As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to tackle those dust bunnies that have been hibernating in your house all winter. But before you go into a cleaning frenzy, consider these five tips to get your home sparkling clean without leaving harmful chemicals behind.
- Clean out your conventional cleaning supplies first – but be sure to dispose of them properly. Drain cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and bleach are considered “household hazardous waste” and cannot be poured down the drain or put out with the trash. Instead, drop them off at your local hazardous waste facility for proper disposal. Locate a facility in your area by searching www.earth911.com.
- Use non-toxic, natural cleaning supplies to cut down on chemicals like volatile organic compounds that affect indoor air quality and can harm local wildlife once washed down the drain. Or, you can always make your own natural cleaners at a fraction of the price by mixing baking soda or vinegar with warm water.
- Dry cleaning coats and comforters? Choose an eco-friendly dry cleaner that doesn’t use the chemical perchlorethlyne (“perc” or PCE), which has been linked to increased cancer risk along with brain, liver, and kidney damage.
- Open the windows while you clean, and whenever the weather allows. Indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, thanks to up to 10 gallons of harmful chemicals in the average American home.
- Change your habits to help maintain your fresh, healthy home. Taking off shoes when you come inside cuts down on dirt and chemicals from outside, especially for children and pets that spend time at floor level.