Spring is a good time for a thorough house cleaning. You want to make sure you use non-toxic cleaners however. Indoor air pollution, partially caused by the use of chemical based cleaners, is a much more serious problem than people realize and one of the reasons for increased cases of asthma and allergies. Fortunately there are many non-toxic cleaning supplies, which can be found even at your local grocery store. Many of the traditional brands are now making a less toxic product. Be sure to read the ingredients though. Some products claim to be “natural” when they really aren’t. Visit Environmental Working Group’s Cleaners database “Hall of Shame” for the worst offenders in cleaning products.
Some “clean” (meaning chemical free) and effective brands are Seventh Generation, Mrs. Myers or Shaklee’s full line of biodegradable concentrated cleaning products. Start with an all purpose cleaner, an abrasive scrubber, and a toilet cleaner. You can also make your own cleaning supplies using baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. Baking soda cleans nearly everything from stained kitchen sinks to mildewed showers to tea stained coffee mugs to flatware to fruit or even teeth, and it’s cheap! White vinegar works great on hardwood floors. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if there is no “clean” smell, then it’s not effective – fragrances are part of the chemical danger. (There are some organic cleaners containing safe, essential oils as a fragrance.) Happy cleaning and smelling!