Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes.

Green Cleaning Tips and Tricks Uncategorized

Safer Alternatives to Toxic Household Cleaners

October 12, 2011

Some of the products that are used to clean the home can actually do more harm than good. 

Many all-purpose cleaners contain ammonia, which can cause rashes or burns when splashed on the skin.  Its fumes can also cause eye and lung irritation.  Mixing ammonia with another product (like bleach) will create toxic chloramine gas ( 

Safer alternatives to ammonia and bleach-based cleaners work just as well:

Dust ceilings, air vents and surfaces with an electrostatic duster. This removes dirt without the use of furniture cleaners, which can contain petroleum distillates. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, distillates can cause skin, eye and lung irritation. 

When shopping for a vacuum, look for one with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Certified HEPA filters remove at least 99.97 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. Be sure your vacuum is in good working order and does not release exhaust or dust back into the room.

Use recyclable newspapaer or a microfiber cloth and an all-natural glass cleaner to clean windows. The active ingredient in glass cleaner should be vinegar or citrus juice rather than ammonia. Newspaper used to clean windows can be recycled. Microfiber cloths can be washed and reused.

Avoid using potentially hazardous all-purpose cleaners and single-use paper towels in the kitchen or bathroom.  Use cotton rags soaked in hot water and mild castile soap to clean most surfaces. This technique will dislodge most dirt and grime typically found in kitchens and bathrooms. For tougher areas, spray a small amount of environmentally friendly all-purpose cleaner. Use as little as possible to clean the area. Look for cleaners that carry the Green Seal.

Clean your toilet bowl with baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda inside the toilet bowl, and then add white vinegar. Let this sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a toilet brush. Flush the toilet. Rinse the toilet brush in hot water before storing.

Clean clogged drains with baking soda and vinegar. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let this sit and bubble for a few minutes, then pour several cups of boiling water down the drain to rinse. For stubborn clogs, repeat process.  

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about our environment and the health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to and  Watch our video on achieving work/life balance at  To learn more about the hidden allergy and asthma triggers in your home, log on to

For more information on cleaning products and breast cancer, please watch our video at  To find out ways to protect your family’s health against breast cancer, please log on to

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