You can get a sparkling clean house while reducing your impact on the environment, says Kelly Ulhorn, owner of 2 Chicks and a Broom (twochicksandabroom.com), a Memphis-based cleaning service that specializes in all-natural cleaning products. But first you need to know a few things to cut through the Green hype.
- Making your own cleaning products is the best eco-option. “You probably already have many of the ingredients at home,” Kelly says. For instance, vinegar, baking soda, borax, and lemon can be used to make a variety of mixes to clean countertops, tile, tubs, and floors (recipes are available on Live Healthy blog). Kelly and her staff regularly use homemade products because they’re less expensive, contain no harmful ingredients, and eliminate the need for extra packaging destined for a landfill.
- Love the smell of a clean house? Kelly suggests adding a few drops of essential oil to your homemade solutions (auracacia.com is a good source). Lavender has both relaxing and disinfecting properties.
- If you don’t have the time or interest in making your own eco-friendly cleaners, you can buy them. “Many of these products work just as well as their traditional counterparts,” Kelly says. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the store, here’s a hint: Look for the EPA’s Design for the Environment seal on packaging. This recognizes household cleaners that are made from plant- and mineral-based ingredients and are thus better for the Earth.