What is Green cleaning? Green cleaning encompasses any cleaning technique that doesn’t have hazardous chemicals. That’s different for everyone, but you might be happy using vinegar and baking soda to clean your bathroom when down the street your neighbor prefers non-toxic commercial cleaners. There isn’t a single standard for what is and isn’t green cleaning.
What’s wrong with Normal cleaners?
The ingredients that go into normal cleaners are different than you’ll find in food. There are dozens of harmful chemicals used in household cleaning products. For example, their characteristic smell, color, flavor, and texture; many of these chemicals cause allergic reactions or breathing problems in some users.
Some of the more common chemicals that you’ll see on cleaning product labels include.
Most people know that ammonia smells like urine, and it is no secret that prolonged exposure can cause negative health effects (namely respiratory and eye problems). What most people don’t realize is that certain forms of ammonia are used as a preservative and it’s legal to pack ammonia-containing cleaners in bottles that contain up to 49% pure ammonia.
Benzene is a known carcinogen, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health lists it as an occupational hazard. It’s in types of cleaners, but especially those containing petroleum distillates.
Ethylene glycol is the primary ingredient of antifreeze and de-icer. Even in small quantities, ethylene glycol has been well-known to cause neurological problems; it attacks the central nervous system.
This chemical is another carcinogen and is linked to increased asthma risks. Formaldehyde is often in household cleaners that claim to have a “fresh” smell.
Toluene is another chemical commonly used as a solvent. But to manufacture plastics and synthetic rubber tires. Long-term exposure can lead to serious respiratory problems or neurological issues.
These are just a few examples of the potentially harmful chemicals in normal household cleaners. Some are respiratory problems, others with cancer. And the possible effects don’t stop after you’ve used a cleaner once or twice! Many people are regularly exposed to these harmful chemicals every time they do the dishes or take out the trash.
Why is Green cleaning safer?
The best way to avoid the health hazards of chemical cleaners is to use non-toxic green cleaning products. Green cleaning can include everything from homemade solutions and “all-natural” store-bought brands to commercial-grade cleansers that you wouldn’t want in your home. And as long as something doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, it’s considered green cleaning.
Why should you care about Green cleaning?
Green cleaning doesn’t just protect the health of the people using the products, furthermore helps minimize environmental impact. The chemicals used in many conventional cleaners are dangerous to humans, but they’re dangerous to aquatic life and plant life. When you use green cleaning products, you protect your home environment, as well as your own.
How to get started with Green cleaning?
First, clean out your cabinets and go through the cleaning supplies under your sink. If the ingredients listed on the bottles include any one of those dangerous chemicals, trash it or give it away to someone you know who wants to get started with green cleaning. Then, set aside a budget for buying new products to replace the dangerous ones you’ve just gotten rid of.
Once you have your green cleaning products, the next step is to start cleaning. The easiest way to start is by swapping out any hazardous chemical cleaners for simple DIY recipes. Baking soda is an abrasive cleaner, and it’s “green” because it’s non-toxic. Vinegar is a perfect all-purpose cleaner and, when combined with water, it makes a great window cleaner.
Of course, green cleaning isn’t just about buying new products, you also need to clean in the safest way possible! Meaning, you shouldn’t be using harsh abrasives or scrubbing until there’s no dirt left on the surface. You can use green cleaners to do the job, but you don’t need to scrub like you would if you were using a conventional cleaner!