5 Nontoxic Spring Cleaning Tips
Here in Maine, the official first day of spring sometimes feels more like optimism than reality. Ice covers our lakes and rivers, snow blankets our sidewalks, and the forecast warns of still more chilly days to come. But as we bundle up and keep a hopeful eye peeled for the first crocuses to emerge, it's nice to acknowledge the change of seasons with a thorough round of spring cleaning.
Keeping the house clean and free of dust and grime is also an important way to keep toxic chemicals out of the air we breathe at home. But popular cleaning sprays are so toxic that researchers recently compared regular use of these products to smoking 20 cigarettes a day. How can we keep our family safe from these toxic chemicals, while also keeping our homes clean and toxic-free this spring?
Here are 5 ways to help reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals while cleaning:
Replace toxic products with safer alternatives. You probably have great alternatives on hand in the kitchen: Vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda are non-toxic and effective for scouring and scrubbing all kinds of surfaces.
Or, make your own products! These how-to videos from Women's Voices of the Earth show how you can mix simple ingredients to create your own toxic-free cleaning products.
Invest in microfiber cloths, which effectively lift up dirt, dust, and grease. Most cleaning jobs in our homes hardly require industrial chemicals—research has shown that water and a simple microfiber cloth is often all that's needed.
Wet dust, mop, and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to eliminate toxic household dust. Clear toxic dust out of indoor air by occasionally opening windows and doors to let in fresh air, too.
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