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The Essential Guide to Green Cleaning: 5 Quick & Easy Ways

May 26, 2008
Say goodbye to toxic cleaning habits for good. Read on for 5 quick and easy ways to keep your home cleaner and greener.

1. Read your labels.
Be wary of toxic ingredients. Chlorine, bleach, and ammonia are the obvious culprits, but don't forget to check for diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), and alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs).

2. Make your own cleaners.
It can be difficult to find effective non-toxic cleaning products out there. Sometimes it's easier (and more fun) just to make your own. Here is a quick list of natural products that make excellent cleaning supplies.

Baking Soda: Great for all-purpose cleaning. Cleans, deodorizes, and removes stains and pet odors.

Sodium Borate (Borax): A miracle mineral that naturally kills mold and bacteria. A fabulous alternative to bleach.

Vegetable Oil Based Soap: Cleans everything, and we mean everything.

Cornstarch: Naturally starches clothes, and absorbs oils and grease.

Lemon Juice: Removes grease, perspiration, and other stains from clothing. Also, an alternative to bleach.

Vinegar: Removes grease and stains and works as a water softener.

3. Create airflow.
Did you know that it is quite common for the air inside a home to be more toxic that outside air? Better insulation and toxic materials have created a virtually airtight breeding ground for toxicity. To remedy this situation, make sue you have a path for air to travel in and out of so that your home can breathe. Keep your windows open when possible to keep the air flowing.

4. Be wary of "antibacterial" products.
Many people think they can't live without their antibacterial or antimicrobial soaps and sanitizers. But science has proven time and time again that nothing cleans better than good old fashioned soap and water. In fact, continued overuse of antibacterial products could lead to breeding "super bugs" and "super germs," chemically-resistant bacteria that could potentially create problems for future generations.

5. Leave your shoes at the door.
Let's consider for a moment what's on your shoes. Do you use public restrooms? Have any pets or neighbors with pets? Does your city ever have pollen or pollution alerts? Chances are that you're trekking in more than you ever hoped. For this reasons (and countless others) do everyone in your household a favor (especially if you have children) and leave your shoes at the door. Putting a doormat outside of and right inside of your exterior doors can also help. An added bonus - less dirt in your home means visibly cleaner carpets.
About the Author
Charlotte Beulow is a contributing writer for AccessMyLibrary.com . Best known for its large and diverse set of content, AML provides authoritative reference content as well as full-text magazine and newspaper articles - all courtesy of your local library and at no cost to you.
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