09 Mar Transitioning to Green Home Cleaning
By Debi Sarandrea, Harmony Clean, Inc.
Do you worry about the effects of traditional cleaning products on your family’s health? Are you concerned about the impact of petrochemicals on the environment? We’ve all heard about the rising incidence of childhood diseases such as allergies and asthma, as well as multiple chemical sensitivities in people of all ages.
One simple thing you can do is reduce the amount of chemicals in your home while still ensuring your surfaces are clean, and where appropriate, sanitized. It’s virtually impossible to create a 100% germ-free home. But with mindful techniques and products, you can effectively clean your home with less harsh products while improving the indoor air you breathe.
Here are 5 few quick tips to get you started.
- Look for cleaning products that list their ingredients. Even though they are not legally required to disclose them, companies who do so are showing consumer transparency, thus empowering the buyer to make informed choices. You can look up ingredients on the web to get full disclosure on their efficacy and health ramifications.
- Avoid products with unnecessary artificial dyes and fragrances. Window cleaner does not need to be blue in order to work well. As a matter of fact, mirrors can typically be cleaned with a microfiber cloth dampened with water, followed by a dry cloth to buff out any smudges. Easy! And while many people enjoy floral or fruit scents in hand soaps or dish soaps, you might be better off simply opting for unscented versions for those and all cleaning products.
- Treat products labeled as ‘natural’ or ‘green’ with the same care and caution as traditional chemical cleaning products. Even food grade white vinegar is harmful to your eyes if accidentally sprayed into them, and it will etch natural stone surfaces including granite and marble. Natural products need to be kept away from children and pets and used in accordance with proper handling and ventilation.
- Purchase and use the highest quality vacuum cleaner you can afford. It’s a good investment. Vacuums with HEPA filters clean the air as you use them as they capture 99.97% of all particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or more rather than returning them back into the air through the vacuum’s exhaust.
- Use microfiber cloths rather than cotton cloths or feather dusters. Microfiber cloths are made up of tiny wedge shaped fibers that actually grab dust, dirt, and germs and remove them rather than push them around on surfaces. Feather dusters can be effective if they are high quality and are used properly, but most folks stir up the dust with them rather than slowly and carefully lifting and removing dust.
- BONUS TIP – if using a maid or house cleaning service, ask what cleaning chemicals will be used and if you are unfamiliar with them, ask for the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for detailed information about ingredients and their hazards.
Debi Sarandrea is the co-owner of Harmony Clean, Inc. located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She and her sister, Vicki Brown, founded their earth-friendly, non-toxic house cleaning company in 2003 to help busy families find more time in their day, and less stress in their lives. Debi enjoys sailing, kite-surfing, running, and baking healthy treats for friends and family using all natural ingredients.