Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products to Use Around the House
Everyone loves a sparkling clean house. Whether you’re staging your home for sale or just want to spruce up a little, environmentally-friendly cleaning products can help you get the job done. There are many reasons why people should use environmentally friendly cleaning products. For starters, all homeowners want to keep their space happy, healthy, and free of common safety hazards. Some of the most important reasons to use eco-friendly products are that they are safe for both people and pets, are often non-toxic and are biodegradable. Additionally, using environmentally friendly cleaning products helps to reduce air pollution and protects our planet.
Plenty of consumers have decided that they’d prefer to use sustainable products, and the manufacturers are responding. Many companies are selling more natural cleaning products because there is a growing demand for them. Consumers are becoming more aware of the dangers of using traditional chemical-based cleaning products, and they are looking for safer alternatives. Companies have to adapt to keep profit margins up, so there’s an influx of products hitting the market with eco-friendly buzzwords. With so much saturation, how can people tell which eco-friendly products are best? Keep reading to learn all about using environmentally friendly cleaning products in your home.
How to Find EPA-Approved Products
To uphold quality standards, organizations like the EPA regulate the private sector to ensure that cleaning products are environmentally friendly. By applying a scientific certification process to the labels of cleaning products, consumers can make eco-friendly choices without becoming experts on the names of hazardous chemicals and biodegradable materials.
The EPA has two labeling programs to help people spot environmentally friendly products.
The first is called Safer Choice. To qualify to carry the Safer Choice logo on their products, the companies must submit all ingredients used to the EPA for review. The chemicals are tested for stringent criteria to ensure that they don’t contain cancer-causing elements, toxic particles to aquatic life, or anything that could harm humans or pets at home. Safer Choice products must have approved pH levels to prevent skin irritations, and the packaging needs to be compliant with sustainable practices.
Design for the Environment (DfE) is a voluntary program sponsored by the EPA that encourages manufacturers to develop and market safer products for both people and the environment. DfE products must meet specific criteria, including being non-toxic and biodegradable. Products eligible to be considered for Design for the Environment status include antimicrobial pesticides like:
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Tub and shower disinfectants
- Bathroom surface sanitizers
How to Spot Eco-Friendly Products
Even though there are many thorough databases listing all of the EPA-certified cleaning products, you may not always be able to find the ones you’re interested in on those lists. When that happens, it can help to have a general idea of identifying eco-friendly ingredients and packaging when a third party does not designate it. The best place to start is by checking out the ingredients list. Green cleaning products will almost always have shorter ingredient lists than their counterparts. For a more advanced search, keep an eye out for natural ingredients like:
- Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- White vinegar
Also, be on the lookout for the chemical names of non-biodegradable dyes. Natural dyes will usually go by the names of the organic compounds from which they’re derived. For example, cochineal, red basil, saffron, and turmeric are all examples of naturally biodegradable dyes. Sustainable packages are another tell-tale sign of green cleaning products. Avoid single-use plastics whenever possible, and opt for glass or other recyclable vessels instead. The best option is to buy in bulk and use sturdy containers that can be used repeatedly for years.
DIY Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products For Your House
If you’re looking for effective ways to clean your home with natural products, you can always make your own. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but it can also be fun to experiment with new combinations of ingredients to find the perfect cleaning solution for your needs.
DIY Bathroom Cleaner
Some bathroom cleaners on the market contain harmful chemicals that wash down the drain and bring their toxicity straight to our water supply. Try this cheap and easy DIY solution instead:
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 cup white vinegar
- A few drops of your favorite essential oils
This bathroom cleaner can be used on the toilet, counters, and sinks.
DIY Kitchen Cleaner
Grease in the kitchen can be hard to get rid of, but this DIY solution can keep your cooktops sparkling:
- Mix olive oil and baking soda in a jar at a 1:2 ratio
- Let sit overnight
- Apply to the cooktop, then wipe down with all-purpose cleaner
Sparkle Safely With Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
While it may seem challenging to switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products, it is well worth it in the long run. Not only will you be helping out the environment, but you’ll also be ensuring that your household is healthy and clean. Many EPA-certified products on the market can help make this transition easier, or you can even try making your cleaning products using simple ingredients from your kitchen. You can enjoy a healthy, clean home without harming the planet by following these tips.