There is much talk these days about green cleaning and why we should make the switch to green cleaning in our homes. Here we provide some insight into what green cleaning is and how it differs from traditional house cleaning methods.
Green cleaning is not just about using non-toxic chemical-free cleaning products but should extend to methods and equipment used. The goal of green cleaning is to be kinder to the environment, kinder to the individuals doing the cleaning and kinder to the homeowners.
The first step is to get rid of any cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals which have identified as carcinogens, endocrine disrupters or known or suspected reproductive toxins. Some to be on the lookout for are: ethylene glycol butyl, paradichlorobenzene, silica, bleach and phosphates. Fortunately, products that do not include there are becoming more widely available from manufacturers such as Ecover, Nature Clean, and Seventh Generation.
A recommended change to your cleaning method is to avoid using trigger sprayers to spray these products onto the surfaces you are cleaning. Even if you use more natural products you can reduce the amount of product you use by spraying directly on to your cleaning cloth.
Next you should invest in some new cleaning accessories such as a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner and microfiber dust cloths. These serve to reduce the amount of dust that is released into the air during cleaning. It is a well known fact that dust contains many of the environmental toxins that are present in our homes and should not be inhaled if at all possible. A microfiber cloth will trap the dust in the cloth rather than moving it from one spot to another or releasing it into the air. A microfiber mop will be more eco-friendly than a traditional mop too.
When it comes to cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, this typically requires disinfecting the various surfaces. However, the most hazardous cleaning products are corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners. Choose natural disinfectants like hydrogen peroxide and undiluted white or apple cider vinegar. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found these to be safe alternatives for getting rid of Salmonella, Shigella and E. coli bacteria. Dishwashing liquid is one of the least toxic cleaning products and can be used for many cleaning jobs beyond just washing dishes.
For those homeowners who prefer to outsource their house cleaning, more and more are requiring that the maid service they hire offer a green cleaning service. Even window and carpet cleaning companies are being pushed to look at green alternatives to their traditional cleaning products, methods and equipment.