Greener Cleaners You Will Want To Use In Your Home

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July 8, 2022

It’s no secret that harsh chemicals can be toxic to your health and greener cleaners are becoming more readily available as safe alternatives when cleaning your home. I want to share with you the many ways that you can create a greener home by using homemade products.

When you are making changes that support a greener lifestyle it can be overwhelming to do everything at once. My suggestion is to start with small changes that feel achievable, such as replacing the disinfectant spray that you use or replacing your toxic kitchen cleaner with a greener, cleaner choice.

Part of the problem is the marketing of some of the greener cleaner products that are on the store shelves. It’s hard to know which ones are truly greener when you aren’t familiar with the long list of toxicities that show up in products. Just because it’s labeled and marketed as green or being better for the environment doesn’t mean it’s safer for you!

Identifying greener cleaners can be tricky but worth the time it takes to learn. The benefits of making small changes add up to big side effects.

My solution is to start with some simple steps and homemade products that are a greener and healthier solution. You’ll know exactly what ingredients you have put in them, and you’ll feel confident knowing that you have made a cleaner choice.

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Why use greener cleaners in your home

Making your own cleaners can lessen your exposure to toxic chemicals. Many traditional, store-bought cleaners contain chemicals linked that are harmful to the brain and nervous system, can worsen or contribute to respiratory system, disrupt our hormones, or that can cause cancer over time.

If you read the warning label on most of them, they can be harmful when inhaled, or they recommend wearing protective gear such as gloves, and avoid getting on skin or near eyes.

Kitchen cleaner that’s easy to make

The kitchen gets cleaned often as it is likely the most used room in your home. Making small changes in the kitchen will help you reduce the toxins that you are most frequently exposed to. My favorite kitchen cleaner is an easy to make recipe that will drastically reduce the harmful chemicals that you get exposed to through cleaning.

Check out the DIY oven cleaner and directions to use to clean your oven with a safer method!

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Best disinfectant spray to use in your home

It’s great to clean your kitchen with soap and water, but to kill germs and disinfect, you’ll need a disinfectant spray. Store bought disinfectant sprays can contain toxic chemicals such as ethanolamines, glycol ethers, quaternary ammonium compounds, and alkylphenol ethoxylates, which are linked to health effects such as respiratory issues, brain and nervous system toxicity, hormone disruption, and even cancer, among other things. You don’t have to be using them for that to happen – they can off-gas into the air even when they’re not being used!

Not to mention when we use these products around children, pets, and others who are particularly susceptible to these health effects), that are harmful to your health. A great alternative to those sprays is a simple, homemade recipe.

It’s hard to know what’s in cleaning products because of the lack of strict regulations. Most companies want to keep their formulations proprietary, for competitive reasons. This is easy to do because these companies are not required to disclose individual ingredients on the label that are used to make up their products.

In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “only requires companies to list active disinfecting ingredients and ‘chemicals of known concern’ on their labels.” The big loophole is the word “known,” because there aren’t any testing requirements for most of the chemicals used in cleaning products.

Another big reason to make the switch: cleaning products can off-gas into the air, even when they’re not being used.

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Clean before disinfecting

Dirt and grime on surfaces can lessen the effectiveness of disinfectants, so it’s important to clean the area with either a multi-purpose cleaner or soap and water before disinfecting. The just use one of the three following materials

Then just use one of these three items to safely disinfect (just don’t use them together):

  1. Rubbing alcohol – spray and leave on surface for 30 seconds to several minutes (be careful because it can discolor some plastics and finishes).
  2. Hydrogen peroxide – spray and leave on surface for 10 minutes (be careful because it can discolor fabric).
  3. Electrolyzed water – let it sit for 10 minutes before wiping away.

Electrolyzed water is worth mentioning, not just because it’s my favorite way to disinfect, but also because it works as a cleaner AND a disinfectant! Electrolyzed water is tap water that is converted into non-toxic hypochlorous acid (a disinfectant) and sodium hydroxide (a non-toxic cleaner) by using a small device that sits on your countertop, and a capsule of salt, water, and vinegar (provided by the company). Registered for use in daycares, schools, veterinary clinics, and ICUs in hospitals, it’s also listed on the EPA’s List N of disinfectants for use against the Coronavirus. To use it, spray onto clean surface and let sit for 10 minutes before wiping away. If you haven’t cleaned the surface first, simply spray the electrolyzed water onto the surface and wipe away any dirt and grime, and then go back and spray the area again and let the electrolyzed water sit for 10 minutes to disinfect. My favorite brand for this is Force of Nature because of the ease of use and easy storage of the device.

Whichever of these materials you choose to disinfect with, just make sure not to wipe up immediately as the disinfectant needs time to work. Let it sit for the appropriate time listed, then wipe away or let dry on the surface.

The benefits of using DIY cleaning products

Many are taking preference to unscented and DIY cleaning products to use in the home, as they not only reduce toxins that you are exposed to but alleviate any type of allergic reaction or sensitivity to smell.

Plus, did you know that scented products that contain fragrance are a health risk?

Just like most cleaning product formulations, fragrance formulation is considered to be a “trade secret,” so its individual ingredients are not required to be listed on the label, many of which are toxic and are linked to cancer, allergic reactions, respiratory issues, and that may be toxic to the brain and nervous system.

If you do like a little scent with your cleaner, consider adding about a dozen drops of your favorite essential oils to your window cleaner, or diffuse essential oils.

The great news is I also have simple greener cleaner DIY cleaners that you can make yourself and use many places throughout the home. A simple baking soda and vinegar recipe creates a greener cleaner that you can use as a toilet bowl cleaner, carpet cleaner and an oven cleaner! Or as another example, a simple 50/50 combo of distilled water and white vinegar poured into a spray bottle is a great window cleaner.

For more great recipes and information on greener cleaners you can order a copy of my book, The Slightly Greener Method!

Grab your copy of The Slightly Greener Method!

Get My Free Guide!

Hidden Toxins: How to Find Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Your Personal Care Products

Get the Guide>>