaning products. These substances aren’t safe for adults – doubly so for children. Children are more likely to experience worse adverse effects from prolonged exposure to the substances below:


Phthalates are a common ingredient for most proprietary fragrances companies include in their cleaning products. If a cleaning substance is scented, then there is a high chance that it contains phthalates. 

Phthalates are known to affect the endocrine system. They can cause reduced sperm count in men and cause allergies, asthma, and even cancer. When scoping out new cleaning materials, it is best to choose completely unscented variants. 


Triclosan is often found in dishwashing liquids and soaps that are labeled “antibacterial.” It is a very aggressive antibacterial agent that has been known to encourage the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Some studies show this substance to affect the endocrine system. It is also suspected to be a carcinogen. 

Even in the light of the current global pandemic, regular soap and simple detergents are enough to ward off pathogens. 


Bleach is a powerful corrosive substance. There are several ways that it can pose a danger to any space. Upon inhalation, bleach can irritate the respiratory system. It can also irritate the skin and eyes upon usage. At its worse, ingesting bleach causes pulmonary edema, a coma, and eventually death. 


A shiny bathroom is nice to look at. However, the shine is often achieved through the use of ammonia. Ammonia is a powerful irritant. It has an almost immediate effect on people with respiratory issues. It can cause breathing difficulties and can trigger asthma attacks. If mixed with bleach, it produces the toxic gas – chloroform. 


Often used to clean swimming pools, chlorine in high doses can affect the thyroid glands. It can also irritate the skin and exacerbate the symptoms of people who suffer from eczema. 

Best Practices in Child-Safe Cleaning and Maintenance

Maintaining a child-safe space isn’t easy, but it is doable. There are plenty of small and inexpensive ways to ensure that the kids in your home and workspace aren’t exposed to harmful chemicals that can affect their health and stunt their growth:

Choose Safer Alternatives

The most effective way to protect children from harmful substances is to do away with them altogether. Choosing safer and natural cleaning alternatives is less harmful to your health and the environment, to boot. Look for products that are labeled “green,” or “non-toxic.” Make sure to check the ingredients list just to make sure. 

If finding safe cleaning products isn’t possible in your area, it is relatively easy to make some for yourself. Substances like lemon, vinegar, and baking soda are known to have cleaning properties. They are cheap and accessible. 

Dilute Your Cleaning Products

If using toxic cleaning products cannot be avoided altogether, diluting these substances with water is an excellent trick to minimize their effects on the health of your household. Often, even diluted, these products clean surfaces with ease. Not only does it keep your children safe, but it is also a great money-saver. 

Avoid Taking Labels Off of Bottles

One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying and storing cleaning products is taking off the labels. Labels contain important information on the safe use of these products. We know that it is tempting to decant cleaning supplies to make them prettier, but there is always a risk that a child would ingest these products. A well-labeled bottle is worth the eyesore. 

Store Cleaning Products Properly

organizing cleaning products

Again, children have a natural curiosity. They also want to touch, hold, feel, and even taste new things. To avoid any accidents, make sure to store cleaning products in hard-to-reach spaces. Only bring them out when they are about to be used, and keep them once you are done using them, 

Stick to a Cleaning Regimen

Often, it isn’t about the cleaning products that you use; it is more about the frequency in which you use them. Cleaning regularly means that you don’t have to use strong corrosive chemicals in order to deal with soot that has already seeped its way through the surfaces. Having and sticking to a cleaning regimen allows you the option to do away with strong substances altogether. 

Keep Emergency Numbers Handy 

Accidents happen. Especially if you are dealing with children, you simply cannot predict your actions. Sometimes, your due diligence isn’t enough. Having emergency numbers handy can prevent accidents from becoming more severe than it already is. Make sure these numbers are visible and try to include instructions on how to use the list. 

Adopting a child-safe cleaning routine for your home and workspace might seem laborious. There are specific steps that you wouldn’t otherwise take if you are only dealing with adults. Nevertheless, the benefits of implementing these changes to your maintenance process extend beyond the health of children. At the end of the day, these precautions can save lives – it is better to take them down than regret not doing so later on.