Jun 082020
Natural House Cleaning Tips – Healthy
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Welcome to my 'Natural House Cleaning Tips' post!

First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Green cleaning refers to environmentally-friendly cleaning products that are safer or less toxic to people, plants, animals, and the environment. It is important to adopt green cleaning practices because they reduce health risks, improve air quality both inside and outside, as well as protect the environment.

As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives. 

These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green. 

Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green! 

Green Cleaning...

Today, we over-use synthetic cleaning products, which is causing harm to people, the environment, and other species. The manufacturing process, usage, and disposal of non-green cleaning products are highly detrimental to the environment too. 

Chemicals in commercially developed cleaning products cause respiratory, skin, reproductive, allergy, cancer, and related health issues. You will be surprised to know that even sponges and antibacterial soaps are harmful to human beings. They kill bacteria in the intestinal tract, an organ that plays an essential role in keeping you healthy. These products also inhibit the development of antibodies in your T-lymphocyte system and can prevent vitamins protecting your skin.

Fortunately, you have several safer options for maintaining a healthy home and promoting the health of our environment. There are products available to buy and if you want to save yourself some money, making them at home with ingredients in your kitchen cupboards is quick and easy.

Avoid These...

This may come as a bit of a surprise to you but the majority of the products found in grocery stores are toxic and dangerous. Fortunately, there are several natural alternatives we can use which will clean effectively, save you money, and keep you safe.

Avoid Mainstream Cleaning Products...

Cleaning-Products-to-Avoid
Cleaning-Products-to-Avoid2

Avoid Toxic Ingredients...

Surfactants

They are the main ingredients in detergents and soaps. We can use them to cut grease and remove dirt from any surface. You must know that surfactants are based on petroleum and therefore you must avoid them. They cause skin irritation and can impact the body's ability to function properly. A natural alternative is coconut oil.

Bleaches

We use bleaches to disinfect surfaces and remove stains. Most commonly, we use chlorine bleach that contains sodium hypochlorite, which can irritate eyes as well as damage to the respiratory system and skin.

You must avoid breathing the vapors releasing from the chlorinated bleach. Instead of using chlorine bleach, you should use oxygen-based or non-chlorine bleaches. Examples are sodium per-carbonate, sodium perborate, and hydrogen peroxide. 

Disinfectants

These products remove microbes on countertop surfaces. Alcohol, bleach, phenolic compounds, quaternary ammonium chlorides, hydrogen peroxide, and pine oil are common disinfectants. They have been connected to poor indoor air quality, cause cancer, reproductive disorders, respiratory ailments, eye and skin irritation, and central nervous system impairment.

A natural alternative for killing microbes is vinegar, which is effective for killing almost all microbes found in the home. If somebody at home is sick, add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide as this is a natural alternative to bleach.

Fragrances

Fragrances are linked to a staggering number of health risks and are highly toxic. These chemicals are listed as allergens, hormone disruptors, asthma triggers, neurotoxins & carcinogens. To make matters worse, they commonly contain phthalates, which cause cancer, issues with the human reproductively, birth defects & respiratory problems.

Green Cleaning is Healthy...

Currently, there are only a small number of registered chemicals that have gone through testing for health concerns. The lack of knowledge in this field is concerning. Some chemicals are very toxic to the human body and long-term or repeated exposure and have immediate negative impacts on your health, wellbeing, and the environment. 

Household chemicals with hazardous properties need to be handled safely. They require disposal at landfill sites to protect the air, soil, and water. Most of these places are all day during the week, so just call ahead to confirm time and procedures. 

According to the study conducted by the EPA, people on average spend 90% of their time indoors. Some common environmental pollutants are 2-5 times higher indoors than outdoors. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are the primary source of these pollutants, which are mainly released from household cleaning products.

We can reduce indoor pollutants by limiting the use of chemicals in our homes. It is important to follow the guidelines of green living to protect our health, save the environment, money, as well as conserve natural resources. Here is a simple guide to greenhouse cleaning. 

Be Environmentally-friendly...

There are various reasons to replace the current cleaning products in your home or office with healthier and green alternatives. It is important to go green for both health reasons and to conserve natural resources. One of the easiest ways to improve the indoor environment is by reducing the use of cleaning products.

Studies show that household dust contains higher levels of asthmagens, VOCs, and toxic chemicals. You can reduce household dust by adopting cleaner and greener habits and start investing in good equipment. The strategy to reduce, reuse, and recycle is important.

Promote Sustainability...

Good green cleaning products meet the strict criteria developed by EPA which ensures products promote sustainability. We want to reduce pollution in the environment and reduce our use of natural resources. However, a good cleaning isn't always about spending money on products. The manufacturing process of these products uses our natural resources and adds pollution to our atmosphere, contributing to global warming.

Instead, of spending money on a product, first, make the most of nature to help you. Fresh air and sunlight are effective at killing bacteria. Open your curtains, blinds, and windows every evening and/or morning. Allow the air to cool your house down at night and the sun to keep it clean.

If you are going to spend money, my number one recommendation is to invest in reusable storage containers, spray bottles, cleaning fabrics, and basic ingredients for making your products. But if that is not for you, here are some tips to remember when shopping for green cleaning products:

Woman-Opening-Windows

Shopping Tips...

Many of us unknowingly purchase these dangerous products at our local store and bring them into our homes. Knowing what to look for on product labels and what to avoid is essential for keeping your family safe. 

The following cleaning product characteristics are better for your health and the health of your home:

  • Biodegradable
  • Recycled content containers
  • Bulk Packaging
  • Honest labeling
  • Non-Toxic
  • Phosphate-Free
  • No Dyes
  • Essential oils

Use Green Equipment...

It is important to have good, clean, and green equipment. This makes the cleaning task much easier. I like to keep them all in a plastic box as this is easy to take down from my high storage cupboard. I then place the items I will be needing that day into a cleaning caddy, making me more efficient. Can you tell I cleaned professionally for a living? 

Start by reducing the dirt or dust entering your home. For this, experts suggest investing in doormats for the exterior doors of the house. Having some both outside and inside the door is the most effective method for keeping dirt from coming inside. Ideally, experts recommend placing grates at doors and mats inside. Take your shoes off before entering your home. Having an indoor entry space outside the door is best but if this is not possible, the next best thing is a shoe rack inside the door. 

Use reusable cleaning cloths and mops that can easily be washed when dirty. Do not use paper towels for cleaning as this is a waste of paper and natural resources. When mopping, it is vital to use a two-chamber bucket, which is designed specifically for preventing dirt or dust to contaminate surfaces while you clean them. Likewise, it helps decrease the amount of product needed for cleaning.

Many green experts don’t recommend using a vacuum cleaner because the manufacturing process uses fossil fuels and running them uses electricity. However, I believe that a good vacuum is one of the most effective ways of removing toxins from your home.

As a solution, use your old vacuum until it finally dies and invest in a quality vacuum that has great results and uses less power. If you want to take this one step further, use a sustainable power source in your home. As a side note, a vacuum cleaner with the HEPA filter is a good investment, especially for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Cleaning tools table - pumice drone, drain snake, old toothbrush, microfiber cloths

Homemade is Best...

We must protect our health, the health of our loved ones, pets, and the environment. How? Make cleaning products at home with less-toxic and organic ingredients. The most common products at the household level are lemon juice, baking soda, castile soap, and vinegar. They are inexpensive and effective cleaners.

I will be posting more homemade cleaning recipes shortly. Watch this space! In the meantime, here are some natural cleaning ingredients that you can probably find in your home:

Natural-Cleaning-Supplies-and-Properties

Sweet & Simple...

Reduce VOCs by simplifying the cleaning products you use. The best way to do this is to make your products. Using a smaller number of cleaners, means you reduce the number of chemicals in your home. Here are some basic ingredients and their values as cleaning products. 

Alkalis 

Borax and baking soda contain alkali, which can best remove oily dirt. Alkalis are soluble salts, which have different strengths. The mildest alkali you can find is baking soda. Baking soda can cut grease and clean oven spills. It can also absorb odors, clean glass, tile, and enamels.

Borax is an alkali with moderate strength. Most often, you find it in the grocery stores – i.e. in the laundry aisle. Borax is a great all-purpose cleaner. Sodium bicarbonate or washing soda is an example of the strongest form of alkali, which can work effectively to remove tough stains.

Acids

We often use acids to remove discoloration on metal surfaces, hard-water deposits, and rust stains. Lemon juice and white vinegar are mild acids, which you can use for many purposes and are a fantastic green cleaning alternative. You must not use lemon juice on silver because it can deteriorate the quality of the material. 

Anyone Can Save Money...

Homemade cleaning products are less costly than commercial cleaning products and most of the ingredients are likely already in your kitchen cupboard. In recent years, it was found that the average American family spends $40-$50 every month on cleaning supplies. This translates to $500-$600 a year! The products often have a one time use, requiring the consumer to replace them when they run out. Let's not forget the health concerns too.

To me, this is nonsense! The majority of cleaning supplies you need are already in your kitchen and are safer to use. Replenishing them is cheap, affordable, and more environmentally friendly.

Safety is Our No 1 Priority...

It is important to mix your cleaning products in small batches at home. Make sure you label all the containers with the cleaning product’s ingredients, date made, and intended use. If you are using essential oils, I recommend purchasing some reusable glass spray bottles that protect the oils from the sunlight. When not in use, you must keep all product containers closed. 

You must keep all cleaning products away from your children or out of reach of pets. If you want to store these natural products in the kitchen, I would recommend a high cupboard out of reach from children and pets. If you decide you must have toxic cleaning products in your home (not recommended), remove them from your kitchen where you prepare food and do not store them under the kitchen sink. A locked box in the garage is a much safer place for them.

When using a new homemade cleaning product, wear gloves, and appropriate protective clothing. These ingredients are natural but still have effective cleaning properties and therefore you need to take precautions to protect yourself.

Check the cleaning product on a small area, especially when treating fabric or carpet stains. Remember, vinegar may leach color from some household items and can effect stone and wood surfaces when not properly diluted. 

Natural House Cleaning Tips: The Final Verdict!

Wrapping up, mainstream cleaning products are toxic and have negative impacts on our health. The healthy alternative is to use green cleaning strategies which are better for us, our children, pets, and the environment. They also have many economic perks at the individual, community, state, and country levels.

Going green is about reducing our impact on the planet by minimizing the number of products we use and choosing safer alternatives. In today’s article, I have given your precise information and in the future, I will be posting articles that will talk about each of the topics in much greater detail. Until next time!

Do you have questions or comments? Drop them in the space below and I will get back to you very soon. 



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Reader Comments

  1. Thank you for providing this. I had switched to greener products in the past and recently switched back to using bleach spray and antibacterial soaps based on CDC guidelines for Covid. It’s hard to explain but just feel as good using those. In the future, would you consider making recipes for making your own cleaning solutions or a printable list of substitutes that I could tape to the inside of my cleaning supplies cabinet? Thanks so much! Have a wonderful day 🙂

    1. Hi Christy, this all comes down to personal preference and Covid-19 puts a lot of added pressure on us to keep our families safe. I personally am using a homemade vinegar spray with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide inside it.

      Yes, I do have plans to make some homemade cleaning recipes, so watch this space!

  2. So many allergies are present nowadays and many of them are linked to chemicals. I realised this many years ago when my child was diagnosed with various allergies. Along with nutrition modifications, we switched to all home-made cleaning products. With a great deal of success, as we haven’t seen an allergic reaction for many years now.

    1. I am so very pleased to hear that this has had such a positive impact on your family. Yes, allergies are a prominent aspect of everyday living and children are unfortunately the most vulnerable. Thank you for sharing. Keep up the good work.

  3. Love this. I’ve been wanting to go greener particularly with household cleaners, but the ones available in the shops are normally so expensive. But your list of how to make your own is great, something we can look into! We’ve also started using vinegar to clean, which I believe is more natural – what are your thoughts on that?

    1. I use water and vinegar for the majority of my house cleaning needs. There are only a few things I wouldn’t use vinegar for – stone surfaces and hardwood. I hope this helps.

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