The Ingredients You Should Avoid In Your Home Cleaning Regime

Annie and Tony McWilliam are the co-founders of Colt & Willow, the plant-based cleaning brand taking social media by storm. Seeing the daunting list of chemicals and toxins within the everyday products found in the cupboard under the sink, they wanted to create a range that gave the same high quality clean without causing any harm to them, their children or the planet. And so Colt & Willow was born and now counts some of the UK’s biggest influencers and personalities as fans.


Amidst lockdown and the onset of extensive hand washing there has been a surge of people committing to deep cleaning their homes and taking their normal cleaning habits up a notch. Understandably, as we all want to rid our hands, homes and lives in general of all bacteria. But the sinister side of cleaning lurks in the cupboard under the sink in the bottles most of us reach for regularly. Almost always filled with toxins and chemicals that can be harmful to both our families and the environment, there’s no legal requirement for brands to list what’s actually in their products. Meaning the reality of your favourite sprays and polishes is more toxic than we are led to believe.

In order to ensure your home cleaning is still thorough there are many plant-based alternatives now on the market which offer a thorough clean, without risking harm to ourselves and our children. With an increase in awareness towards sustainable, non-toxic products that offer the same results without any of the harmful effects, there’s very little reason to remain loyal to the flashy brands and products you’ve probably used for years. It’s a case of everything to gain and nothing to lose.

With that in mind there’s some key ingredients that you want to look out for, and replace where possible:

 Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) - these are the things that cause the lovely ‘lather’ in your products, the bubbles. But the downside is that they can strip away essential oils from the skin which can leave it dry and uncomfortable. Lots of people with dry skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis will avoid products with SLS because it’s believed that alternatives are kinder to the skin.


 Phosphates – while naturally occurring levels of phosphates are actually vital to our existence, too much can be attributed to things like kidney damage, osteoporosis and many
other serious health issues. For the eco system, too much can cause huge disruption with things like imbalances in fish, algae and plants.


 Parabens – used in a huge amount of cleaning products to prolong their shelf life and stop bacteria growing, parabens are very easily absorbed into the skin and blood stream. They’ve been shown to mimic estrogen and potentially disrupt normal hormonal issues. There are also countless studies showing the links between parabens and cancers such as breast cancer and fertility problems.


 Propylene Glycol – a key product used in antifreeze, paint and e-cigarettes. While there is some research into its toxicity that remains outdated, there’s something unnerving about using products around ourselves and our children that are used in these types of products.


 Petrochemicals – although essentially petrochemicals are organic and derived from petroleum and natural gases, they’re still in a category of chemicals that have been linked to a range of diseases such as hormone disruption, neurological diseases, gastrointestinal upset contact dermatitis and other allergies.

So, when it comes to the ingredients within your cleaning products it’s best to ask yourself if you’d be happy to rub these things into your skin or your child’s? If the answer is no then it’s time to make some alternative selections.

With a range of plant-based cleaning products without any of these nasties, Colt & Willow have harnessed natural ingredients that replace the harsh chemicals listed while also delivering the same, high level results. Plant-based cleaning products are the risk-free way forward for you and the environment.