How to Clean Safely During Pregnancy

Three Parts:Avoiding Certain Cleaning Products and ActivitiesUsing Safe Cleaning ProductsMaking Your Own Cleaning Products

It can be so hard to keep up with all that you have to do when you are pregnant. Part of that difficulty is keeping yourself, and your baby, safe as you go through your various household chores. What products should you avoid? What products can you use safely? It's important to figure this out so you have one less thing to worry about during pregnancy.

Part 1
Avoiding Certain Cleaning Products and Activities

  1. 1
    Talk to your doctor. Whenever you have questions about what you should and shouldn't do during pregnancy, it's best to go to your doctor for answers. This is especially true if you have complicating factors with your pregnancy, which may mean that you need to take special care.
    • Ask your doctor about cleaning products and cleaning techniques you should use. Your doctor may not know the answer to all of your questions off their top of their head. However, they should be able to do a little bit of research and get back to you with their educated answer.
  2. 2
    Avoid certain cleaners. Some cleaners can be very toxic to you, as well as to your baby, but some are not. However, there is no universal agreement on what is dangerous to you and your baby, but it's best to play it safe. With this in mind, avoid these products:[1][2][3]
    • Oven cleaning products: For one thing, the oven is poorly ventilated and you are bound to inhale fumes. For another, it can be difficult to physically get in the oven to clean it when you are pregnant.
    • Pesticides: This includes bug sprays, sprays to kill ants, bees, wasps, beetles and any other bug. Also, avoid any mouse or rat poisons.
    • Dry cleaning or instant spot removers on clothing
    • Spray-type cleaners: These create fine mists that are very easy to inhale. These include window and glass cleaners and bathroom mold and mildew removers, as well as all-purpose cleaners.
  3. 3
    Never mix products. Cleaning products are chemicals and, unless you have a degree in chemistry, you may not be able to predict what the reaction may be. To be safe, just avoid mixing cleaning products together at all.
    • For example, never mix ammonia with bleach. This creates a chemical reaction that produces fumes that can be very dangerous.[4]
  4. 4
    Don’t try to clean any mold. It is important that you do not inhale mold spores while cleaning mold. Either get your partner to get rid of the mold or have it professionally done. Mold has been shown to cause birth defects in lab animals.[5]
    • If you get the mold professionally cleaned or someone else in your household cleans it, you should be somewhere else so that you are not exposed to the chemical agents used or the mold spores that could be released.
  5. 5
    Avoid lifting or moving heavy furniture while cleaning. As a general rule, you don’t want to try moving any heavy furniture when you are pregnant. Find someone else to do any heavy lifting that you need done.
    • This is not to say that you can't do anything while pregnant. It just means that you should avoid extreme physical exertion. If you have questions about the amount of physical activity you can do, discuss it with your physician.
  6. 6
    Take breaks as needed. It's important to take it relatively easy when you are cleaning while pregnant. Don't over do it and over exert yourself. Having a sparkling clean home is not worth pain or pregnancy issues.
    • Give yourself permission to take as many breaks as you need to, which can be long or short.

Part 2
Using Safe Cleaning Products

  1. 1
    Use safe cleaning products. The safest products you can use are those that contain only plant oils, such as Castile soaps, or other natural products, such as baking soda or vinegar. These products are often labeled as "natural" or "environmentally friendly" cleaning products, although you should always check the label to determine what exactly that means.[6]
    • Before using a cleaning product look on the label to make sure it contains only natural cleaning agents.
  2. 2
    Always read the safety information on a product. You can find it either on the product's packaging or on the company’s website. If you can’t find this information, don’t use it.
    • For many products you can get a Material Safety Data Sheets, or MSDS sheets, that contains information on the potential health effects of the product. Products are given a ranking on a scale from “0”(least hazardous) to “4” (most hazardous). Use only products with a “0” or a “1” rating. Find a product's MSDS online by searching for the product’s name and “MSDS”.
    • For example, the MSDS health ratings of bleach and Comet powder cleanser is 1. Heavy-duty oven cleaner, however, is rated at a 3.[7][8][9]
  3. 3
    Wear personal protection equipment while cleaning. For example, always wear gloves when cleaning. Wear long-sleeves and maybe even an apron while you work to minimize exposure to your skin.
  4. 4
    Always work in well-ventilated areas. While it is never great to deal with the strong smells of cleaners, the nausea associated with pregnancy can make even common cleaning smells overwhelming. To avoid this nausea, make sure the area you are working in is very well ventilated.
    • If you cannot work in a ventilated area, or if you are dealing with something toxic even in a ventilated area, you need to wear a respirator so that you do not inhale something toxic.

Part 3
Making Your Own Cleaning Products

  1. 1
    Create an all-purpose cleaner. Mix ½ cup of water, ½ cup of vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Then add 15 drops of tea tree oil. Mix well and pour out as needed.[10]
    • Use simple white vinegar. It’s cheaper than apple cider vinegar and cleans just as well.
    • You can also place this cleaner into a spray bottle and use (carefully) as a spray.
    • This can also be used to wash floors, unless they are ceramic or marble. If you do, substitute a plant-oil soap for the vinegar for these floors.
  2. 2
    Make a heavy-duty cleaner. Pour ¼ cup of a plant-based oil soap into a bowl. Add ¾ cup of baking soda. Mix well. Then add ⅛ cup of white vinegar. Mix and use as a scrub. If you want. Add some lavender or citrus essential oil for scent (2-4 drops).
    • Alternatively, you can mix 1 and ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of liquid soap. Mix. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix and use to scrub away the stains.[11]
  3. 3
    Mix up your own toilet bowl cleaner. Sprinkle baking soda around the bowl as you would any other powder cleaner. Pour some white vinegar over the bowl brush and brush over the baking soda.[12]
    • Let that sit for 20-30 minutes.
    • Scrub again and flush.
  4. 4
    Create a non-toxic furniture polish. Mix 1 cup of olive oil and ½ cup of lemon juice in a bowl or a bottle. Stir or shake well before applying to furniture.
    • Wipe this furniture polish on with a soft, clean cloth.[13]
    • To make sure this polish is compatible with your furniture, try it first on a spot that is not visible, such as the bottom or inside of the piece.
  5. 5
    Whip up a glass and surface cleaner. Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray onto the glass or surface. Wipe with a soft cloth or paper towel.[14]
    • Depending on how often you clean your windows, you do not need to make much of this cleaner. A mixture of one cup of water and one cup of vinegar should last you quite awhile.

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Categories: Pregnancy