“Green” non-toxic cleaners are just as effective at cleaning and disinfecting as those old-school cleansers WITHOUT using toxic chemicals. And the market has exploded with options over the past few years.
If you want to go even greener, you can use a time-tested and surprisingly just-as-effective cleaner: distilled white vinegar! Vinegar will kill E. coli and other germs after just 60 seconds of exposure.
First, here are some tips for buying safer household cleaning products:
- The label should say petroleum-free, phosphate-free, VOC-free, solvent-free and/or biodegradable.
- Avoid products that contain chlorine, triclosan, triclocarban, lye, alcohols, glycol ethers or ammonia.
If you want more info on cleaners, check out the Environmental Working Group’s site, which is packed with recommendations and ratings, as well as a healthy cleaning guide. You can see it here: EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaners.
Spoiler alert: the site’s top-rated cleaner is distilled white vinegar! (It also has lots of other cleaners you can buy at the grocery store.)
Here are some other home-cleaning upgrades:
- Use a microfiber cloth to dust. It’s reusable and it picks up dust particles without using any spray cleaners/polishers.
- Use vinegar and newspaper to clean windows, and you can also use vinegar to sanitize your kitchen counters and cutting boards.
- Distilled white vinegar also kills mold and mildew.
- Mix vinegar with baking soda to create a paste that dissolves soap scum.
If you’d prefer a fresher scent, add lemons to your white vinegar, or add a few drops of organic lavender essential oil (or other favorite scents) to the vinegar.
Have you ever made a homemade cleaner?
They might take a little longer to work – and sometimes they require a little extra elbow grease – but they can give you peace of mind that you’re using items that will get the job done without causing harm.
We know this may seem a little off-topic since we’re usually all about nutrition and fitness, but we believe it’s important to make sure the place you spend the most time (your home!) is a safe and healthy place to be!