Green cleaning means minimizing the use of cleaning products as these products are loaded with chemicals. These chemicals are not healthy because it affects the Air Quality (IAQ) and poor IAQ can cause common illnesses like asthma. Green cleaning can make your home healthier and save you money.
Green Cleaning Facts
There are lots of cleaning products for almost any type of cleaning project available in the market. Do we really need these products stuffed under our kitchen sinks, in bathroom vanities, over the washing machine and wherever else we store cleaning products? However, the manufacturers are now introducing green versions of these same cleaning products and will you really throw the old products out?
Would you still buy cleaning products if you knew that you can use vinegar, baking soda and warm water can be used to make your own all-purpose cleaner that will clean almost anything? Imagine the money that you can save from getting rid of all those unhealthy cleaning products in your home. Here are some facts to help you decide why green cleaning is right for your family's health.
• There are 17,000 petrochemicals available for home use but only 30% have been tested for exposure to human health and the environment.
• We have an average of 63 synthetic chemical products in our homes, or roughly 10 gallons of harmful chemicals.
• The EPA estimates indoor air pollution levels can be 100 times above outdoor air pollution levels, but unlike government monitoring of outdoor air pollution -- who's monitoring your home's air?
Green Cleaning Recommendations
The green movement is about changing how you make decisions, for example:
• Think before you buy any new cleaning products.
• Do you have time to make your own green cleaning mixture?
• Do you know how to tell which green cleaning products are really green?
Here are some ideas for starting to shift to green cleaning practices
• Begin by trying out a green cleaning mixture on one job you do frequently. Research online to get recipes of the mixture and try it
several times to make sure you're happy with the results, and then you may toss the old cleaning product.
• Toss the old cleaning product in a proper way. Remember, if they're not good for your home then they'll also harm water supplies and the landfill. Check with your town for the next recycling day for toxic chemicals and electronics.
• While you are cleaning, keep the windows open to allow fresh air to come in and replace your unhealthy indoor air.
• You may want to avoid antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers as the FDA has found that they don't work any better than regular soap and water.
• Use houseplants to fight air pollution in your home. Plants can scrub (remove) harmful gases out of the air, and absorb some harmful pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
• You can try boiling cinnamon, cloves or other herbs to serve as an air freshener instead of buying freshener products.
• If you have a cleaning service that comes to your home, you may ask to use green products. Conventional dry cleaners use perchloroethylene (perc) which is toxic which you may ask if they have plans to do green cleaning.
Favorite Green Cleaning Products
Green cleaning includes the products used to clean and the tools to apply and rinse off the cleaning solutions. ecloth is more absorbant and more effective than paper towels because you can wash them 300 times before replacing them.
Green cleaning products should use ingredients that are biodegradable, use renewable (or recycled) resources, have low or no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), no dyes unless by the FDA and not contain anything toxic.
Tina Gleisner, founder of the Association of Women Home Owners connects homeowners with concepts, terminology and advice to build homes that support today's lifestyles. Through the library and directory at www.HomeTips4Women.com, you can LEARN more about how to maintain and repair your home and more.