Finding time to clean our homes is a difficult task in and of itself and one that many of us struggle with. Another thing we find hard to do is to clean our homes with a “green” thumb.
I am talking about “Green Cleaning.” Wikipedia refers to “Green Cleaning” as “using cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures which are designed to preserve human health and environmental quality.”
It also states, “If the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly and the products are biodegradable, then the term “green” or “eco-friendly” may apply.”
So, do you Green Clean? Let’s look at the opposite of this!
The opposite of Green Cleaning is by use of chemical cleaning products that are very harmful to our lungs, our eyes, our skin, and our overall body.
Considering how many terrible germs and bacteria cloud our earth and homes and how tough some cleaning jobs can be, it’s no wonder why we choose to clean with powerful, active chemicals! Not to mention, we cater to products that offer convenience and affordability these days, and these chemical cleaning products provide just that!
However, while we want to protect our health, our loved one’s health, our time, energy, and wallets by using these cleaning agents, we equally endanger our loved ones as well because of the toxic chemicals these cleaning products contain.
Thankfully, there are a lot of safer alternative cleaning products out there that are entirely safe, toxin-free, and get the job done well! Let’s look at 5 of safer cleaning alternatives that are much safer for you and your family.
DIY Cleaning Products
DIY Cleaning products are a fantastic choice because of how safe they are, how affordable they are and how you can custom make your products to suit your needs. If you browse Pinterest, you can find a host of different DIY cleaners that you can easily make in your home. Plus, your kids can help because it’s all safe!
What is so fun also about this method is you can experiment with different essential oils to give your cleaners a fresh, clean, beautiful scent! Popular choices are Lemon, Orange, and Lavender Essential Oil. Just 2-3 drops per your DIY cleaner will do the trick!
One example of a DIY cleaning product is an all-purpose cleaner that works on multiple jobs. Here’s a great recipe:
Using equal parts vinegar and warm water with 1 TBSP baking soda, mix really well and add to a spray water bottle, ready to use on any messy surface with a clean cloth when you need it! Add some essential oil for a fresh scent. Use this with a newspaper or paper towel for squeaky-clean mirrors and windows!
Toss the Bad
To effectively safely clean your home, you need to start with a clean slate by getting rid of any toxic house cleaners. These can include bleach, Lysol Wipes, toilet bowl cleaners, laundry soap, shampoo, and more.
Know the ingredients
There are so many dangerous, toxic ingredients to look for when adding any house cleaning product to your home. In Experience Life, Jessie states what harmful ingredients to look for, and they are:
- Perchloroethylene or “PERC”
- Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”
- Sodium Hydroxide
She also states that there is something called “Greenwashing,” which means that a company or product can claim to be a Green/eco-friendly cleaner but actually isn’t. That’s why it’s imperative that you carefully check the ingredients on every cleaner you purchase!
Now that you know the ingredients to avoid, toss any cleaners that have them in them! Be careful not to pour them down the drain or in the garbage but instead take them to your nearest municipal household hazardous waste center where workers will get destroy them safely.
While it is at your own risk, if you choose to clean with toxic cleaners, these next steps are critical to your health!
Reading Labels is Crucial
Always, ALWAYS read the labels on every bottle and container and make sure to follow the safety precautions as mentioned on each cleaner.
If you feel any pain or irritation in your eyes, throat or nose, stop using the product immediately! Also, always wear protective gloves when cleaning to avoid chemical burns.
Let Fresh Air in
Open the windows and let the air in! A lot of hazardous cleaners contain ingredients that can cause dizziness, fainting, headaches, and worse health problems. Open a window nearby to let in the healthy air to combat the harmful air you’re inhaling. If you don’t have a window nearby, wear a mask and walk out of the room often! You don’t want to risk falling and hitting your head while cleaning!
Don’t Mix Cleaning Chemicals
You may have heard recommendations from a friend or family member to combine different cleaning products with one another for a more effective clean. However, this is extremely dangerous and should be avoided because mixing different chemicals can create a hazardous gas that you could inhale.
Just because it’s more effective, doesn’t always mean it’s safe!
Safer is Always Better Than Sorry
While a lot of the chemical cleaning products sold in stores are effective on the toughest germs and jobs and are generally affordable, they are also effective in destroying the health of the environment, your health and the health of your loved ones.
When it comes to cleaning your home, safe is always better than sorry! In fact, we highly recommend you follow these safety tips very carefully and incorporate them into your life immediately to avoid more toxin exposure.
Share in the comments below: What is ONE change you can make in your home cleaning routine, immediately, to create a safer environment for you and your loved ones?