It’s important to read warning labels on cleaning products. When these products are misused they can release toxins into our environment. There is a misconception that being clean and being eco-friendly are mutually exclusive. That isn’t true at all. There are many ways to keep a clean, safe environment and be toxin-free. Environmentally friendly cleaners can be purchased at the local store, and some can even be made with existing household items! Home produced cleaners can be made very inexpensively. Baking sodas, washing soda, white vinegar or lemon juice, are some of the common ones. Baking soda, typically used in cooking, is made from soda ash. It is an alkaline substance with a pH of about 8.1 (neutral is 7). This makes a great cleaner for counters, showers and other things. Washing soda is chemically similar to baking soda, but it has a higher pH. It can do heavier cleaning with less harmful effects than other cleaners, but should still be used with gloves because it can be caustic. Washing soda is typically used for getting rid of grease, wax, and other tougher messes. Lemon juice and white vinegar are acidic, so they are good at getting rid of hard water and polishing brass. There are numerous other cleaners that can be made with essential oils and other household products.
The Green Seal certified cleaners are great ways to clean as well for those who prefer to buy cleaners. These cleaners are methodically tested with strict international standards which assure safety for the environment and human health. These cleaners clean anything from glass to laundry and are found at many major retailers throughout the country. The Green Seal website http://www.greenseal.org/ also lists other products that are ecologically sound.
There are other tools that aid green cleaning. Some are as basic as reusable containers and spray bottles, which cut back on the wasteful packaging that often goes to landfills. Steam cleaners are wonderful tools to have because there are no chemical additives used at all. They require tap water and heat at high enough temperatures to kill mold, bacteria, dust mites, and cut grease. Some models come with floor attachments such as mops. The pricing of these can be very reasonable to very pricey. The best action is to find what meets your needs and your wallet as well. Microfiber cleaning cloths are another great option. Microfiber when magnified closely is more able to trap water and dirt than ordinary cloth. They are also very reusable since they can easily be washed as long as they are air dried afterwards. These are great to use for any sort of dusting or car cleaning.
Cleaning without the fear of toxins is easy and affordable for everyone. Clean green and you’ll live healthier.