Safer Cleaning Supplies for Your Home

By Environmental Working Group


Our homes aren’t safe and clean if the air inside is polluted with chemicals from household cleaners. Follow these simple tips to protect your family’s health while you clean your home.

  1. Less is More
    Dilute your cleaning supplies according to instructions and use only what’s needed to get the job done.
  2. Open the Window
    Clean with windows and doors open so you don’t trap air pollution inside your home.
  3. Use Gloves and Other Precautions
    Cleaning chemicals may harm or penetrate skin and eyes – check warning labels.
  4. Keep Kids Away
    Children are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals. If they like to help, let them clean with soap and water, not toxic cleaners.
  5. Avoid “Antibacterial”
    If your family is generally healthy, there’s no need to use potentially toxic “antibacterial” products, according to the American Medical Association. Wash your hands with plain soap and water.
  6. Never Mix Bleach with Ammonia, Vinegar, or Other Acids
    These combinations can produce deadly gases.
  7. Don’t Be Fooled by Labels – Buy Certified Green Products
    Label claims aren’t always true. Cleaning supplies certified by Green Seal or EcoLogo meet green standards.
  8. Try Natural Alternatives
    Experiment with non-toxic options like vinegar and baking soda.
  9. Take Care with Pine and Citrus Oil Cleaners
    Avoid using these cleaners especially on smoggy days, when the ingredients can react with ozone to produce cancer-causing formaldehyde.
  10. Skip the Biggest Hazards
    Avoid air fresheners, use a baking soda and water paste to clean the oven and tackle toilet stains, and use a mechanical snake to unclog the drain.

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