Green Ideas for Housecleaning

March 15, 2009 by  
Filed under House Cleaning

When most people choose cleaning products at the supermarket, they give little thought to what goes in the cart, other than choosing the most appealing and affordable. But there are good reasons to learn more about using green, natural cleaners around the house. Those name brand cleaners might work well and smell nice, but at great cost to the environment and possibly even your family’s health.

Just because a cleaner is available on the shelf, doesn’t mean that it’s safe. Many household cleaners include chemicals that have the capacity to be toxic, flammable, corrosive, or reactive. Do you really need products in your home that contain hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, or petroleum in order to have a clean house?

These ingredients are just a few of the hundreds of potentially toxic substances used in cleaners from the grocery store. They might have warning labels cautioning about dangers of physical harm, but not the harm to the planet we live in. Every day, tons of cleaning products are thoughtlessly poured down the drain. This is frightening, as these substances can’t be processed effectively by septic systems or sewage treatment plants. The end result could be surface or ground water contamination. This puts fish and wildlife at risk.

These are all very good reasons for environmentally conscious families to choose natural, eco-friendly cleaners that are safe for their families and the environment. Rest assured that natural ingredients work just as well as processed chemical ones, without any negative side effects. Here are a few:

Pure Soap

Pure, old fashioned castile soap just like your great grandmother used still works. Soap and water are eco-friendly and can clean your home effectively without chemicals.

Vegetable Oil

Believe it or not, vegetable oil makes a great wood furniture polish. It can shine and hydrate wood furniture without a waxy build-up.


Not only is vinegar a natural disinfectant, but it is a deodorizing all purpose cleaner. Most moms will be glad to know that it kills:
• 99% of bacteria
• 82% of mold
• 80% of viruses and germs

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another versatile old fashioned eco-friendly cleaner that has been around or generations and still works. It naturally scrubs surfaces, deodorizes, and makes an effective base for cleaning pastes. If you want something that smells fresh or pretty to scrub your tub or toilet, add some essential oil to your baking soda paste.


Add some lemon to a baking soda cleaning paste with vinegar, and you will add extra cleaning power to dissolve hard water deposits or soap scum. Lemons also have a natural ability to shine copper and brass. They smell wonderful and add to your homemade cleaning products’ ability to deodorize.

As you can see, it’s easier than you might’ve thought to create your own environmentally safe supplies to clean and disinfect your home. You probably have at least one of these examples already. However, if you are short on time, you can purchase natural green cleaners. They are becoming more widely available online, in health food specialty stores, and even in the cleaning section of mainstream grocery stores. There’s no longer any reason not to clean green for a healthy family and cleaner environment.