The age-old saying “Too much of anything is bad” has never been more wrong when it comes to cleanliness. The Royal Society for Public Health debunks the circulating myth that says exposing children to germs will improve their immune system.
According to https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/25/too-much-cleanliness-not-bad-for-health-report-on-hygiene-says, letting kids play outside in the dirt is good, but washing their hands before eating and after going to the comfort room is still essential. Hygiene and cleanliness trump the need to expose children to good bacteria. Forgetting these two important things lead to infection and serious health problems.
Especially during a pandemic, it is vital to protect ourselves through hygienic techniques such as proper handwashing. It is also important to protect our family and the space we live in by regular cleaning and sanitizing. Removing dirt, dust, and stains throughout our home is best partnered with disinfecting methods and sanitizing products. This ensures that microorganisms are either killed or reduced to a non-threatening amount.
However, we often forget to look at the label of the household and cleaning products we buy. We often forget to consider how these products can actually make our health worse than it is before.
According to the American Lung Association, the cleaning supplies we use contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause serious health effects upon inhalation or consumption. It is beyond the mild headache and throat irritation we so often hear on commercials. VOCs from household cleaning products cause chronic respiratory diseases, hypersensitivity reactions, and even cancer.
If you are tired of endangering your family by cleaning, try these green cleaning methods and equipment for a more natural and healthier way of keeping your home pristine.
1. Use Steam Cleaners
Steam cleaners may only use heat and water but they surpass any cleaning product in efficiency and safety. Steam cleaners are like vacuums but instead of siphoning dirt, it releases tiny, pressurized vapor molecules that can penetrate even the tiniest surface pores in your kitchen. As it forces out stains and dirt, the steam’s high-temperature also kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi that occupy the small crevices of your stove.
Aside from providing limitless cleaning capabilities, they are also safe and eco-friendly to use. They give you the option to efficiently clean your space without using chemicals. Also, as it only employs water, it reduces the number of chemicals we flush down the drain, which will eventually be released to bigger bodies of water.
Steam cleaners can effectively clean any hard and soft surfaces, kitchen countertops, dishwasher, toilet seat, tile and grout, limescale on fixtures, and even your car interior. You can also safely use it to sanitize toys, curtains, sofa, and mattresses. Who would have thought that you can remove gunk from every nook and cranny of your home with the help of water? You may visit the website to learn more about the wonders of steam cleaners.
2. Buy EPA-Approved Products
Not every cleaning product with a big “eco-friendly” sticker is devoid of toxic chemicals. Do a little research before purchasing green products or just refer to the list provided by the Environmental Protection Agency for legitimate green household supplies. The agency puts together a list of transparent companies that disclose the actual ingredients of their products.
These companies use sustainable manufacturing techniques and use non-toxic constituents. It lacks chemicals that can irritate your skin and eyes or induce a sneeze-fest upon inhalation. Green products are environmentally friendly, as well as kid- and pet-friendly.
3. DIY Cleaning Solutions
There is nothing greener than a home-mixed cleaner, which consists of ingredients that came from your own pantry. Baking soda and vinegar are the top contenders when it comes to DIY cleaning solutions. Mix them with warm water and you have got yourself a homemade all-purpose cleaner.
Other kitchen supplies such as lemon, apple cider, rosemary sprig, olive oil, and table salt can be mixed with warm water or other natural solutions to help clean surfaces in your home. You can scour the internet for good combinations of these ingredients that can remove grimes and scrub grits from your countertops, floor, and windows.
Some homemade formulas even double as clothing and shoes whitener, polish and clean delicate surfaces such as painted walls, thin plastics, and marble tiles.
4. Natural Air Purifiers
Home cleaning and disinfecting do not only entail clean premises; it also means keeping your indoor air quality. Aside from outdoor pollution, different activities such as cooking, spraying insecticides, and even coughing can contaminate the air we breathe, as well as generate pollutants that can cause health problems.
You can naturally remedy polluted indoor air by improving your home ventilation. If you have an HVAC system, make sure to always keep it (especially the filters!) clean and get it regularly maintained. For non-HVAC users, you can increase your ventilation by installing natural air purifiers or an exhaust fan to vent out all harmful pollutants, unsafe steam, and moisture. Install them in specific places such as in bathrooms and kitchens.
Natural air purifiers such as beeswax candles, salt lamps, activated charcoal, and essential oils are also safe and effective strategies to ensure quality indoor air. Most natural air purifiers are odorless so it is a good choice for someone who has an allergic reaction to specific fragrance. They are highly absorptive and can eliminate and neutralize toxins that circulate the air.
Nothing can say “natural air purifier” better than houseplants. According to NASA, plants inside our homes and workplaces can rejuvenate the air we breathe. It purifies the air by eliminating toxic aerosols such as formaldehyde, ammonia, and benzene. Plants also double as home décor and are great companions secondary to pets.