Healthy & Green Cleaning

08.21.10 Healthy & Green Cleaning

If you’ve gone through the effort of finding the healthiest products for your home, you don’t want to undo all your good work by using potentially harmful cleaning products. What are these questionable cleaning products anyway? And, do the greener alternatives really work?

“Bad” cleaning products are ones that pollute your indoor air quality or, even worse, are so poisonous that they are sold with skull and crossbones and are kept locked away for fear that a precocious child will get hold of them. You may have wondered: “how safe is it really to spray something with WARNING! Poison on the label onto your countertops and windows?”

Only about 30% of the 17,000 petrochemicals available for use in your home have been tested for safety. Conventional household cleaners are full of ingredients that pose both health and environmental hazards including possible carcinogens, skin or respiratory irritants, allergens, and hormone disruptors.

The good news is that you don’t need anything this scary to get your house clean. There are many options that are safer for your child, your home, and the planet, but still perform mighty well on the bathtub grime or the grass stains.

• Look for “do-it-yourself” cleaning recipes and stock up on baking soda, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and lemons. You can tackle even tough cleaning problems yourself with this crew on hand.
• Avoid ammonia, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), antibacterial soaps (triclosan), chlorine bleach, butyl glycol, ethylene glycol monobutyl, diethanolamine (DEA), synthetic "fragrance", synthetic colors, phosphates, sodium hydroxide, formaldehyde, 1-4 Dioxane, and other caustics.
• Read product ingredient labels, and buy only the safest brands free of the above list of chemicals.

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