While traditional household cleaning products can leave your home sparkling, a lot of them contain chemicals that have the potential to be harmful to you and the environment. Sometimes, even cleaners labeled “eco-friendly” or “natural” may also include caustic ingredients. Where applicable, you should leave the use of chemical cleaners to professionals.
Whether you’re looking for ways to minimize the impact that cleaning has on your health, or you are going green to save the environment, there are several actions you can take to become eco-friendly while still keeping your home spotless.
In this blog post, Gem City Cleaning Solutions, a team of professional cleaners, lists five eco-friendly cleaning tips and recipes to promote better health and help the environment.
1. Know the Risks
According to the American Lung Association, many household cleaners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are “gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes.” VOCs may cause irritation and headaches, and, in extreme cases, health complications such as cancer. The health impacts of VOCs can be worsened by combining chemical cleaners, but you can avoid this by limiting the use of:
Aerosol spray products, including health, beauty, and cleaning products
Detergent and dishwashing liquid
Dry cleaning chemicals
Rug and upholstery cleaners
Furniture and floor polish
When choosing a household cleaning product, opt for the cleaner with no fragrance and flammable ingredients.
2. Create Your Cleaning Supplies
Instead of purchasing cleaning supplies at the store, create your own cleaners using the trusted ingredients you may already have at home. However, it’s critical to stay safe while you’re cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, so do your research before mixing any two or more substances together. Some alternatives to chemical cleaners include, but are not limited to:
For example, if you want to create an eco-friendly window cleaner, mix 1/2 gallon of hot water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and several drops of lemon-scented essential oil. To make an all-purpose cleaner, mix together 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1/2 gallon of water. Lastly, equal parts baking soda and vinegar are great for unclogging drains.
*Note:Products like castile soap, vinegar, and lemon juice do not mix well with one another.
3. Reduce Waste
If you’re creating your own household cleaners, you’re going to need the right tools to use them. Instead of purchasing single-use plastic containers, invest in reusable Mason jars with multi-purpose lids and cellulose sponge cloths. There are even cleaning brush sets for sale that are natural wood instead of plastic for those challenging areas you can’t scrub clean with just a cloth.
But if you’re purchasing cleaners, you can still reduce your waste. While you cannot control the packaging products come in, you can be mindful about your purchases and choose to reuse the product bottles you already own. Method, a company that sells biodegradable, non-toxic household cleaners and personal care products, packages most of its products in recyclable aluminum. If Method’s product bottle isn’t aluminum, their manufacturers have crafted the bottle out of 50% recycled plastic (PCR) that can be recycled once again. Method also lists every ingredient in each individual product and even denotes the ingredient’s origins.
Other eco-friendly cleaning supply companies include:
Finally, you can reduce waste by researching what products may clean specific areas. Many household cleaners are versatile, which means that they serve more than one purpose. Therefore, you do not actually need to purchase a handful of different cleaning products and contribute to both waste and clutter.
4. Use Natural Air Fresheners
Plants are great for decoration, but they also filter carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen as part of photosynthesis. What’s more, plants, especially flowers, bring an added freshness to your home. Some of the best-smelling indoor houseplants are:
You can also achieve a pleasant-smelling home without the use of chemicals and air fresheners by boiling cinnamon and orange slices, opening windows, purchasing essential oils, baking, and grinding coffee.
5. Take Your Shoes Off
There is an ongoing debate about wearing shoes in the home. For some people, it is customary to wear shoes in their own home; for others, it is a cultural tradition to remove shoes upon entering a home. That said, one of the easiest ways to ensure your home remains clean is to leave your shoes at the door.
In an interview with Today, Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona, said that “if you wear shoes for more than a month, 93 percent will have fecal bacteria on the bottom of them.” In addition to being a display of respect, removing shoes upon entering a home has long been in place to preserve one’s health.
Cleaning With Gem City Cleaning Solutions
Leave the chemical cleaners for the professionals. Use environmentally-friendly cleaners between visits by Gem City Cleaning Solutions. By doing so, you’ll keep yourself safe and reduce your carbon footprint!
If you’re having trouble staying on top of keeping clean, call us today or fill out our contact form.
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