Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes

Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Clean You Home and Protect Our Environment

Did you know that levels of pollutants in indoor air can be two to 100 times higher than outdoor pollutants?  According to the EPA, indoor pollution is mostly due to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), that evaporate from home decorating and cleaning products.

If the weather cooperates, open a window every once in a while and let those pollutants out! Many consumers use synthetic room fresheners and fragranced cleaning products that are full of VOCs and other toxic chemicals. These can make our indoor air unhealthy, provoke skin, eye, and respiratory reactions, and also harm the environment.

According to a study published in New Scientist, in homes where aerosol sprays and air fresheners were used frequently, mothers experienced 25 percent more headaches and were 19 percent more likely to suffer from depression, and infants under six months of age had 30 percent more ear infections and 22 percent higher incidence of diarrhea.

In choosing alternatives, consumers need to be alert to greenwashing. Just because a product says it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s nontoxic.”  The word “natural” is undefined and unregulated by the government and can be applied to just about anything, including plastic, which comes from naturally occurring petroleum. Because no standards exist, claims such as “nontoxic,” “eco-safe,” and “environmentally friendly” are also meaningless, according to Consumers Reports’ Eco-labels website.  

Learn to look at labels for specific, eco-friendly ingredients that also perform effectively. These include grain alcohol instead of toxic butyl cellosolve as a solvent, coconut or other plant oils rather than petroleum in detergents, and plant-oil disinfectants such as eucalyptus, rosemary, or sage, rather than triclosan. You can also mix your own cleaners.  A few safe, simple ingredients such as plain soap, water, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), vinegar, washing soda (sodium carbonate), lemon juice, and borax can satisfy most household cleaning needs, and save you money at the same time.

If you’re in the mood to detoxify, getting rid of germs doesn’t have to mean overkill.  According to the Washington Tocxics Coalition, the most hazardous cleaning products are corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, acidic toilet-bowl cleaners, and anything containing chlorine or ammonia.  

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about the health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to or  For more information on “Household Cleaning Products and Breast Cancer”, please watch our video at

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