Cleaning green is a growing trend, and for good reason. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the number of airborne pollutants inside your home may be 25 to 100 times higher than the air outside. You can limit the amount of chemicals you and your family breathe in while being gentler to the environment by using nontoxic cleaners, which luckily are easy to come by these days. Here are a few to consider, at price points to suit every budget.
Cleaners that contribute
Shaklee Corporation Get Clean Healthy Home Pack, $82.65
This might seem a bit pricey for cleaning supplies, but it comes with 12 pieces that cover the basics your household needs to shine. The kit includes things like organic cleaning wipes, laundry concentrate and spray bottles filled with an all-purpose cleaner and a mirror/window cleaner. Available through www.shaklee.com.
Mrs. Meyer’s Surface Scrub, $4.99
This effective yet gentle product works on any mucky surface in your home, including tile, cookware, stainless steel and porcelain. Choose from three scents: lavender, lemon verbena or geranium. All are chlorine- and phosphate-free, and are made with a safe ash and oxygen bleach. The best part is that they’ll leave your home smelling fresh and light. Available at Whole Foods and other natural food stores, or www.mrsmeyers.com.
Method Daily Shower Spray Cleaner, $4
Who would think you could keep your shower mold-free naturally? Spray down your shower each time you wash, and you can forget about using elbow grease. This cleanser prevents soap scum from building up and melts away mildew, water and lime stains. Method’s pleasant ylang-ylang scent will remind you of fresh flowers. Available at Target or www.methodhome.com.
Biokleen’s Automatic Dish Powder, $8.45
You might think you have to prewash your dishes before putting them in a dishwasher with a natural dish powder, but not with Biokleen. The company’s phosphate-free alternative contains natural corrosion fighters that compete with popular
The best part? The product contains no metasilicates, borax or caustics. Available online at www.betterforbabies.com.
The cheapest and simplest way to clean is often to create your own products out of basic household supplies. If you have some baking soda, white vinegar and lemon, you can clean most of your house.
• Clean almost any surface by shaking some baking soda on a damp cloth. Clean and rinse away with water. Also place a box in your fridge and/or freezer to absorb odors.
• The acidity in lemon juice cuts soap scum and water deposits, making it a great tool for the bathroom. You can also use it to shine brass and copper, as well as mix it with vinegar or baking soda to form a cleaning paste.
• Vinegar is an efficient all-purpose cleaner. Mix it with equal parts water, and you can clean surfaces like stovetops, toilets, sinks and floors. Just make sure it’s safe to use on your tile, and avoid using it on marble. Its disinfectant and deodorizing qualities also make it a natural fabric softener. Add a ¼ cup or a ½ cup to the rinse cycle in place of a store-bought variety; you’ll save money and avoid chemicals.
Of course, there are many more products on the market and other basic household supplies that are great cleaners for your home. If you look for products without harsh chemicals that you can’t pronounce, you’ll be heading in the right direction no matter what brand you choose.