This post was last updated on August 12, 2021 by Preethi Sukumaran
The term “natural floor cleaner” is a popular search on the Krya website. This is a marked difference from about 20-25 years ago, when many households fell for the strong anti bacterial santiser trap, and we outdid each other looking for more and more “powerful” disinfectants to thoroughly “sanitize” our floors and surroundings.
There used to be a time when households used plain water to mop the floor after thoroughly sweeping the floor. Sometimes if the season was particularly muddy, or if this was pre festive season, a canny housewife would sprinkle cow dung / dried cow dung cakes plus a handful of turmeric powder into this water, and use this solution to mop the floor. Cow dung was considered a sacred dravya, infusing pranic energy into the home and also an effective insect repellent and anti bacterial agent.
Slowly, to increase their share of business anti bacterial liquids began to advertise, extending their use to cleaning the floor. Evocative images of babies eating off the floors, pets sleeping on the floor would be used to illustrate that our floors (the horror!) were JUST not good enough to eat off .
Just when households started getting reluctantly used to the smell of a strong anti bacterial liquid on the floor, convincing their families that the hospital like odour was for their own good, someone finally launched a specialised floor cleaner. In several toxic fragrance options.
Concerns with synthetic floor cleaners:
At Krya, we have several concerns over the rampant use of synthetic floor and toilet cleaners. We have listed these below:
1. 99% germ removal or 100% growth of Super bugs?
Urban Indians today already suffer from “too clean” homes which are almost sterile. Children rarely play outdoors and schools and homes are sterile, air conditioned environments already.
In this scenario, using a strong floor cleaner encourages the growth of antibiotic and triclosan resistant “super bacteria”. This is already an issue in India. Using such strong cleaners in urban homes is an overkill – and promotes the growth of resistant bacteria And does not stimulate our immune response enough
2. Household chemical cleaners: No transparency in declaring contents
Household cleaners constitute what is called “Household hazardous waste”. This means that they cannot be disposed WITHOUT risk to human , animal or plant life. An example is this: is you are trying to get rid of your old synthetic toilet cleaner, there is no safe way to dispose it. You cannot pour out the liquid, put it into a water body or pour it onto the ground either. All of these will pose a risk for any form of life that may accidentally ingest the product.
Given that almost all synthetic household cleansers are hazardous waste, it is surprising that there is no declaration of their ingredients or any attempt to educate customers on their proper disposal. This is worrying in a country like India where literacy levels are low and waste is picked and sorted down the line by possibly illiterate sanitary workers, rag pickers and children.
3. Household chemical cleaners : Highly toxic and unstable formulae
All floor , surface and toilet cleaners come with severe warnings to be kept out of reach of children, pets, etc. Accidental ingestion can seriously harm or even kill children and pets. Skin contact is also supposed to be avoided. Eye contact can make you blind potentially. Also the contents cannot be mixed with other common cleaners like acid, phenyl etc and can lead to volcanic reactions.
Chemical floor cleaners depend upon active ingredients like Benzylalkonium chloride, Chlorophenol and in certain formulations, Cresol, a common abortifacient has also been used. Benzylalkonium Chloride is a cationic surfactant, which is a very strong biocide.
Benzylalkonium chloride is a severe eye and human skin irritant. It is a suspected respiratory , immune system, gastro intestinal and neuro toxic substance. Concentrated solutions are highly toxic to human beings. Occupational exposure to Benzylalkonium chloride is linked to inner ear toxicity, middle ear tissues and asthma.
As it degrades in the environment Benzylalkonium chloride splits into Benzyl chloride, ammonia, dimethylamine and other molecules. Benzyl chloride is again highly toxic to skin and is an extremely hazardous substance that has been used in chemical warfare. Ammonia is an extremely hazardous by product, and is highly toxic via inhalation and is very dangerous on skin causing caustic burns.
Given these issues, we would be tempted to question why we are using actual poisons to clean our floors.
We may also be right in asking how using a toxic cleaner to clean the floor somehow makes it safe for babies and pets crawling / licking these floors? The answer is that it is of course not safe. A common cause of pet poisoning is the minute concentrations of Benzylalkonium chloride in floor cleaners.
A better alternative: natural floor cleaner research by Krya
We have been researching, piloting, experimenting and tweaking with a Krya answer to a safe, natural floor cleaner for sometime now. This product has been LONG in the making. While researching the formulation, we turned to the Ayurvedic Samhitas for ideas on the use of herbs and how they should be combined for best use.
The Ayurvedic Samhitas are extensive in their thoughts on purification and sanitisation of spaces. This has been extensively explained in the context of space management in vulnerable situations (after childbirth to protect mother and child from infections), and also in the context of patient management. The Sushruta samhita offers extensive advice right form hospital design, direction of patient wards and how the rooms must be cleansed using a combination of Herbal fumigation, surface cleansing and through the use of herb pouches strewn in the rooms to ensure complete sanitisation of air, ether and physical surfaces in the room.
Ayurvedic approach: cleansing both etheric and physical spaces in the home
Studying Ayurvedic pediatric care texts (Bala chikitsa) is very useful in understanding the role of herbs and how they can cleanse both the physical and spiritual energy in a home. This is of very great importance in Ayurveda to maintain a spiritually charged, positive and prana forward energy in the home for a small baby / child.
Ayurveda believes that infants and young children are very easily influenced by negative energy. Hence we are advised to use spiritually charged, Prana positive herbs to keep up the positive energy of the home and counteract these negative forces.
Techniques like “Dhumapana” (herbal smoke on the baby and mother’s person), “Rakshoghna Praksalana” (washing of baby’s linen with natural, herb infused detergent), burning of “Dhoopa “(herb infused incense), and “Rakshoghna Bhumi Swacchakara” (cleaning of floors with Prana positive herbs) are all used for this.
The use of herbal smoke cleanses Vayu (air) and Akash (space) within the home. This is a very important component in Ayurvedic sanitisation methods, as the acharyas tells us that that it charges the air, contains the spread of disease, and improves auric energy in the home.
In addition, the home is further charged with bunches of herbs, placed in the direction of the wind, so herbal fragrance wafts through the home uplifting the senses and increasing the positive vibration within the home.
Working on improving the etheric energy within the home by using prana positive , aura altering herbs is an important role of a Bhumi Swacchakara (Floor cleaner). In addition the cleaner being used must have Rakshoghna properties that reduce the growth of harmful micro organisms, It must also have Krimighna properties, help reducing the spread of crawling and flying insects in the home.
The Krya natural floor cleaner: natural cleaning in 2 variants
We briefly saw the role that a Bhumi Swacchakara (floor cleaner) should play according to Ayurveda. Based on these principles, we have formulated 2 variants of the Krya floor cleaner.
Krya Sugandha Floor Cleaner:
The Krya Sugandha Floor Cleaner is a completely natural floor cleaner that is toxin free, wholesome and naturally fragrant as powerful natural essential oils are used in this product. This floor cleaner is made using 20 powerful ayurvedic herbs, resins and essential oils including Citriodora Oil, Karanja Oil, Citronella Oil and Pine Oil . The formulation is very effective at repelling crawling insects like cockroaches, ants , etc, but it does not kill them. It is a good , safe, broad spectrum anti bacterial and anti fungal formulation which is adaptogenic.
As we use pure plants and plant essential oils, there is no question of microorganisms learning from and developing resistance to the product as plants vary across seasons and weather conditions and are far more adaptogenic compared to bacteria and fungi.
Krya Sookshma Floor Cleaner :
The Krya Sookshma Floor Cleaner is an unscented floor cleaner powder that is made using 28 Ayurvedic herbs including including natural plant surfactants, Rakshoghna (anti microbial and anti fungal herbs), Krimighna (insect repellent) herbs and natural plant resins and gums and natural Saindhava Namak (rock salt). This product uses 4 very interesting plant resins: pure natural edible Camphor, Damar gum, Batu Gum and Gum benzoin (sambrani). This combination of herbs, plant gums and plant resins gives the product a very subtle fragrance and extremely cleansing and uplifting aura.
This formulation is suggested for homes with very small children , premature infants, patients, sensitive geriatrics and those with respiratory allergies / issues (asthma, wheezing, hayfever, etc). We have completely avoided the use of essential oils in this product to be suitable for use in sensitive users. Instead we have used naturally fragrant and disinfectant plant resins to improve the cleansing ability of the product.
Both Krya floor cleaners are all natural floor cleaners, completely safe and non toxic, are mild and natural and safe to use around babies, toddlers and the elderly.
Both Krya floor cleaners contain prana positive, spiritually uplifing herbs and dravyas as suggested in the Ayurevdic Samhitas to cleanse the spiritual and etheric energy of the home.
Pet safety and natural herbs and essential oils
Pets are extremely sensitive to odours in fine concentrations. Tea tree oil for example is a powerful and very effective anti bacterial E.O. However it is poisonous to cats and dogs at high doses. This is why I am perplexed to see so many brands putting up tea tree oil scented pet grooming powders – this is NOT safe!
There are Ayurvedic Samhitas that focus on veterinary science, but only large animals (horses, elephants) are covered, not small household animals like dogs and cats. Because of this, and because we do not have any experience with living with 4 legged friends, we have stayed away from making Krya products for household animals – although we have many many pending requests.
But, for homes with 4 legged friends, it is imperative to have a safe floor cleansing solution. This solution has to be safe for pets themselves and also handle any organisms that could be transmitted by the pets indoors.
This needs much more R&D from our end. However, we promise to work on this. Please give us time – we will come back with a separate option that has been tested to be effective and is also safe for 4 legged friends.
Until then, if you have pets, please do not use either Krya floor cleaner – as an alternative, you can mop the floor with Krya classic detergent alone.
How to use the Krya natural floor cleaner:
The Krya natural floor cleaner is an ayurvedic choorna (powder format). We provide a cloth pouch along with every pack of this product. The choorna can be used either in the pouch or directly in your mop bucket.
- Take 1 tablespoon of the Krya Floor Cleaner (either Sookshma or Sugandha variant) in an empty mop bucket – the product can be added either directly to the bucket or in the pouch provided
- Add water to the bucket – between ¼ – 40% of the bucket
- The product will foam slightly at first
- For a roughly 1000 sq ft home which does not attract huge amount of dust / dirt, this mop water can be used for the entire home
- Soak the Mop in the the mop water, squeeze the mop well and use to mop the floors
- After every room, if you rinse the mop separately, the mop water will be clean enough for the next room
- Mop water can be safely handled by children (both variants) – however ensure that the dry powder is stored AWAY from children as a safety measure
- Has not been formulated for homes with pets (both variants)
To sum up: a better natural floor cleaner:
India has traveled far from her local, environmentally sustainable and sensible home cleaning options. Instead today, we are surrounded by a surfeit of toxic chemicals that are unsuitable for our homes , pets and children. This highly toxic cocktail of allergens is responsible for lowering the quality of our indoor air, and causes a wide range of skin, respiratory and other health issues.
In this post we discussed 2 natural options to floor cleaning: the Krya wholly Ayurvedic, whole herb, non toxic floor cleaners. These 2 non toxic floor cleaners are made from an authentic set of Ayurvedic herbs and help clean, repel dangerous micro organisms, and insects and uplift the auric energy of the home.
At Krya, we work towards providing safe, sustainable and non toxic alternatives to many external use consumer products like home cleansers , skin care and hair care products. We also offer products for Abhyanga-Snana, all natural hair colours, baby care products, skin and hair care products for toddlers and kids, skin care for teens, products for pregnant women, etc. All our products are formulated in-house. we manufacture every single Krya product using whole herbs, natural essential oils, organic lentils and grains and cold pressed organic oils in the Krya manufacturing facility in Chennai.
If you have any questions on this post, or would like to know how to detox your home, please call us (0-75500-89090) or write to us.