While everybody wants a pristine home and a sparkling exterior, you must be mindful of the products you use. The products you use to clean the exterior areas (patio, sidewalk, etc) of your house must not be toxic to the grass, plants, or flowers.
This article will discuss the effects of commercial cleaners such as fabuloso on grass and plants. You will also get to know the ways to protect your plants from cleaning agents, as well as the ways to get rid of weeds using natural alternatives.
Will Fabuloso Kill Grass & Plants?
If Fabuloso is regularly spilled or applied to the lawn grass or shrubbery, it will have an adverse effect on the vegetation by stopping the absorption of nutrients and water. Also, Fabuloso is not designed to kill grass, plants, and weeds. To eliminate unwanted grass, plants, and weeds, there are special products available.
After using Fabuloso in the house, the water solution it was mixed in should be disposed of in the drain and not spilled onto the grass and plants if you want to protect them.
Ingredients Of Fabuloso & Their Effect on Grass
The Fabuloso product range consists of Fabuloso, Fabuloso Complete and Fabuloso Wipes. We will look at the ingredients in Fabuloso and Fabuloso Complete.
o Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate
o C9-11 Pareth-8
o Sodium C12-15 Pareth Sulfate
o Sodium Laureth Sulfate
o Citric Acid
Fabuloso Complete Floral Burst and Cool Mist Ingredients
o Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate
o C9-11 Pareth-8
o Hydrogen Peroxide
o Lactic Acid
o Xanthan Gum
o Styrene / Acrylates Copolymer
Fabuloso Complete Sparkling Citrus Ingredients
o Sodium Dodecyl benzenesulfonate
o Sodium Chloride
o Lactic Acid
o C9-11 Pareth-8
Research shows that ingredients such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate caused the shedding of leaves and browning of shoots in plants. (Source)
Excess sodium can be toxic to grass and plants, causing stunted growth and nutrient imbalance.
Using these cleaning agents on grass and plants disturbs the pH levels of the soil. Soil may become more acidic and stop the plants from absorbing the required nutrients.
Other ingredients may stop water from being successfully absorbed by the roots.
These ingredients are combined to make an effective cleaner of non-porous surfaces. The label on the bottle clearly states what surfaces the products can be used on and there are illustrations as well to show where the product can be used.
The various Fabuloso products are not formulated to be used on grass and other vegetation around the house, whether it is to get rid of weeds or to clean surfaces near plants without harming them.
If they are used, the pH of the soil will be affected, in turn affecting the grass. The grass will eventually turn brown, wither, and die.
Ammonia-based products can have a fertilizing effect on plants but fabuloso is Ammonia free.
What to Use to Clean the Exterior Parts of the House Without Affecting Plants
Porches, pathways, and driveways should be frequently cleaned, to prevent the build-up of grime. Commercial cleaners can be toxic to plants and flowers, even if diluted. There are alternatives to using commercial cleaners such as:
1- Oxygenated Bleach
When mixed with water (2 cups of oxygenated bleach to 1 gallon of water), this chemical effectively cleans grime and dirt. It will not be harmful to grass, plants, or flowers.
2- Dish Soap
Diluted dish soap does not harm plants. Just using warm water, liquid dishwashing soap, and a brush, you can scrub away grime and the solution will not be toxic to the surrounding vegetation.
3- Baking Soda
Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water to clean the dirt and grime. This will not damage the surface, nor will it cause any harm to the plants.
These options are highly effective in getting rid of built-up grime, without being toxic to the flowers, plants, and grass.
How To Protect Grass and Plants While Using Cleaning Products
The exterior of the house will need to be cleaned a couple of times a year, or as needed. This will involve soft washing. Soft washing uses low pressure to clean the exterior surfaces. Low pressure is necessary to clean the windows, roof tiles, screens, outdoor furniture, and wood panel siding.
Soft washing is done by using water, bleach, and a surfactant.
Take the following steps to protect your grass and plants:
STEP 1- Water the Plants
Water the plants before you start cleaning the exterior areas of the house. This will keep them hydrated and therefore will not absorb the cleaning solution.
STEP 2- Cover the Plants
Use tarpaulin or a light plastic sheet to cover some of the plants and shrubs. This will protect them from the cleaning agent’s droplets splashing onto them from cleaning the walls or windows.
STEP 3- Bag the Downspouts
If the roof is being cleaned, the water will come down from the downspouts and onto the ground.
Bag the end of the downspout to collect the water which contains the cleaning agent. Buckets and garbage bags will contain the water and protect the nearby vegetation.
STEP 4- Use a Surfactant
Surfactants capture dirt and remove it from the surface being cleaned. It also reduces the surface tension and clings to the sides, roof, and other surfaces, thus slowing down the run-off. This action will protect the vegetation below such surfaces, such as roofs.
STEP 5- Check the Weather Forecast
If bleach is used to clean the roof and it rains within 24 hours of cleaning, the run-off will harm the grass and plants below. After 24 hours, bleach becomes harmless so if it rains, the plants below the roof will not be harmed.
STEP 6- Rewater the Plants
After cleaning, hose down the plants and grass again to remove any cleaning agent residue that may have come onto the plants.
These steps will protect your plants and grass from the effects of cleaning agents and minimize any potential harm.
If you have indoor plants, ensure that while spraying the surrounding areas, the droplets do not come into contact with the leaves and other parts of the plant.
Should You Use Fabuloso to Kill Weeds?
Fabuloso is an all-purpose cleaner, used within the home and on certain outdoor surfaces. Fabuloso does not have the ingredients necessary to get rid of weeds. If you decide to use it to try and eliminate weeds, it may instead harm the nearby grass and plants.
Use a recommended commercial weed killer or a homemade one to eliminate weeds.
1- White Vinegar and Dishwashing Liquid and Salt
Mix 1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 cup of salt and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the weeds. You may need to spray for 2-3 days before seeing any results.
2- Boiling Water
Pour boiling water onto the weeds. This will kill the weeds.
3- Rubbing Alcohol
Mix 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol in 4 cups of water and spray onto the weeds.
Fabuloso should only be used as directed and not on plants and grass. You may instead end up damaging the plants you want to keep.
How to Get Rid of Unwanted Grass and Plants
Sometimes, grass sprouts up in the cracks in the driveway, patio, or in your flowerbed. To get rid of this, use the right product and not Fabuloso or other commercial cleaners. You can use:
1- Vinegar: Spray vinegar regularly on the unwanted vegetation.
2- Salt: Sprinkle salt in those areas and water it down so it is absorbed in the soil.
3- Bleach: Use bleach to get rid of unwanted grass and vegetation. Wear protective gear and keep children and pets away from the area.
Fabuloso is a product formulated to mostly clean the interior areas and non-porous surfaces of your home. It should not be used on grass, plants, or weeds.
Several eco-friendly alternatives can be used to clean the outside parts of your home. Also, use eco-friendly and natural alternatives to get rid of weeds and unwanted plants to protect the neighboring plants and grass.
Fabuloso is an all-purpose cleaner, and it should be used as per instructions on the label, for the surfaces indicated. Store it in a cool, dry place, away from children and pets. Do not mix Fabuloso with other commercial cleaners or bleach.