Green Cleaning Tips For A Safer Home

Everybody wants a clean surrounding. We may not know it, but focusing on getting out the dirt can actually causing health problems in us and out families. The household cleaning product industry has done a great job of convincing us that we must get rid of every speck of dust and every germ no matter what. Often times, this war on dirt introduces more dangerous substances into our homes than what we are trying to clean up.

To win this battle, we use various cleaning products as our weapons. Most of these cleaning substances are chemically-reactive, petroleum-based and toxic. They contain various harmful chemicals, some of which emit very volatile organic compounds that can cause damage to the skin and the respiratory system. In our effort to protect our health from germs and bacteria, we may be causing more harm to our body and more importantly, to our environment.

Studies show that in an average American household alone, 63 synthetic chemical cleaning products can be found. This translates to more or less 10 gallons of environmentally harmful chemicals in a single house. Building maintenance and other institutional cleaning industries, for their part, use five billion pounds of chemicals in a year. Just imagine the amount of hazardous waste we dump to the environment just to make our immediate surroundings clean.

There are, however, ways to go clean and at the same time, go green. The growing awareness on environmental destruction and its harsh effects to mankind has allowed concerned citizens of the world to develop means by which we can still keep our things, our houses and our surroundings clean without harming the environment. All of these can be captured in a single term that has been making waves in the field of environmental protection: green cleaning.

This concept does not only entail the use of environmentally safe chemicals and equipment— aptly termed as green cleaning products– to tidy up our homes. It also involves the implementation of environmentally sound policies and procedures to minimize the impact on nature whenever we do our cleaning. Green cleaning, after all, is a shared responsibility of everyone– from the green cleaning companies which take the effort to develop products free from toxic chemicals to us, the end users, who should use these products in our homes.

Given these, the next question in mind will naturally be, “How can I go green while cleaning?” Well, there are a number of concrete steps an ordinary home owner can take to further this cause the next time he or she will scrub the floor, clean the windows or do the laundry. Below is a list of some green cleaning tips you should start employing in your homes:

Use Green Cleaning Products
As mentioned earlier, a lot of products we use to clean our homes leave harsh effects to the environment. It is important, therefore, to have a conscious effort to employ green cleaning supplies whenever we do our household chores. There are a number of brands currently sold in the market that are non-toxic, biodegradable, renewable and not petroleum-based. They are sold in accessible shops such as Ecover, Ecoconcepts, and the World Wildlife Fund-supported Clean and Green store. These products present very viable options for cleaning that can very well compete against harmful, conventional cleaning products.

Use Natural and Home-mixed Cleaners
Who would have thought that ordinary cooking ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda can be used for green cleaning? You can easily whip out an all-purpose home cleaner by mixing up these two substances.
Baking soda alone is effective in eliminating stink from your fridge. You can also sprinkle some baking soda to soak up strange odors from your carpet before using a vacuum cleaner on it and it works well as a deodorant for your upholstery. Not only that, but this cheap, miracle product can also be used to clean shiny objects such as aluminum, chrome, porcelain, silver, copper, and stainless steel without scratching. Baking soda should definitely be in your green cleaning toolkit.
Distilled white vinegar is another natural product that works just as well as dangerous household cleaners. It contains about 5% natural acetic acid which makes it great for removing stains. White vinegar can also remove traces of soap scum, grease, mineral deposits, mildew and waxy buildup. This natural cleaning product can be used for cleaning everything from windows coffeepots and carpet to toilet bowls. In fact it is safe for most surfaces except marble.
Whenever you use a new product or solution for cleaning always be sure to try it out on a spot that is not noticeable first to be sure it doesn’t react.
Lemon juice has been used for centuries as a natural odor-eater. It also removes stains from aluminum, clothing, copper and porcelain works great on Formica counter tops. In sunlight, lemon juice will ast as a mild bleach and you can add the juice of a lemon into the wash cycle to get rid of odors in clothes.
Table salt can be used to scour rust. When it is mixed with lemon juice the cleaner works great to clean copper. Mix it with vinegar for a brass polisher and use it wherever a scouring action is needed.

Use Natural Green Air Fresheners
Whenever you use store-bought air fresheners in your home or in your office, you may be unintentionally dumping harmful chemicals such as benzene and acetone to the very air you breathe. To avoid this, why not use all-natural products such as boiled cinnamon, cloves and other herbs to freshen up your indoor air? Also liven up your home and office space with some indoor plants, which are perfect for filtering interior air. Keeping windows open as often as possible will also allow natural air to flow freely inside and toxins to flow out of your home or office.

Green Dry Cleaning
It is a known fact that conventional dry cleaners use the toxic industrial solvent called Perchloroethylene, more colloquially known as “perc.” This chemical can cause skin irritations and even certain kinds of cancers to humans constantly exposed to it. It is important, therefore, to avoid patronizing these dry cleaners and instead go to shops which employ green dry cleaning techniques. These environmentally safe dry cleaning shops usually use carbon dioxide cleaning for their services.

Employ Green Cleaning Services
For home owners who do not have time to do their cleaning on their own, there are already several companies offering green cleaning services nowadays. Some of them can be found online, or even in your immediate neighborhood. If you are not able to find one in your area, hire conventional cleaning services, and just give them instructions to use green cleaning products you have in your home.

Get Rid Of Dirt Before It Is A Problem
Prevention is definitely better than cure. To avoid dirt and harmful chemicals from entering your home, the simple act of using a doormat can definitely do a lot to minimize the use of harmful cleaning products. Less dirt means less cleaning, less use of products, and less effort for you. If you are still in the process of designing your home, make sure that home spaces you have are healthier and easy to maintain.

Green cleaning is not a complicated concept. It just requires a change in mindset to practice it in our daily lives. It just involves thinking of both the environment and your hygiene the next time you do your general cleaning.

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1 Comment for “Green Cleaning Tips For A Safer Home”

  1. There are a variety of natural green cleaning solutions. It is hard to stay eco friendly from the carton to the cleaning solution but there are some companies that make these types of products. Oxy Boost is one product that has this quality.

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