Dear SafeMama: Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers

By Kristie Turck •  Published 08/06/08 •  3 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 12:21 am

Q: Hi there,
I love and use your site regularly. Thank you for taking the time to do it!
I have a question about floor cleaners. I have hardwood floors, two cats and a dog and a crawling baby. We have tons of animal hair and other dirt that the animals drag in and my baby is often covered in a fine layer of dog and cat hair and other dirt. I use the dry Swiffer sheets to get up some of the animal hair, but there is still other dirt I’d like to clean every once in a while. I like the ease of the wet Swiffer sheets, but not all the chemicals in them (especially with a crawling baby whose hands regularly go from floor to mouth and back again!). Are there any swiffer-like products that are both safe and easy to use?

I feel your pain sister, I really do. We have two dogs that will shed just to push my buttons, I’m convinced of it. And like you, I’m anti chemical in this house. My favorite floor cleaning tool is the new Shark Steam Mop. This probably falls under the energy-sucking, non-eco-friendly, unnecessary purchases type of thing, but honestly, I never really found a floor cleaner that was able to cut through the industrial strength drool that my lab puts out. This thing works really well and I never feel like my floor is one giant chemical afterwards. You definitely do need more than the two pads that it comes with, but I really love this thing. For dry cleaning, you can always get a microfiber mop and use that for sweeping, instead of Swiffers.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
12/07/2022 12:07 am GMT

Q: I recently ditched all of my alcohol-based hand sanitizers and replaced them with brands that contain Benzalkonium Chloride. But is that really safer? I don’t use it often, but when I am diapering on the run and don’t have access to soap and water it is a must. What do you suggest?

Au contraire! Benzalkonium Chloride is not safer. You know that old saying, you can put a dress on a pig? It’s just a different type of chemical. One that’s known for being allergenic and an irritant to the skin. My personal advice, and take it for what it’s worth, is to just use baby wipes. My favorite brand is Whole Foods 365 brand for when I’m on the go. Then again, I make no secret that I’m against hand sanitizers here. I think they do more harm than good. A wipe should suffice until you’re able to get to some soap and water. I mean, they even have the ability to get stains out. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of parenting.

Keep the questions coming!

Keep Reading