Home Housekeeping What Is Green Cleaning And Why Is It Important
Clean Green Cleaning Ingredients

What Is Green Cleaning And Why Is It Important

by Helen
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Green cleaning products and recipes are getting more attention and becoming more popular due to their lower impact on personal health and the environment than conventional products.  Therefore, there are more natural cleaning products on the market; that use natural ingredients and avoid harmful chemicals. 

Many traditional, nongreen cleaning products in your home and workplace may be hazardous.  Moreover, not only is there a risk of you developing a long-term illness, but exposing yourself and your family to cleaning products may trigger asthma, severe allergies, burn the skin, or is a health risk if ingested.  When you make your DIY cleaning or deodorizing products, label them appropriately.

Keeping Your Home Clean

Keeping your home clean can dramatically lessen your family's risk of asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems.  You can also help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses by cleaning regularly and disinfecting your home.  Jen with Clutter Tucker recently compiled a comprehensive guide on house cleaning that everyone can do. She also included the perfect house cleaning checklist for getting started.

For some, green cleaning means that they only use baking soda, vinegar, and lemons to clean their home surfaces.  These items are considered to be natural green cleaners.

 

Some households may look for manufactured green cleaning products that are better for your health for the environment; also, some are considered green brands.  Green cleaning products generally have the following characteristics:

 

  • No phosphates
  • No chlorine
  • No artificial fragrances
  • No artificial colors
  • Biodegradable or recyclable packaging
  • Organically grown ingredients using sustainable farming practices
 
Some green cleaning products may certify that products are fair trade, meaning they meet specific environmental and labor standards by those who produce them.  While other green cleaning products may not be free of unhealthy additives or harmful chemicals, they donate some of their profits to environmental causes.
 
Related:  Can you clean nonstick pans in the dishwasher?

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Eco Friendly

What Is Green Product

According to IGI, a Global Green Product is defined as:

  1.  A product that meets one of these criteria of possessing qualities that will protect the environment; replaced artificial ingredients with natural ingredients or products that are non-toxic, energy and water-efficient, harmless to the environment, recyclable, and biodegradable.  
  2. product that consumers prefer because it helps to protect the environment during the manufacture, use, and disposal of the product.   Generally, organic, ecological, recyclable, and energy-saving products are called green products. 
  3. product type that is less harmful to the environment. 
  4. Environmentally friendly products that are harmless to living and nonliving things.
“Green cleaning and composting” is a phrase used to refer to environmentally friendly practices for cleaning and waste disposal. The term “green cleaning” means using non-toxic cleaning products that do not harm the environment, while “composting” is the process of breaking down organic waste into nutrient-rich soil that can be used for gardening and farming.

What is Eco-Labelling

According to Wikipedia,Eco-labels and Green Stickers are labeling systems for food and consumer products. Ecolabels are voluntary, but green stickers are mandated by law; for example, major appliances and automobiles in North America use Energy Star“. They are a way of sustainability measurement that consumers can use to see the environmental impact when making a purchase. Some labels provide pollution or energy consumption by scores or units of measure. At the same time, other brands claim to meet minimum requirements for sustainability, such as a reduction of impact on the environment.
 
Related:  Homemade Soap Bar Recipe: Easy Recipe For Beginners With Glycerin
 
 What is Greenwashing
  1. Greenwashing is widespread in this field. Many industry products use vague marketing terms such as “eco-friendly” or “natural.” The FTC has issued guidance against making these types of general claims, and marketers should qualify broad claims with specific environmental benefits. 
  2. This is why it's better to look at independent, third-party data when deciding the green cleaning products you should use.

The Green Business Program requires using cleaning products with either a third-party certification (commonly found on institutional cleaning products) or a rating of 8.1 on GoodGuide (valid for consumer products). These are good guidelines for all businesses to use.

Please know what to look for in green cleaning products, why to go green, and easy recipe ideas to make natural cleaners for your home.    You can easily remove mildew and mold from your shower curtain, find out how.

DIY Natural Cleaners

Benefits of Green Cleaning

 Earth friendly products do not include hazardous substances, therefore, may pose fewer health risks.  The best cleaning natural products pose fewer health hazards because they should not contain hazardous chemicals. Plus, they are typically much safer and better suited for use around those with impaired immune systems or other health conditions.  Green cleaning products are environmentally friendly. Plus, they are packaged in recyclable or recycled packaging and do contain chemicals that create air or water pollution 

What To Look For In Green Cleaning Products 

Many manufacturers advertise products as being eco-friendly and healthier for use around the home. Plus, always read the label and note that some products may make claims to be natural and environmentally friendly than they really are.

According to Clean Water Action, some aspects to consider in safe green cleaning products include:

  • biodegradable or not
  • nontoxic
  • bulk packaging
  • recyclable packaging
  • packaging from recycled materials
  • phosphate-free
  • label with full disclosure of all active and inactive ingredients
  • natural fragrances
  • free of dyes, hypochlorite, and chlorine

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) are a nonprofit organization that does research and report on green cleaning products. Some specific products and categories that the EWG recommend include:

Kitchen, Pantry, Small Appliance and General Cleaners 

  • Poofy Home All-Purpose Cleaner Refill, Medieval Blend
  • Earth Friendly Products ECOS Cream Cleanser, Lemon
  • Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash Concentrate, Eucalyptus

Bathroom Cleaners

  • Seventh Generation Tub & Tile Natural Cleaner, Emerald Cypress & Fir
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Tub And Tile, Lemon Verbena
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Tub And Tile, Lavender
  • Grove Co. for subscription box review

Dishwashing Soaps

  • Attitude Dishwasher Eco-Pouches
  • AspenClean Dish Soap, Eucalyptus Rosemary
  • Biokleen Natural Dish Liquid, Lemon Thyme

Air Fresheners

  • Arm & Hammer Fridge & Freezer Baking Soda
  • Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Mist, Lavender Harvest
  • Aussan Natural room odor eliminator

It is also important to note that a cleaning product is not necessarily safe for everyone just because people consider it to be green. A person should still take reasonable precautions to store cleaning products in a safe and secure location where children and pets cannot access them easily.  Learn 5 Easy Natural Household Cleaning Product Swaps.

Green Cleaning Window Cleaner

It is also important to note that a cleaning product is not necessarily safe for everyone just because people consider it green. A person should still take reasonable precautions to store cleaning products in a safe and secure location where children and pets cannot access them easily.

Natural Alternatives

Instead of buying green cleaning products, a person can easily make natural cleaners at home.  There are many recipes for green cleaners that are cheap and versatile. The ingredients are natural and do not cause environmental harm, including not causing indoor air pollution. They are also less likely than nongreen ones to affect a person’s health.

Some natural products that can make good cleaning agents include:

  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  • tea tree oil
  • castile soap

Make these recipes part of your green cleaning starter kit.  The Green Building Alliance has identified a few DIY recipes to make green cleaning products at home. 

Some ideas include:

  • Disinfectant: Mix 2 cups of water, 1 tbsp of liquid castile soap, and 1 tsp of tea tree oil to create a multipurpose disinfectant that helps remove germs.
  • All-purpose cleaner: Combine equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle to create an all-purpose cleaner for many hard surfaces.
  • Glass cleaner: Shake 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol, 2 cups of warm water, and 1 tbsp of cornstarch in a spray bottle. The mixture can clean glass surfaces, such as windows or stovetops.
  • Drain cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into a clogged drain and follow this with 1 cup of vinegar. Let the mixture work for about 15 minutes, then pour boiling water down the drain.
  • Multipurpose scrub: Combine enough water and baking soda to make a paste. Use the paste with a brush, sponge, or scrubber to clean the surface of sinks, stoves, and other hard surfaces
  • Air freshener: Use dried or fresh flowers, or boil water with vanilla, cinnamon, slices of lemon or oranges, or other spices. To deodorize a refrigerator or carpet, leave baking soda in an open bowl or sprinkle it on the mat. Let it sit on the carpet for a few minutes before vacuuming it.
  • Laundry detergent: Combine 1/2 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of soap flakes, and 1/2 cup of baking soda. People can add 1 to 2 tbsp of oxygen bleach if they wish.

Clean Water Action suggests some other green cleaning ideas, as well. For example, they recommend using white vinegar to get pet urine out of carpets. They add that it should help prevent the pet from returning to pee in the same spot.

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