Comet cleaner is a commonly used household cleaning product, but there have been concerns raised about its safety and potential toxicity. With the growing focus on environmental health, it’s important to understand the effects of the products we use in our homes.
Comet cleaner is not considered toxic to humans when used as directed. However, it does contain harsh chemicals that can irritate skin and eyes, and the fumes can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities.
Just because Comet contains some harmful chemicals, it does not make it ‘toxic’. Many other brands contain the exact same chemicals, and yet we still use them. If you’re consciously trying to use safer products in your home, we’ve recommended a few products for you in this article.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
This article will dive into the details of all the harmful chemicals and elements of Comet Cleaner, and although we don’t recommend disposing of your whole cleaning stock, we’ve compiled some ‘eco-friendly’ alternatives for you to be aware of.
The best abrasive powder cleaners from Amazon:
1. Comet Powder Cleaner – The beloved abrasive cleaner contains some harmful chemicals.
2. Baking Soda – A completely natural alternative.
3. Bon Ami Powder Cleaner – An alternative to Comet with zero harmful chemicals.
Comet Cleaner Toxicity
A container of Comet Cleaner can probably be found in 90% of homes across the United States. It’s extremely popular for its ability to remove the toughest of stains. However, in this section, we’ll look at some of the harmful components of Comet.
Can I Use Comet in My Kitchen?
You can use Comet to clean various surfaces in your kitchen. Although it is an abrasive cleaner, you must work with it carefully. Abrasive cleaners can scratch countertops or sinks if you rub too hard.
Some Comet Cleaner products contain bleach and can stain your sink if it’s not washed off immediately. Luckily, this is not too common, and many homeowners swear by Comet to keep their kitchens and bathrooms spotless.
Is Comet With Bleach Toxic?
As with moth cleaning products that contain bleach, there is some concern regarding the toxicity of Comet. However, most professionals agree that there is only slight concern and some cause for irritation.
This means that although the Comet with bleach might irritate your skin or cause some respiratory concerns, it is by no means a cause to throw out your product. If you’re still unsure about the toxicity of bleach, there are bleach-free alternatives you could snag.
Is Comet Poisonous to Humans?
Comet is not poisonous to humans, although it can be harmful if swallowed in large quantities. Comet contains chlorine bleach, making it irritating to breathe in or harmful to ingest.
According to Procter & Gamble, Comet Cleaner only demands a slight health hazard rating. This is due to the slight health risks it might pose when exposed to a large quantity of Comet Cleaner.
What Happens if You Smell Comet?
Comet Cleaner is a mild respiratory irritant that might irritate your nose or lungs, but it’s usually not anything serious. Smelling a large quantity of Comet could lead to coughing or throat irritation.
In most cases, if you leave the room and breath in some fresh air through your nose, the irritation should subside immediately. If the irritation continues even when outside, you should seek medical assistance.
Eco-Friendly Comet Cleaner Alternatives
What Happens if You Accidentally Inhale Comet Cleaner?
Comet cleaner is not toxic to inhale in small quantities; it might only cause some slight irritation. Inhaling larger quantities could cause throat irritation or coughing, but usually, it’s not too severe.
People who have respiratory issues might be more affected when inhaling Comet Cleaner. If they inhale a large amount, it might be best to seek medical attention. Comet cleaner is shown to release small quantities of chemicals related to asthma and cancer.
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Comet Cleaner Ingredients
Often we don’t flip the container around and look at the ingredients of a product, and when we do, we have no idea what anything means. In this section, we will dive into the details and break down the chemicals in Comet products.
What Is Comet Cleanser Made Of?
Comet Cleanser consists of more than 60% calcium carbonate, which is used as a scrubbing agent. Other ingredients include calcium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, and trichloroisocyanuric acid (also known as symclosene).
A chemical analysis of Comet Cleaner showed that the product emitted 146 chemicals when used, some more toxic than others. The most problematic ingredient is probably formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer.
Does Comet Have Formaldehyde?
Comet cleaner does contain formaldehyde, even though it is not indicated on the label. This chemical can be found in many household products or even in the wood of your furniture. People inhale small amounts of formaldehyde every day.
According to research, exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to cancer in laboratory test animals. However, this is usually due to a large amount of exposure. The effects of exposure to small amounts of formaldehyde are less clear.
Does Comet Cleanser Contain Toxic Chemicals?
Like most household cleaners, Comet cleaner contains harmful chemicals like chlorine and formaldehyde. Although, these chemicals are only detected in trace amounts, not in large quantities.
The chemicals in comet cleanser would not be considered toxic since exposure to the product does not have any severe negative effects. It might affect some more than others, though, especially people with respiratory issues.
Does Comet Contain Bleach?
Comet Cleaner does contain bleach, which makes it an excellent stain remover. Chlorine bleach does have its share of negative effects on humans, though, and many prefer bleach-free alternatives.
Anyone who has cleaned with bleach knows that it can give off fumes that are irritating to the eyes, nose, and throat. It has been linked to asthma attacks or even causing asthma when exposed to a large quantity of bleach.
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Does Comet Contain Ammonia
Like most household cleaning products, Comet Cleaner does contain ammonia. It’s a very strong and corrosive disinfectant chemical that is used in the commercial industry as well.
Ammonia is known to cause irritation to the throat, eyes, and nose. Since it’s found in most household cleaners, you probably inhale ammonia daily with few side effects. However, ingesting ammonia could cause more severe injuries, like burns in the mouth and throat.
Safety of Using Comet Cleaner
So we’ve discussed the harmful components and the ingredients of Comet Cleaner. The next probable question that you might have would be, ‘is it safe to use?’ Well, let’s have a look.
What Should I Do if I Inhaled Comet Cleaner?
You are not likely to have severe reactions to inhaling comet cleaner. If you’re cleaning with Comet Cleaner and your mouth/throat starts to feel irritated, you can simply walk to another room and breathe fresh air.
This should be enough to subdue the irritation, and you can immediately go back and continue cleaning. If the irritation in your throat or mouth does not subdue for a while or seems to get worse, you should seek medical attention.
Can You Touch Comet Cleaner?
Comet Cleaner does not cause skin irritation, so you should be able to touch it. Although exposing your hands to cleaning products every day for a long time could have some negative effects on your skin.
Many professional cleaners prefer to wear cleaning gloves when using products like Comet Cleaner. If you’ve never touched any cleaning products and know you have sensitive skin, you can do a patch test on your skin and see if t develops a rash or any redness.
Can You Use Comet on the Skin?
You should not use Comet to replace an everyday body wash. This cleaner is abrasive, corrosive, and has extremely strong chemicals which could irritate or even damage your skin over time.
For your body, you should rather purchase a cleaner that says ‘body wash’ or something similar, indicating it is manufactured for the skin. Using cleaner once or twice should not be a problem, although remember to keep it away from sensitive areas (like your eyes).
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Is Comet Powder Safe?
Comet Powder is relatively safe it is stored and used in the appropriate manner. Contact with the skin or inhaling a small amount should not have severe reactions. Ingesting Comet Powder could have some negative effects.
If you do ingest or swallow comet powder accidentally, you should drink two large glasses of water. This should subdue any reactions the powder might have in your stomach. Pay close attention to any possible side effects in the immediate hours after and seek medical help if you’re concerned.
Dangers of Using Comet Cleaner
Besides the harmful chemicals in Comet Cleaner products, what other dangers could the product hold in a house? Is it flammable or poisonous? This section will look at the dangers of using Comet Cleaners.
Is Comet Cleaner Flammable?
Comet Cleaner powder and liquid are not flammable, however, Comet aerosol spray is extremely flammable. However, most aerosol sprays are flammable and should be stored in a dry and cool spot.
Luckily Comet Powder is not flammable, so in the case of a fire, any appropriate media can be used for extinguishing. Comet aerosol spray is mostly used in bathrooms, where the chance of a fire is relatively low.
What Are the Symptoms of Comet Poisoning?
Comet Cleaner, like most other household products, is not toxic. However, if an unusually large amount of Comet Cleaner has been ingested, you can expect gastrointestinal irritation.
This could show symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, or even vomiting. If you are experiencing these symptoms after ingesting large amounts of Comet Cleaner, seek immediate medical attention.
Which Household Cleaner Is the Most Toxic?
Cleaning products with artificial fragrances are usually the most irritating to the eyes and respiratory tracts. Any products with bleach or/and ammonia are also quite harmful and can cause significant symptoms when swallowed.
Cleaning products that create suds (like laundry detergent) are known carcinogens, which are linked to cancer. These products are not toxic to an immediate lethal level, but they can be irritating to many to inhale.
What Are Alternatives to Using Comet Cleaner?
The best chemical-free alternative for Comet Cleanser is baking soda. Baking soda can be used to clean almost any surface, and it’s often used in combination with white vinegar to create foam
Another eco-friendly alternative to Comet Cleaner is Bon Ami Powder Cleanser, which is a scratch-free powder cleanser without any harsh chemicals. This is a great option for household members who are hypoallergenic.
How Do I Dispose of Comet Cleaner?
Unused Comet Cleaner can usually be disposed of by throwing it in the trash or pouring it down the drain. We would not recommend pouring a whole bottle of Comet Cleaner down the drain, as it could degrade your pipes.
Throwing unused cleaning products in the trash is the safest way to dispose of them. Comet Cleaner contains some harmful chemicals that decompose into our air and ground.
What Should You Not Use Comet On?
Comet powder cleanser is an abrasive and corrosive cleaner, so any sensitive surface like gold, silver, mirrors, marble, granite, etc., should not be cleaned with Comet powder cleanser.
Liquid Comet cleaner or aerosol comet cleaner could be used to clean more sensitive surfaces, and Comet powder can be used to scrub tough surfaces like sinks, stainless steel, fiberglass, etc.
Is Comet Cleaner an Acid or a Base?
Comet Cleanser is a base or alkaline, which makes the products perfect for stains and greases. The alkaline helps dislodge any soil particles and clean the surface much easier than an acid.
Acid-based cleaners are used to remove non-organic deposits, like rust and scaling. The most popular acid cleaner is vinegar, which can be used to dissolve blockages in drains and clean non-organic messes.
Comet Cleaner contains harmful chemicals but is not considered a toxic product. It can cause irritation to your eyes, nose, or respiratory tract, although simply moving to a different room should alleviate any symptoms. It’s used in many homes due to its productivity.