Household cleaning is a chore that many of us may dread. Whether you’re doing an end of summer cleaning, preparing for a gathering, or picking up after other messy members of the house, cleaning is simply a fact of life. Many of us rely on the typical household cleaners that can often be found in the same stores we purchase our groceries. Unfortunately, many of these products contain toxic chemicals and produce excess waste. Currently, there are about 17,000 petrochemicals available for home use. Of that huge number, only about 30 percent have been tested for human and environmental exposure. Based on the definition from Mariam-Webster dictionary, petrochemicals are a category of chemicals that are derived from petroleum or natural gas. According to the blog, Treehugger, the average American home contains about 63 synthetic chemical products.
If you’re concerned about your current cleaning products or are just looking for a fun at-home project, here are some helpful tips on how to make your cleaning routine a little more green:
- Use Old Clothes or Reusable Towels – instead of relying on single-use paper towels, try cutting up your old clothes to make into cleaning rags. This cuts back on unnecessary waste and gives you an opportunity to reuse those clothes you may have thought about throwing out!
- Try Vinegar and Baking Soda for Cleaning – these two common household ingredients can be used for a plethora of cleaning purposes! They are non-toxic and very versatile. Using various combinations of vinegar and baking soda can be a great replacement for typical cleaners that are filled with a number of chemicals.
- DIY Your Cleaning Products – by making your cleaning products at home, you will know exactly what is in your cleaners! Many sites, like Pinterest, have numerous recipes for making your own household cleaners. They even offer recipes for specific appliances like ovens, or even carpets and glass.
- Repurpose Your Products – if you have old products in your house that might typically make their way into the trash, you may want to consider repurposing them for cleaning. This strategy can save you money and is a much eco-friendlier way of dealing with these items. For example, an old toothbrush might be used as a scrubbing tool. You can also use unwanted jars as a desk organizer or a way to store dry goods in the pantry. Old clothes can be used as dusters or cleaning towels.
- Opt for a Green Cleaning Company – if you are a business owner, or have a housekeeping staff, you may want to consider finding or switching to a company that focuses their efforts on green cleaning strategies. Organic Housekeepers is one of these companies! They service the Vail Valley and Aspen areas. The company specializes in cleaning most accommodations ranging from homes, businesses, rentals, small hotels, and even condominiums.
If you are looking to revamp your household cleaning routine, it is worth considering the tips and strategies listed above. By replacing typical cleaners with more natural and non-toxic ones, your house will be just as clean but without all those chemicals in the air. This will allow you to create a safer environment for children, pets, and the Earth!
Emily Dennis is a Sustainability Intern at Walking Mountains Science Center.