There are plenty of cleaning products on the market filled with claims of being “natural” or “green,” but there’s a major difference between products that are safe and those that have “creative” marketing techniques that aren’t entirely honest.
A growing number of Americans are searching for environmentally-friendly products that are both safe for the planet and their families. In some cases, labels can be deceiving. While cleaning products with labels claiming to be “natural,” “green,” or even “nontoxic” may seem like the clear choice to protect your family, many of these terms are not regulated by legal definitions, and don’t really mean anything.
What’s more, there are no federal regulations forcing manufacturers to disclose everything they put in their products. Some states, like California and New York, have passed disclosure laws to counteract these. But without national regulations, it can be pretty hard to know what is in the household cleaners you bring into your home and use around your loved ones.
With all of this in mind, how should you go about finding safe household cleaners?
Consult Information from Trusted Organizations
One of the most important things you can do when selecting safe household cleaners is to see what the experts have to say. A great place to start is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice program, which includes a searchable database you can search to see if a product meets the guidelines set by the EPA as well as other non-government organizations like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Made Safe.
Environmental Working Group
The EWG assigns letter grades to cleaning products based on how toxic they are. Products that are labeled with the “EWG Verified” label have been rated as meeting the strictest criteria for both transparency and health guidelines. They also offer insights on decoding terminology on cleaning product labels.
Made Safe certifies products based on the ingredients included. They are a comprehensive health and ecosystem-focused organization that certifies products of all kinds, including baby products, personal care items, and household cleaners. Their goal is to eliminate toxic products and make it easier for people to buy products without toxic chemicals.
No one database can cover all the cleaning products you’ll find on shelves in stores, but by consulting these databases and learning more, you can limit your exposure to chemicals, and less exposure is always a good thing.
You can also find many environmentally friendly household cleaners that are safe for use around your home here.
Make Your Own Cleaners
If you have the time to make your own cleaners, there’s no better way to ensure that you know exactly what products you are using in your home. There are countless recipes for safe, homemade household cleaners, and there’s no underestimating the power of a microfiber cloth and water, but here are a few of the most effective:
In a 24-ounce spray bottle, mix the following ingredients together and shake well before each use for a safe, effective cleaner for bathrooms and kitchens:
- ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide
- ½ cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon unscented liquid Castille soap
- 10 drops tea tree oil
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 cups water
Window and Glass Cleaner
Combine the following ingredients in a 24-ounce spray bottle and shake to combine for a family-friendly cleaner that leaves your windows and mirrors with a lasting streak-free shine:
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dish soap
You can also use rubbing alcohol or dish soap alone to clean touch spots on windows and mirrors.
Load your mop up with the following solution to clean your non-stone surfaces.
- 1 gallon distilled water
- ½ cup vinegar
Carpet Spot Remover
When you have spots appear on your carpet, mix the following ingredients into a paste, let sit for 24 hours, then vacuum away. Use water to remove residue and blot (and be sure to test this formula in an inconspicuous place first!).
- ¼ cup table salt
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup Borax
An important note: You should never use vinegar solutions on stone surfaces like granite or marble, cast iron, aluminum, or waxed surfaces as the acidic composition can damage these surfaces. Always test your cleaners in an inconspicuous location before using them.
Choose Safety-Minded Professional Cleaning Services
Throughout New York and the surrounding boroughs, DLL Cleaning Services has the safety of our clients in mind. Our house cleaning services are designed to be tough on germs, dirt, and grime, but safe for your family and gentle on your home’s surfaces. We use EPA-registered cleaning products for all of our residential cleaning services, and for our deep cleaning services, we use products that clean your surfaces and protect your home.
Whether you are looking for an apartment or condo cleaning service or other residential cleanings, DLL Cleaning Service is committed to your wellbeing. We are also thoroughly trained in the proper products and procedures to offer effective, safe cleanings, and are insured and bonded to protect your best interests. Discover our reviews, then request a quote today!