Spring Cleaning: Dos and Don’ts while Pregnant

It’s true, even while pregnant, we still must clean. Here is a quick guide to help you know what products and chores to avoid while pregnant.

Most products are safe to use for cleaning while pregnant, even bleach. However, lets be safe and avoid these:

  1. Avoid Spray and Aerosol Cleaners.

    Many studies have shown that exposure while in utero to spray and aerosol cleaners increase the risk of asthma. The increased risk of asthma was not found in the same products that were not sprayed.

  2. Avoid Air Fresheners.

    As noted above, these products also cause a higher risk for asthma. Also, these products contain a “fragrance” ingredient which are made up of phthalates, which you should try to avoid when you’re pregnant.

  3. Phthalates.

    Prenatal exposure to phthalates may increase the risk of congenital reproductive anomalies in male children.

  4. Glycol Ethers.

    These are toxic substances found in household cleaning products like oven cleaners and have been associated with miscarriage, decreased male fertility, and birth defects. They may be listed as 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME).

Because we know that cleaning never stops, please be sure to protect yourself and the pregnancy by following these steps:

  1. Wear rubber gloves when using any chemical products.
  2. Do not mix chemicals.
  3. Wear a mask while cleaning.
  4. Open windows and doors to allow for ventilation.
  5. Switch to “green” products, aka safe alternatives. We have listed a few below. You can also make your own, and we have provided a few tried and true recipes.
Safe Replacement Products

So, what can you use? If you are looking for safe household cleaners to use during your pregnancy, try:

  • Dr. Bronner’s Organic Pure Liquid Castile Soaps
  • Earth Friendly Steel Cleaner and Polish
  • Earth Friendly Stone Countertop Cleaner
  • Ecover Ecological Automatic Dishwasher Tablets
  • Ecover Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • GrabGreen Degreaser Cleaner
  • Method Tub Plus Natural Bathroom Tile Cleaner
  • Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
  • Seventh Generation Dishwashing Liquid

If you prefer to make your own pregnancy (and environmentally) safe cleaners follow these simple recipes:

  • All Purpose Cleaner: Take equal parts white vinegar and filtered water and mix in an all-purpose spray bottle.
  • Tile Cleanser: Saturate the tiled area with white vinegar, sprinkle baking soda on the tile, and scrub with a sponge or cloth soaked in white vinegar.
  • Bleach Alternative: Use a hydrogen peroxide/water solution instead of bleach when doing your laundry, cleaning, and even washing your vegetables.

Lastly, absolute no-no’s while cleaning your home. These chores need to be passed along to someone else in the home to ensure the safety of you and the pregnancy.

  1. Do not clean out the litter box. Cat feces can contain a parasite that can be extremely harmful to the unborn fetus.
  2. Do not clean any mold growing in your home or on your food.
  3. Do not operate a heavy vacuum and/or attempt to move furniture to clean underneath.
  4. Avoid chores that require excessive bending, squatting, lifting and/or stretching.


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