Practical Green Cleaning Tips
Practical green cleaning tips can help every homeowner to keep their home organized, clean, and safe from toxins. Green cleaning is important to rid your home from infectious disease, dust mites, and other threats to your environment.
Frequent hand washing is an important strategy to prevent infectious diseases. It's not the type of soap that presents the spread of bacteria and viruses; it's how you wash your hands. Vigorously rub soap in hands to produce lather and wash for a full minute, rinse well, and dry hands with a clean towel.
Additionally, dust mites, and their detritus can also cause health problems, notably allergies. In fact, 80 percent of allergy sufferers are allergic to the waste and decomposed body parts of dust mites. Did you know that 42,000 dust mites can live in just an ounce of dust?
Your bed is the perfect environment for dust mites - your mattress may house between one million and ten million dust mites. So what can you do to control them?
- Vacuum upholstery and carpeting regularly. Launder your sheets in water that is 130 degrees F or warmer to kill dust mites. Vacuum your mattresses frequently when you change the sheets. Vacuum bed pillows when you change the sheets and replace them every six months. Flip mattresses every few months and replace them every few years.
- Direct sunlight kills dust mites so hang blankets outside on the line on sunny days. Leave the window blinds open and the beds unmade during the day.
- If sunlight is the enemy, darkness is the friend of dust mites. Be sure to vacuum under your bed regularly and thoroughly. Dust gets trapped under your bed - offering a perfect food source. With darkness and a food source, you're offering a very hospitable environment for dust mites to thrive in.
- Tests have shown that upright vacuums do not effectively remove these biologic allergens from your home. Use a professional-grade, closed canister vacuum with 4-level filtration to remove 99.9 percent of all particulate matter in the air that is 1 micron or larger. This includes mold, fungus spores, pet dander, pollen, dust, and dust mites.
Everyone can take steps to ensure a clean and safe home. Tips from using microfiber clothes to making your own cleaning products can help you clean up the home and the environment.
Easy Tips to Keep Your Home Clean and Green
- Buy good quality microfiber cloths to clean better with fewer (maybe no) chemicals
- Use microfiber mops, not brooms, to remove daily traffic, dirt, and pet hair without stirring up more allergens
- Use the mildest cleaning solution possible for the job
- Watch the Signal Words on the product labels, avoiding anything stronger than a "Caution!" label
- Wear rubber gloves to prevent absorption of chemical solutions and vapors through the skin
Medium-Level Efforts to Keep Your Home Clean and Green
- Purchase products that come in recyclable containers
- Purchase green cleaning solutions in concentrated form and dilute into re-useable spray bottles
- Select products designed to work in cold water
- Avoid products containing known or suspected carcinogens, neurotoxins, reproductive toxins, developmental toxins, or endocrine disruptors
- Get high quality entry mats to reduce the introduction of new dirt particles and chemical residues from the outdoors
High-Level Efforts to Keep Your Home Clean and Green
- Purchase a high-filtration vacuum with a closed canister systems to trap and remove 99.7 percent of particles 1 micron or larger (including dust, dirt, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, hair, and mold - really tiny stuff)
- Switch to a chemical-free dry steam vapor system to clean, deodorize, disinfect, and kill mold, mildew, and dust mites using water alone
- Purchase a water-ionizing system for a chemical-free portable device that effectively tackles just about everything (you may need something stronger on heavy grease and soap scum)
- Make your own natural cleaning products - like baking soda, lemons, vinegar, borax, and vegetable-based oil soaps for ultimate knowledge and control of what is in your home