Can you clean the house when you’re pregnant? Yes, you can clean your home when pregnant if you use caution and safe cleaning products.
Should you clean the house when you’re pregnant? We’ll leave that up to you, but if you want to clean the house when you’re pregnant, we can help.
The good news is that some household cleaning products are safe to use while pregnant as long as you keep their use to a minimum.
Many laundry detergents, all-purpose cleaners, and window cleaners are safe under most conditions. But when you’re pregnant, we know you want to do everything you can to keep your baby and yourself healthy.
We’ll start with which cleaning products you should avoid while pregnant and wrap up with safe, eco-friendly alternatives.
Why Are Some Cleaning Products Not Safe to Use While Pregnant?
Allen Rathey, Director at the Indoor Health Council™ states: “Since risk = hazard x exposure + vulnerability; pregnant moms are exceptionally vulnerabile to risk as their bodies are taxed by hosting a developing baby. The baby itself is vulnerable because of its smaller size and weight.”
“Since the endocrine system makes hormones that are potent in tiny amounts, chemicals in cleaning solutions – even in tiny amounts – may act as endocrine disrupters and mimic hormones. Rule of thumb: fewer chemicals often equals less risk, though it is important to recognize that sometimes it is better to use a chemical that kills harmful germs as the lesser of two evils.” Rathey explains.
These harsh chemicals can potentially cause nausea, vomiting, and even miscarriage. Some chemicals can also cause birth defects or developmental problems in your child.
What Cleaning Products Should Your Avoid When Pregnant?
You’ll want to avoid using bleach, oven cleaner, tile cleaner, and even air fresheners when pregnant because they contain harsh, potentially unhealthy ingredients. Also, products that are extremely acidic, alkaline, or very, strong-smelling chemical products should also be avoided without gloves, facemasks, and eye protection.
“While it is more important to avoid harsh chemicals all together, it is often more a matter of reducing exposure as well. Using proper ventilation and covering your skin and face (gloves, long sleeves, goggles) may be more reasonable than to avoid all chemicals.” states Rathey.
To protect yourself while pregnant, you should also avoid using any products that contain the following:
Glycol ethers are toxic compounds often found in home cleaning products like carpet, floor, and oven cleaners. The glycol ethers used in cleaners may be listed on product labels as 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME).
These organic solvents are associated with miscarriage, decreased male fertility, congenital disabilities, and other health issues. Because these chemicals can be absorbed through inhalation and the skin, they can be particularly dangerous when pregnant.
Phthalates are toxic chemicals often found in various cleaning products, air fresheners, and dish soaps as fragrance additives. Prenatal exposure to phthalates may pose a risk of congenital reproductive anomalies in males and instances of preterm birth for both sexes.
Because phthalates are often listed as “fragrance” on cleaning product labels, there is a good chance any cleaning product labeled as such contains phthalates.
Regardless of the ingredients, avoiding aerosol and other spray cleaners and products while pregnant is recommended. Prenatal exposure to spray cleaners can increase the risk of asthma due to various elements, including ammonia, alcohol, chlorine, and sodium hydroxide.
While these chemicals may cause other health issues, the risk of asthma decreases when cleaners containing these ingredients are not sprayed.
Safe Cleaning Products for When You’re Pregnant
We recommend using cleaning products or homemade cleaners that contain natural and safe ingredients when you’re pregnant. There are plenty of non-toxic, yet effective cleaning products you can make with common household items.
Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and white vinegar are three of the most popular ingredients in homemade cleaners because they can clean, disinfect, and more. Water and microfiber cloths can also go a long way, unless you really need to disinfect.
Hydrogen peroxide is an eco-friendly, natural cleaner, antiviral, antibacterial, and whitener that is safe to use while pregnant. The common three percent solution found in stores is potent enough to clean and disinfect everything from toilets and toothbrushes to showers and surfaces.
Baking soda is a safe, natural household cleaner, deodorizer, and whitener you can use dry or mixed with water. Use baking soda right out of the box to freshen upholstery, carpets, and mattresses.
For a commercial oven cleaner alternative, a baking soda and water paste can do wonders for removing caked-on buildup and grime. A baking soda and water paste can also whiten grout and remove stains from hard surfaces.
Distilled white vinegar is a non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaner ideal for cleaning while pregnant. White vinegar is also a natural deodorizer and antifungal, making it the perfect ingredient for a safe all-purpose cleaner.
Use vinegar in the laundry, instead of bleach, to whiten clothes, and on tile, instead of commercial cleaners, to bring back the shine. Vinegar can also minimize the presence of germs on surfaces and other items, and it makes a terrific no-streak glass cleaner.
One hack from MaidForYou is to use is a spritz bottle of vinegar with an orange peel. The citrus in the orange peels helps to remove grease and grime, while the vinegar is a natural product that is great for cleaning.
Safe Commercial Cleaning Products for Pregnancy
While DIY natural cleaning products can offer a safe and eco-friendly way to protect yourself and your baby while cleaning, there are more green cleaning products available than ever. If you choose to use commercial cleaning products to clean while pregnant, always read the label and ensure you understand what each ingredient does.
Be sure to look for cleaning products with Safer Choice or Green Seal ratings and products without solvents like butyl cellusolve or fragrances. To give you a headstart, here are proven commercial cleaning products that are safe to use while pregnant:
I’ve been using Mom Remedy cleaners for years now and love them! This is a perfect all-purpose cleaner for kitchens, bathrooms, and even upholstery! It’s the perfectly balanced solution to easily remove any stains without dealing with harmful chemicals.
You can use it on your dirty clothes, sofa spills, pet stains on your carpet, and anywhere else where stains don’t belong. Hydrogen peroxide combined with plant based ingredients creates a cleaner parents can use around the house without any worry
Some cleaning projects require scrubbing, and Bon-Ami’s powder cleanser is an ideal alternative to harsh, toxic chemicals in many cleaners. The scrubbing powder contains no synthetic fragrance or dyes and is biodegradable and hypoallergenic.
Mrs. Meyer’s is known for its safe, natural cleaning products, and their toilet bowl cleaner is no exception. The cleaning product contains no phthalates, chlorine, or other potentially dangerous ingredients and relies on essential oils and other plant-based ingredients for healthy cleaning.
arbOUR just announced the debut of its eco-effective professional grade cleaning and laundry collection. The Everyday Spray is safe to use on all types of surfaces, fabrics, and other materials, this multi-surface cleaner removes stubborn stains and odors while neutralizing a broad spectrum of germs and bacteria.
ArbOUR is a woman-owned- and women-led brand. Current packaging is BPA-free and fully recyclable, and will continue to transition to newer, more sustainable packaging in the future.
arbOUR Products started as a labor of love by a mom, former product and brand developer, and lifelong seeker of a “better way” to clean. Unable to find what she was looking for on grocery and superstore shelves, she resolved to develop her own solution of commercial-strength cleaning products that actually work.
Eco-friendly, safe, non-toxic All purpose cleaner, degreaser!
Red Juice is environmental perfection! Ingredients include seaweed and soybean extracts, palm kernels, palm oils. Absolutely NO petrochemicals (unlike many leading brands in the “green cleaning” space). It’s also USDA A-1 rated for use around food!
Red Juice is tough on grime, yet non-toxic, odor-free, and biodegradable (making it safe on marble, granite and other natural stone surfaces).
Meliora Cleaning Products is a highly-recommended brand and has been featured extensively in safe-for-preganancy guides including this one from reputable nonprofit MADESAFE. MadeSafe_HealthyBabyGuide.pdf
Mighty Nest ensures its products are safe for families to create a healthy home. Every product has been thoroughly researched to be free of concerning chemicals and hand-picked for you: no phthalates, no parabens, and lead safe. Making healthy, green living simple and sustainable.
Fit Organic clothes detergent is an all-natural product with no synthetic fragrances or dyes. The plant and mineral-based formula is tough on laundry stains and dirt and is safe to use while pregnant.
Cleaning Chores You Should Avoid When Pregnant
Using safe and natural household cleaning products is a healthy choice that makes all the difference, but how you clean while pregnant also affects you and your baby. While it may be tempting to stick to your regular housekeeping routine, cleaning the house while pregnant and overdoing it can be harmful.
Any cleaning chores that require lifting should be approached with caution because your center of gravity has changed, and whether you notice it or not, your strength has declined. If you must lift things while pregnant, keep the load light and use your legs to protect your back and balance.
As your pregnancy progresses, vacuuming, mopping, and washing clothes may require too much bending and stooping.
In addition, cleaning a cat litter box is a no-no due to possible exposure to toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is a disease that is the result of infection with the ‘toxoplasma gondii’ parasite.
Even when you know which cleaning products to avoid when you’re pregnant and have safe alternatives on hand, there are some cleaning jobs you may want to skip. Minimizing exposure to harsh chemicals is a must when pregnant, but avoiding overexertion is also essential.