We all want to do our part in ensuring our environment stays as safe and healthy as possible for our children and future generations to come. Many people don’t stop to think about how their household cleaners can affect the environment and how toxic they can make your home’s immediate environment. With some careful forethought, planning, and effort, your home can be cleaned safely and effectively, sparing the environment, your home, family, and pets from toxic chemicals and fumes.
Most people firmly believe that surfaces in their homes must be disinfected on a continual basis to prevent illness and disease spread. But the truth is most areas of your home don’t need to be disinfected to prevent the spread of germs. This includes your bathroom. Mild detergents, hot water, and some elbow grease can generally do the trick.
The exception to this rule is the kitchen. Anything involved in food preparation should be thoroughly scrubbed down and disinfected with each use. This includes food preparation surfaces, utensils, cleaning cloths, and sponges.
When shopping for cleaning products, pay special attention to those with the words poison or danger on the label. These words indicate the highest level of hazard under federal law. Products labeled with the words caution or warning can present a moderate hazard and should be regarded with care. Always read labels and follow the directions.
Never mix cleaning products, such as those containing chlorine with those containing ammonia.
Consider using products such as vinegar, baking soda, and mild detergent when cleaning your home. If you have questions about properly disposing of toxic household cleaning chemicals, contact your local health department or county sanitation office for advice and assistance. Most areas provide a household hazardous waste collection site for residents to properly dispose of such items.