Healthy Home Cleaning Habits

Exchange Indoor Air
Many modern homes are so tight there’s little new air coming in. Open the windows from time to time or run any installed exhaust fans. In cold weather, the most efficient way to exchange room air is to open the room wide – windows and doors, and let fresh air in quickly for about five minutes. The furnishings in the room, and the walls, act as ‘heat sinks’, and by exchanging air quickly, this heat is retained.

Minimize Dust
Remove clutter that collects dust, such as old newspapers and magazines. Try to initiate a ‘no-shoes-indoors’ policy. If you’re building or remodelling a home, consider a central vacuum system; this eliminates the fine dust that portable vacuum cleaners recirculate.

If you or your children suffer from dust mite allergies, keeping humidity low and vacuuming regularly can help. Dust mites tend to accumulate in bedding, so washing bed linens regularly in hot water is a good practice. You can also buy special pillowcases and mattress covers to protect you from mites.

Use Cellulose Sponges
Most household sponges are made of polyester or plastic, which are slow to break down in landfills, and many are treated with triclosan, a chemical that can produce chloroform (a suspected carcinogen) when it interacts with the chlorine found in tap water.

Instead try cellulose sponges, available at natural foods stores, which are biodegradable and will soak up spills faster since they’re naturally more absorbent. For general household cleaning, try Skoy Eco-Cleaning Cloths. These cleaning cloths are non-toxic, extremely absorbent (15x paper towels), reusable, and biodegradable.

Keep Bedrooms Clean
Most time at home is spent in the bedrooms. Keep pets out of these rooms, especially if they spend time outdoors.

Use Gentle Cleaning Products
Of the various commercial home cleaning products, drain cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners and oven cleaners are the most toxic. Use the formulas described above or purchase ‘green’ commercial alternatives. Avoid products containing ammonia or chlorine, or petroleum-based chemicals; these contribute to respiratory irritation, headaches and other complaints.

Clean from the Top Down
When house cleaning, save the floor or carpet for last. Clean window blinds and shelves first and then work downwards. Allow time for the dust to settle before vacuuming.

Clean Up After Pets
Owning a pet means dealing with fur, dander, tracked-in dirt, and accidents of various sorts. Keep your pet brushed to cut down on fur balls, vacuum often, and train them to use only certain pieces of furniture. A blanket on the sofa for them to lie on is easier to clean regularly than a sofa cushion.

A Word About Allergies
Though keeping your home free of dust can help with allergies, overly aggressive cleaning—especially with the many chemicals linked to allergies and asthma—can actually make them worse. Switching to a gentle cleaning routine using non-toxic products from your pantry may greatly improve allergy symptoms.

Commercial, Non-Toxic Household Products
In the marketplace today there are many safe, non-toxic products that are also effective for home cleaning tasks. The natural cleaning products below meet Eartheasy’s standards for safety and effectiveness.

Nellie’s Natural Dishwasher Powder

CitraSolv Concentrated Natural Cleaner and Degreaser

CitraSolv Concentrated Natural Cleaner and Degreaser
Made from limonene, the clear liquid from the peel of the orange. Its concentrated form allows you to use it for a wide variety of your cleaning needs: whether full-strength for the toughest stains, or diluted for every-day household cleaning. Unlike other heavy-duty cleaners, CitraSolv is made from natural ingredients and leaves behind a fresh orange fragrance.

CitraSolv Natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner

CitraSolv Natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Made from the same ingredients as CitraSolv concentrated solution, this Multi-Purpose cleaner is ideal for use on many surfaces, including stainless steel, wood, porcelain, aluminum and other surfaces. The easy-to-use trigger bottle can be refilled by diluting CitraSolv Concentrated Cleaner with water.

KitchenStone Cleaning Block

kitchen cleaning Block
An environmentally friendly, pumice-like cleaning block made from recycled materials. It provides safe, non-toxic cleaning of baked-on messes in your kitchen. The kitchen cleaning Stone works well on hot or cold surfaces, and can be safely used on most kitchenware including ovens, ceramics, glassware, pots, pans, and other cooking surfaces.

Soap Nuts 100% Natural, Biodegradable Laundry Liquid

Soap Nuts 100% Natural, Biodegradable Laundry Liquid
100% biodegradable laundry soap. The main ingredient is saponin, a natural low-sudsing cleaner that is very effective, yet safe for even the most sensitive skin.

Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda

Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda
Made with sodium silicate and coconut oil-based surfactants, Nellie’s laundry soda is hypoallergenic, leaves no residue and is biodegradable. That makes it great for baby clothes and for people with allergies or sensitive skin. This product also comes as nuggets, which dissolve readily in cold or hot water.

Nellie’s All-Natural Oxygen Brightener

Nellie’s All-Natural Oxygen Brightener
This chlorine-free oxygen whitener releases a boost of oxygen for bleaching stains, while cleaning and brightening colours and whites. It’s color-safe, septic-safe, and environmentally safe.

Nellie’s PVC-Free Dryer Balls

Nellie’s PVC-Free Dryer Balls
The unique design of the dryer balls lift and separate fabrics while relaxing fibers. The result is less lint and wrinkles, softer clothes, more absorbent towels, and a reduced drying time of up to 25%.

Skoy Eco Cleaning Cloths

Skoy Eco Cleaning Cloths
An absorbent, biodegradable and natural multi-use cloth. Use in your kitchen cleaning , bathroom, and on most surface areas in your home or office. SKOY cloth can be used in place of your sponge, washcloth or paper towels. It’s equivalent to 15 rolls of paper towels!