Are cleaning products safe during and after use for my health?
It depends solely on each product or the category of the product separately. Certainly, there are products that are somewhat or not at all harmful to the users' health. For example, cleaning products marked 'eco' and fully biodegradable cleaning products, are presumed and considered safe products. All industry manufactured cleaning products carry on their labels all the requisite information and markings related to their proper storage, safety directions, and directions for use. The label also carries specific application instructions on how to use the product correctly, in order for the product to perform to its specifications and to avoid unwanted situations. Read, get informed and choose whether to use them or not. Follow in detail all the instructions that you will find on the packaging of each individual cleaner.
What is a biodegradable cleaner? Do they clean effectively?
A biodegradable product, (in our case a cleaning product), is a product that is capable of being broken down (decompose) rapidly, by the action of microorganisms. The group of biodegradable substances includes products manufactured from natural materials. The biodegradability of the products does not directly relate to their cleaning action/power which means that they clean effectively.
What are special purpose cleaners? Are those cleaners stronger that ordinary ones?
They are cleaners specially designed and created to effectively attack and eliminate difficult to remove oily or watery stains that have not being cleaned (usually) for extended periods of time and have penetrated into the surface pores. Presumably, these types of special purpose cleaners are more effective than ordinary cleaners but also specifically designed as not to cause any wear or damage to the surfaces which they are designed to clean (e.g marble surfaces), if and when all their directions of use are strictly followed.
How can I ensure that cleaning an object or a surface, will not harm it?
First of all, choose and trust a brand name that makes reliable products, and particularly those that carry credible certifications. Carefully read the packaging label of the product (cleaning product in this case) that you intend to use. Most cleaners usually describe the implementation surfaces (and sometimes even the objects) of the cleaner that can be used effectively and safely and draws attention to specific applications, objects, and surfaces that are not recommended to be used on. However, an additional good practice -if such a possibility exists- is to actually test the product on a small, and not so visible, area of the surface to be cleaned. Then, and only if you do not see a problem, continue the application of the cleaner on the remaining surface.
How important is to follow all instructions for use and safety directions for each cleaning product?
It is equally important to follow both the instructions for use and the safety directions for each and every cleaning product. It is also very important to choose products that include these types of instructions on their container or packaging. Compliance with the instructions for use ensures the best possible cleaning outcome but also, in most cases, prevents any damaging effects or wear onto the surfaces to be cleaned. On the other hand, following safety directions protects the user of the cleaner. It will also protect anyone else within the space during the cleaning process, (in some cases even after cleaning). That protection refers to adverse reactions to their health, immediate or over time (allergic reactions, damage to the respiratory system, rashes and any other form of skin damage etc.).
What should I be looking out for when using cleaning products indoors?
Make sure that the room is adequately ventilated while cleaning. Maintain that ventilation for some time after you are done cleaning. You must remove yourself from the space if you feel that fumes of the product are causing you, and maybe others in the space, any kind of discomfort. It is a good practice not to have any children, elderly or people with chronic pulmonary condition or skin condition located in the area since potential fumes generated during or after cleaning might adversely affect them.
Where and how should I store the cleaning products in my house?
Store all cleaning products and supplies away from the reach of children. Store them in places with normal temperature conditions.
How often should I use cleaning products/how can I calculate the frequency of their use? Is there a way to lessen the use of cleaning products?
When dealing with residential and/or private spaces, the frequency of use of cleaning products is usually a subjective matter. However, the frequency of using cleaning products for commercial spaces also depends on the hygiene requirements for those spaces, as they arise from the appropriate legislation (restaurants, hospitals, hotels etc.). The use of the space, coming in contact with or being adjacent to surfaces with pollutants, the ambient conditions of the space (relative humidity, adequate ventilation, lighting etc.), the condition of the surfaces, the existence of waterproofing on the surfaces or not, and possibly other special factors are all parameters that determine both our decision to clean the area and the frequency with which cleaning is planned to be carried out.
What should I do If someone accidentally swallows a cleaning product? What should I do if the cleaning product or its fumes come in direct contact with the skin or the eyes and create redness, rash or burn?
In case of ingesting a cleaning product seek immediate medical attention or contact the Poison Control Center at the number provided on the product packaging. The label on the packaging of the cleaning product must be readily available to show, as it contains vital information in case treatment is needed.