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Did you know? A little vinegar and baking soda is a great substitute for toxic cleaning products.

Cleaning products are everywhere in our lives as we constantly battle with dirt and germs. We clean our clothes, dishes, countertops, furniture, windows, etc., but in doing so, we may actually be harming the environment.

Many of the conventional cleaning products that we grew up using are petroleum-based and have not only environmental implications but can also affect your health. There are, however, plenty of environmentally friendly products and methods to keep your house clean without the toxic side effects.

Here are our top “green” cleaning tips:

  • Use environmentally friendly products. There are several green cleaning products on the shelves that are non-toxic, biodegradable and/or made from renewable resources instead of petroleum. If you are more of a do-it-yourself person, vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean almost anything. Mix in a little warm water with either of these and you have an all-purpose cleaner!
  • Be skeptical of antibacterial cleaners. Though many believe antibacterial and antimicrobial cleaners do a better job than soap and water, that is not the case. In fact, these cleaners are often at a higher risk of breeding “super germs,” or bacteria that survive the chemicals and have resistant offspring. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers do not work better than regular soap and water, and thus should be avoided.
  • Utilize baking soda. This household product not only removes weird smells from your fridge, but also works as an odor-eliminator for your carpet!
  • Skip the store-bought air fresheners. Instead, try boiling cinnamon, cloves or other herbs to give your house a sweet smell. Plants can also help clean indoor air without the harmful environmental impacts.
  • Use a green house cleaning service. For those of you who choose not to clean your own home, there are now green cleaning services out there to clean without the environmental stain!
  • Keep an eye on your dry cleaners. Conventional dry cleaners are the largest users of the industrial solvent called perc, which is toxic to humans and creates smog. Instead, seek out cleaners that use green methods.
  • Watch what you throw away. When replacing your cleaning products, avoid throwing old ones in the trash. If they are too toxic for your home, they won’t be good for the drain or landfill either. To avoid this, many communities hold toxic recycling days and will take all of these products off your hands! Brevard County’s hazardous waste collection center locations and more helpful tips can be found here.

Green cleaning is not only better for the environment, it is also better for your health and is often less expensive than using traditional cleaning products.