Due to the toxic nature of many conventional cleaning chemicals, there is virtually no completely safe age for any human being to be using them, particularly not children whose respiratory systems are especially sensitive to caustic fumes. However, this does not mean that your child should not be included in the clean-up chores that will be the foundation of her life skills as an adult.
Children as young as five years old can be given a spray bottle filled with a mixture of 50/50 white vinegar and water or 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water. Both of these natural, safe, inexpensive and completely non-toxic cleaning agents can be used for dusting and disinfecting within the home. Should the child accidentally ingest small amounts of the spray, he is not at risk because both of these substances are safe. They are also unpleasant to taste and will teach a child to keep his mouth closed when operating a spray bottle. Include young children in clean up by teaching them to use natural, non-toxic bar soap, a wash cloth and a bucket of warm water. Parents should teach young children to wash with soap and follow with a rinse.
While rubbing alcohol and white vinegar disinfect, sometimes the home needs cleaning with an agent that will cut grease and oil. Luckily, there are a myriad of products on the market made by eco-friendly companies whose products are mostly natural, reasonably non-toxic and scented with essential oils instead of caustic synthetic perfumes. Seventh Generation and Ecover are examples of brands that produce natural, non-toxic cleaners. A child as young as five could use these under close supervision. A child as young as eight could potentially use the product unsupervised because by age eight, a child has awareness that ingesting certain liquids can cause harm.
Children who are old enough to read product warnings themselves and wear protective devices like soft face masks and rubber gloves may use truly toxic, caustic chemicals like Windex, commercial laundry detergents, toilet and drain cleaners, bleach and ammonia. Use should only be in a well-ventilated area with close adult supervision. The average age for this level of proficiency varies based on a child’s maturity, fine motor skills and ability to follow directions.
Carpet cleaning in Orange County is most successfully accomplished by hiring a professional carpet cleaning service that uses industrial grade cleaning machines. This will save your family from inhaling potentially caustic carpet cleaning agents.