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Clean Green

October 28, 2010

Green Cleaning can have a lot of interpretations, but the main goal of green cleaning is to use cleaning solutions and methods that keep our environment healthy. There are many degrees to which homes can take this goal.

Green cleaning refers to using cleaning methods with environmentally-friendly ingredients and chemicals to preserve human health and environmental quality. Green cleaning techniques and products avoid the use of chemically-reactive and toxic cleaning products which contain various toxic chemicals, some of which emit volatile organic compounds causing respiratory and dermatological problems among other adverse effects.Green cleaning can also describe the way residential and industrial cleaning products are manufactured, packaged and distributed.

Effective natural cleaning products can be made from common household ingredients, such as:

    * Lemon juice
    * conventional and electrolyzed Water
    * Borax
    * Vinegar
    * Salt
    * Mineral oil
    * Baking soda
    * washing soda
    * vegetable based soap
    * plants with high saponin levels


By this point, everyone knows about the dangers of indoor pollution. According to the US EPA, levels from pollutants indoors can be two to more than 100 times higher than outdoors, and the number one culprit for indoor pollution are our very own cleaning products. Some of the top-selling daily products are the most dirty and toxic: Lysol Antibacterial Spray, which ads encourage parents to spray wherever children play, contains denatured ethanol (which can cause central nervous system depression) and alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, a known pesticide.

Most glass cleaners contain glycol ethers that have been shown to cause reproductive effects if exposed to high enough levels. Pledge contains silicones, butane gas, and propane. All, while good at cutting through gunk, are bonified VOCs. Most air fresheners contain formaldehyde (which is highly toxic and is a known carcinogen) and phenol (a delightful chemical that can cause cold sweats, convulsions, circulatory collapse, coma, and even death).

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