Every day, we’re exposed to toxins and chemicals in our environment. You can’t control what you’re exposed to outdoors and in public, but when it comes to your home, you can take major steps to eliminate environmental toxins.
Why is green cleaning important? Your home is your nest and your sanctuary from the world. No matter how much time you and your family spend at home, it’s worth it to make it as healthy a space as possible. As part of your efforts to make your home healthy and comfortable, consider ways to green the way you clean.
What does green cleaning mean?
Next time you’re at the store, pick up a spray can of bathroom cleaner. How many ingredients do you recognize? How many of them appear to be chemicals with long, complicated names? Over the past few decades, we’ve been taught to associate cleanliness with harsh disinfectants and harsh “clean” smells.
The truth is, you don’t need those unrecognizable ingredients to clean your home. You don’t even need them to kill germs like those that cause the flu.
Green cleaning is using ingredients derived from nature to do the same job that those spray cans and bottles of bleach do. When you decide to adopt a green cleaning routine, you can make your own cleaning products or you can shop for safe cleaning products created by independent businesses. For many households, the cheapest and easiest route is to make several key products at home. You don’t need much more than vinegar, baking soda and essential oils to keep your entire house clean.
When it comes to cleaning with natural products, you may have to use a little elbow grease. Products that work “like magic” without involving any wiping or scrubbing work because of corrosive, toxic ingredients. When you clean with green products, you may have to use your hands and really scrub, but you’ll know that you’re not getting toxic chemicals on your skin or the surfaces in your home that you, your kids or your pets come into contact with.
Are there any other benefits to green cleaning?
When you avoid using toxic chemicals in the home, you’ll cut down on indoor air pollution from chemical fumes. If you or anyone in your family suffers from asthma or allergies, cutting down on chemicals may relieve those symptoms. You’ll also reduce irritation that can come from skin contact with chemicals.
Lastly, green cleaning smells great--naturally. Instead of using perfumes and synthetic ingredients to mask odors and create an artificial scent, green cleaners kill odors by killing bacteria and leaving behind simple, beautiful aromas derived straight from plants.