Friday, March 21, 2008

Is Spring Cleaning Actually Dirty?

Yesterday was the first day of spring and, as happens every year, it inspired me to do a little spring cleaning. Over the last few months, I’ve switched over almost all of my cleaning products to green alternatives. And that leads me to the topic of the day: If you’re cleaning your floors, counters, and toilet bowls with conventional products, are you really cleaning anything?

Over time, the simple-yet-effective way we do things often gets replaced with something more complicated (which we’re supposed to interpret as “better”) and not always more effective. As an example, I use baking soda and white vinegar when I’m cleaning my kitchen sink. It’s a rather old-school cleaning practice, yet it works extremely well. In addition, the volcanic reaction that happens when the two ingredients come together means a lot of the work is done for me – and it doesn’t get more convenient than that. It also doesn't get more natural.

The EPA reports that indoor air pollution is one of the top five health issues, and a big contributor to that pollution are the cleaning products we use. Landfills even have a term for conventional cleaning products: Household hazardous waste. Yikes! No wonder the air in the average home is more polluted than the outdoor air in a typical big city.

The great news is that green alternatives are now readily available and no longer break the bank. A few of my favorites include Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap (, Mrs. Meyer’s Surface Wipes (, and Sun & Earth Deep Cleaning Laundry Detergent ( Trader Joe’s ( also sells great green cleaning products at an excellent price and deals can often be found at

Question of the blog: If you use green cleaning products, which are your favorites and why?

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