Many common cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals that can impact our health (skin, eye, and lung irritants) and the environment (air and water quality). By making or purchasing non-toxic cleaning products, you can protect your health while reducing the amount of toxic chemicals that require special disposal as household hazardous waste. Here are three options for greening your cleaning.
Make your own, right from home: Ounce-for-ounce, homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterparts, and most everything in your home can be cleaned with a few cheap, safe, and easy-to-use ingredients you can safely combine yourself: tap water, baking soda, vinegar, and plant-based liquid soap. You can download green cleaning recipes below.
Buy non-toxic cleaners: Read labels. Look for products containing vegetable and fruit oils and extracts. Avoid chlorine, ammonia, formaldehyde, ketones, phosphates, hydrocarbons, hydrochloric acid, phenols, and artificial fragrances. If the labels say, "Warning," "Danger," or "Poison," it’s hazardous. Third-party seals of approval, like Green Seal, are one way to help you determine which household goods are truly non-toxic.
Buy in concentrated form: With appropriate handling safeguards, buying in concentrated form can reduce packaging waste.