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Green Cleaning for Healthy Kids and Pets

March 5, 2024

Green Cleaning for Healthy Kids and Pets

Introduction

As a parent, keeping my home clean and healthy for my kids and pets is a top priority. I want to use cleaning products that get the job done without exposing my family to harmful chemicals. Green cleaning has become my go-to solution.

Green cleaning uses environmentally-friendly products and techniques to clean your home effectively while avoiding toxic ingredients. With some simple swaps and DIY recipes, green cleaning can be easy, affordable and create a cleaner home.

Benefits of Green Cleaning

Green cleaning provides many benefits for the health of kids, pets and the environment:

Healthier Home

  • Avoids toxic chemicals – Most conventional cleaners contain chemicals linked to asthma, allergies, hormone disruption and other health issues, especially in kids. Green cleaners avoid these.

  • Reduces indoor air pollution – Harsh chemical fumes linger in the air. Green cleaners don’t release unhealthy VOCs.

  • Prevents chemical exposure – Kids and pets are lower to the ground where chemicals settle. Green cleaners reduce exposure from surfaces.

Eco-Friendly

  • Better for the environment – Green cleaners are biodegradable and avoid phosphates and other harsh chemicals that pollute waterways.

  • Sustainable ingredients – Green cleaners often use plant-based ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and essential oils instead of chemicals derived from petroleum.

Peace of Mind

  • Hypoallergenic – Green cleaners typically avoid fragrances, dyes and other common allergens found in conventional cleaners.

  • Non-toxic for kids and pets – Green cleaners won’t harm kids or pets if accidentally ingested and won’t irritate sensitive skin. You can safely clean with kids and pets around.

Kid and Pet-Friendly Green Cleaning Tips

Here are my go-to green cleaning tips to protect kids, pets and the environment:

Use Safer Green Cleaning Products

  • Check labels and avoid products with harsh chemicals, fragrances and dyes. See the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning for recommendations.

  • Look for plant-based ingredients like citric acid and essential oils instead of chlorine, ammonia and synthetic fragrances.

  • Opt for Green Seal or Safer Choice certified products that meet EPA standards for human and environmental health.

Make Your Own Green Cleaners

Simple homemade cleaners get the job done without toxins:

  • All-purpose cleaner – Mix white vinegar or lemon juice with water in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of essential oil for scent.

  • Glass cleaner – Mix equal parts vinegar and water. Use newspaper or microfiber cloths to polish.

  • Scrubbing cleanser – Make a paste with baking soda and just enough water to scrub tile, bathtubs and sinks.

Use Proper Gear

Protect yourself and limit chemical exposure:

  • Wear gloves and mask when cleaning.

  • Use microfiber cloths that grab dirt without chemicals.

  • Sweep or mop instead of spraying chemicals. This also keeps chemicals away from kids and pets.

Ventilate Properly

Open windows, use fans, and ventilate after cleaning to circulate fresh air. Avoid extensive cleaning while kids and pets are present. Store all cleaners out of reach of kids and pets.

Keeping Kids and Pets Safe

Here are key ways to keep kids and pets safe as you green clean your home:

Supervise Kids During Cleaning

Do not allow children to clean with or handle cleaning products, even green cleaners. All cleaning products must be stored completely out of reach of children.

Clean When Kids and Pets are Not Present

If possible, clean rooms when kids and pets are not present or place them in another closed room. Air out the home well after cleaning.

Use Mild Diluted Cleaners

Choose naturally-derived cleaners free of dyes, fragrances and preservatives. Dilute cleaners to the minimum effective concentration.

Spot Clean Carpets

Spot clean stains on carpets with gentle cleaners instead of spraying entire carpets with chemical cleaners. This prevents residue that kids and pets contact.

Use Entryway Mats

Place mats inside and outside doorways to reduce dirt tracked in that collects chemical residue from cleaners over time.

The Healthy Home Balance

Green cleaning helps strike the right balance between effectively cleaning your home while protecting your kids, pets and the environment. With some simple green swaps and routines, you can keep your home clean and healthy for your whole family.

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