With the fall season just ahead, and more time spent indoors coming soon, your home likely could use a thorough, deep cleaning. Now would be a perfect time to toss (or donate) conventional cleaners and bring in some non-toxic but just-as-effective replacements.
From surface sprays to dishwasher tabs to laundry detergent and dryer sheets, the selection of eco-friendly house cleaners
available today is extensive. If you’re new to green cleaning,
this guide will help you learn the basics!
DIY cleaning products
Chances are, your cupboards already are stocked with ingredients that you can use to make your own cleaning supplies. DIY household cleaners
are easy to make, the solutions are great for basic cleaning needs around the home.
is a natural ingredient with disinfectant properties that can be used on counters, windows, wooden surfaces or floors. Simply fill a spray bottle with a mixture of half water, half vinegar, and use it to wipe down just about any area for instant clean. Tip: Add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil
to tone down the vinegar smell.
is another multi-purpose cleaning ingredient. Use it to wipe down stainless steel surfaces to brighten them up while getting rid of residue and grease. A water and baking soda paste makes an excellent scrub for bathroom shower stalls and bathtubs. You also can use it to clean your oven
Eco friendly house cleaners
To save time and tackle tougher jobs, you’ll want to keep some green cleaning products on hand. Unlike conventional cleaners, these alternatives are free of harsh chemicals and toxins that potentially could harm your health.
Ingredients to avoid
Ammonia is a common ingredient in cleaning supplies. It’s often used in glass cleaners to minimize streaking. The Organic Consumers Association
notes that cleaning with ammonia is dangerous because it can cause respiratory issues and skin irritation.
Phthalates are a type of chemical used to make plastics soft and flexible. They can be found in household cleaners, personal care products and cosmetics, and in the foods we eat. Research is still being conducted on the effects of phthalates, but for safety, you might consider avoiding them. According to WebMD, studies
have indicated that phthalates are linked to reproductive issues and cancer in lab animals.
Formaldehyde is another dangerous chemical to avoid. This odorless gas can be found in air fresheners and some cleaning products. The American Cancer Society
suggests that formaldehyde can cause nausea, wheezing, watery eyes, coughing and severe skin irritation. Exposure to this toxin also has caused cancer in laboratory test animals.
The good news is that switching to green cleaners is easy! Whether you’re looking for furniture polish
, carpet shampoo
, stain remover
or all-purpose spray
, you’ll find a natural product for just about everything you need at Vitcost.com.
Once you see that natural cleaning supplies clean just as well as the cleaners you’re already buying, you’ll be ready to make the permanent switch.
More natural house cleaning tips
1. Let your home breathe.
As the weather cools down and the fall season begins, open your windows for a few minutes each week to let in some fresh air. This will keep your home smelling nice, without the use of chemical-filled air fresheners or sprays. It will also feel good to air out your home. Your windows will be shut all winter long, so now is the time to do it.
2. Eliminate clutter, recycle and reuse
Do you have a lot of excess t-shirts, pool towels, or other clothing items stuffed in your closet? Fall is the perfect time to get organized! Go through all of this excess clutter and find a new way to recycle and reuse instead of buying new items. Extra t-shirts and towels can easily be cut up to make cleaning rags.
3. Clean air ducts and check air filters
Another step that you can take to stay healthy is to care for your home’s air ducts and change the filters in your heating system. If it’s been a while since you replaced the filter, now is the time to put in a new one. You can keep an eye on how dirty the filter looks, but plan to replace it every 1 to 3 months.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency
suggests cleaning the air ducts in your home if they have a lot of built-up dust or debris. You should also have any heating systems in your home appropriately inspected before the start of winter to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Happy Fall! With these tips, you can easily fall into a green cleaning routine this autumn. Developing a healthier cleaning routine now will make it easy to stay healthy and happy throughout every season of the year.