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Blog/Opinion: How to Spring Clean the Green Way – Nix the Toxins

By HHI Staff

Spring cleaning – the time to get tough with dirt that has accumulated in the past year and take advantage of the warmer weather to get things done. However, getting tough needn’t jeopardize the health of your home. Choosing the right green products can make spring cleaning healthier and more effective. Here's how.


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Before you start cleaning, first consider the ingredients in the cleaning products you're using. Our mothers may have "cleaned" every surface with bleach; but is that really the healthiest? The goal of cleaning is to remove what you don't want from your home. Nowadays, we know more about the toxicity of chemicals such as bleach, and that the use of these substances should be restricted to where they are absolutely needed, and eliminated everywhere else in favor of less toxic products.


If you're in the market for green cleaning products, check for ones with green certification or recognition. Some popular and respected certifications or recognitions include: Green Seal, GreenGuard, and EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE). You can also do your own due diligence and look at the product labels. Are the ingredients recognizable? Or is it a long list of lengthy words containing names of potentially harmful substances? When in doubt, ask the manufacturer for proof of ingredient safety and whether ingredients listed on the label have been sourced using lists recommended by EPA's DfE program.

Here are some articles on chemicals to avoid or issues to be aware of:

While fragrance may seem like a nice way to freshen your home, it is often a concoction of synthetic chemicals that could be harmful to your health. When you check the label on your product, does it name what ingredients are used to make the fragrance? Or does it use the elusive word “fragrance” as an ingredient? Many companies use fragrances that are “trade secrets” but what you don't know, often can harm you.

A cost effective option is to make your own green cleaning products using natural, less-toxic ingredients. Here are some HHI articles that can help you do so:

Whether you buy or make your own green cleaners, limit the toxins you use when deep cleaning your home. The next blog entry will discuss methods you can use to make your spring cleaning more green by using less chemicals and removing more dirt and bacteria.


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HHI is committed to accuracy of content and correcting information that is incomplete or inaccurate. With our broad scope of coverage of healthful indoor environments, and desire to rapidly publish info to benefit the community, mistakes are inevitable. HHI has established an error correction policy to welcome corrections or enhancements to our information. Please help us improve the quality of our content by contacting with corrections or suggestions for improvement. Each contact will receive a respectful reply.

The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

(Note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)

How to Spring Clean the Green Way – Nix the Toxins:  Created on April 1st, 2011.  Last Modified on March 11th, 2014


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