Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The great debate between mild vs safe

Mild vs Safe, on the surface, these sound like the same thing. In my opinion, they are worlds apart. In cleaning, I believe, safe means it is not dangerous or detrimental to people, pets and the environment.

To me safe means, if my dog Sally accidentally gets the cleaner spilled on her, drinks it or licks it off the window it will have no detrimental effect to her. It is safe. She is just as healthy after the incident as she was before. There will be no long term or short term ill effects.

Mild sounds safe but there is a difference. To me, mild means it will not damage the surface you are cleaning. There are many products that say they are safe. Safe for you. Vinegar is usually considered a very safe product. Although, spill it on an open wound and you might disagree- it burns, right? It is a food, you can eat it and it is fairly safe if we eat it. But is it mild??? This is the question of the day. Is safe and mild the same thing. I say no!

To me, safe won't damage you, mild won't damage your surfaces. Going back to vinegar. Most consider it a safe product and therefore it must be mild. I beg to differ. I get about a call a week from this "safe" product causing damage to your surfaces. Vinegar is a food, but it is also an acid. An acid with a pH of around 3. If you have an acid sensitive surface such as marble, travertine, or grout this product will etch and cause damage. Not so safe for your surfaces!

This little equation goes both ways. I was searching for a mild product when I found a great example. I neutral disinfectant that was "mild" on natural stone. This meant it would not damage the stone. I looked up its Material Safety Data Sheet. This little mild product that would not damage your stone but was definitely not so safe for you. It has a toxicity level or rating of 3! The scale on an MSDS sheet is between 0-4. 0 being non toxic and 4 being poison, 3 is considered very dangerous.

As you clean and care for your home, I always recommend you start with the most mild and safe means possible . You can always work up from here but this is the best place to start and stay as long as you can. Make sure your cleaners and proceedures are mild for your surfaces and safe for you and your family.

You are always welcome to call on us to help you .

Wishing you a healthy and happy home,

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