7 Benefits of Green Cleaning
Learn why you should switch to eco-friendly cleaning products.
Carol Ruth Weber, Contributor
Articles> 7 Benefits of Green Cleaning
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As lives become busier, over-scheduled and more stressful, it's easy to gravitate towards the latest products that promise to make annoying chores even easier. Need a bathroom cleaner? On your next trip to the store, you grab one of the many bright and colorful bottles promising to be a quick fix. But did you ever think about what's in that container?

Whether you're a housekeeper who cleans with these products all day or someone who cleans your own home regularly, you should take the time to consider it.

Most are made up of harsh cocktails of chemicals, which can be bad for your health -- and your kids' health. As people rethink what they're bringing into their homes, they're looking for greener solutions.

Two experts Leslie Reichert, author of "Joy of Green Cleaning," and Sara Snow, author of "Sara Snow's Fresh Living," share the reasons why people should make the switch to green cleaning products.

What to try green cleaning for yourself? Read up on Green Cleaning: 12 Natural Solutions that Really Work »

  1. Healthier Home
    If you go green, "No longer will there be chemicals absorbed into the skin or breathed in by the person cleaning," Reichert says. Health benefits extend to family members who are no longer breathing in cleaners lingering in the air and sitting on surfaces.

    Studies have shown that using a household cleaning spray, even as little as once a week, raises the risk of developing asthma. Snow says that using green cleaning products can reduce the chances of developing asthma, which "today is the most common chronic illness and the leading cause of school absences due to chronic illness across the country."

  2. Purer Environment
    When you use many cleaning products, "harmful chemicals are being released into the environment," says Reichert. Not great for you and the people around you to breathe in.

    Changing to greener methods, "helps reduce pollution to our waterways and the air and it minimizes your impact on ozone depletion and global climate change with fewer smog-producing chemicals," advises Snow. Many green products also use recyclable packaging which minimizes waste.

  3. Safer Products
    Conventional cleaning products pose risks such as chemical burns to the cleaner's skin and eyes. Green cleaners aren't corrosive and meet strict standards regarding inhalation toxicity, combustibility and skin absorption.

  4. Better Air Quality
    As with most people, Snow can't stand the "stench of strong chemical odors." Many green cleaning products -- including store bought and ones you can make at home -- include pleasant natural essential oils. Reichert even refers to cleaning with these products as her "aromatherapy."

  5. Less Expensive
    "For home cleaning, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, etc. can do the trick for pennies on the dollar, compared to buying conventional cleaning products," Snow says. Why go out and buy products when you can use things you already have in your pantry?

    Investing in green products also makes sense for companies. "The cost of environmentally friendly cleaning products has become much more competitive, while cleaning in an environmentally sound way reduces the risk of sick days for employees and the risk of fires and chemical spills," mentions Snow.

  6. Fewer Antibacterials
    Do you really need to look for products that say "antibacterial"? "We're now told by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that washing with antibacterial soaps isn't any better than regular soaps, and the American Medical Association (AMA) says that the frequent use of antibacterial ingredients can promote bacterial resistance to antibiotics," Snow says. "Triclosan, a common antibacterial agent found in many soaps, [may] mess with your hormonal system and thyroid. Most green or environmentally friendly cleaning products don't contain antibacterial agents."

  7. More Knowledge of Ingredients
    Government regulations don't require ingredients to be listed on any cleaning products. This is another reason Reichert is a strong advocate for making your own products at home, so "you know exactly what the ingredients are in your cleaning recipes."

As concerns for health become more prevalent and people become more aware of the harsh effects cleaning chemicals are having, they're going back to basics and looking for greener ways to clean. To hear our experts tell it, the benefits speak for themselves.

Carol Ruth Weber is a freelance writer in Long Island, N.Y. Read more of her work here.

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(5) Comments
ravi
ravi
it is a very needed thing for the present condition of our environmment.we all should take part in helping to take our lives green.
December 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM
sammy mungai
sammy mungai
Thats great news.We should encourage everyone to go green for the better of our planet earth.
April 2, 2014 at 3:23 AM
Rosalina S.
Rosalina S.
I'm 100% agree to use natural products. Thank you very much for the very interesting article.
January 5, 2014 at 3:31 PM
Member Care
Member Care
Hi Leslie,

We're so happy to hear that you are interested in "going green"! It is great for the environment and great for those around you when you are using natural products, and we are happy to help. We actually have an article with some specific ideas for all-natural cleaners/disinfectants for around the home, and I think it might be of interest to you!

http://www.care.com/housekeeping-green-cleaning-12-natural-solutions-that-really-work-p1017-q21362011.html

I hope this helps and best of luck with your "green" endeavors!
August 27, 2013 at 2:55 PM
Leslie R.
Leslie R.
Awesome article! I would love to go green! Is there any way I can get different listings for the products and how or what they clean. Ex Lemon juice-Disinfects, baking soda-stains, smells.
August 26, 2013 at 4:42 PM

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