What’s the most polluted place on Earth? Would you believe that it might be your home? Indoor air quality is typically much worse than that of the outdoors. The EPA has found that certain pollutants are two to five times higher in homes and businesses than outside. What’s causing all that indoor pollution? Chemicals — many of them in products we use every day. When sprayed around the home, these substances release volatile organic compounds: gases that trigger breathing conditions like asthma and may even cause headaches and nausea, too. Meanwhile, many cleaning products wind up washing down drains, where they may contaminate local waterways and harm the fish and wildlife therein. Fortunately, you can avoid these big bad chemicals and still keep a clean home. Here are six alternatives to conventional products that are better for the environment and even better for your health.
All-Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
Ammonia, sodium hypochlorite, trisodium phosphate — oh my! All-purpose cleaners are packed with objectionable chemicals. White vinegar in a spray bottle makes a much safer cleaner and disinfectant. Don’t want your counters to smell like vinegar? Add a few drops of essential oil for a cleaner that smells great, too.
Chemical-Free Scouring Powder
Oven cleaners and scouring powders are one of the most dangerous products in your kitchen, as they often contain irritating corrosives. A cup of baking soda plus half a cup of table salt makes a much safer alternative to conventional scouring powders — and it can be used safely on pans, drains, and ovens alike!
Gentle Stain Remover
Red wine on a white carpet? Not a good look. But what’s even worse are the chemicals found in many common stain removers. And most don’t even work that well! Instead, try this time-honored solution: sprinkle the stain with table salt and pour club soda over the top and let it dry. Then vacuum up the salt. It sounds too good to be true, but it really works!
Eco-Friendly Furniture Polish
Why buy expensive chemical polishes when a few natural ingredients can do the job? All you need is a fourth of a cup of white vinegar, a few drops of olive oil, and a few drops of lemon essential oil. Mix together and use like a conventional furniture polish for clean, shiny wood furniture and flooring.
Greener Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets are bad for the earth, your health, and your clothing. While they may make your clothes feel softer, that “softness” is actually a thin layer of chemicals sitting on the surface of the fabric — and next to your skin. Instead, either make your own by winding wool yard into a ball and washing it, or opt for one of these eco-friendly dryer balls. They’ll soften your clothes, reduce wrinkles, and eliminate static. And they’re reusable!
Healthy Air Freshener
When it comes to indoor air pollution, chemical-laden air fresheners are one of the worst offenders. Instead of reaching for conventional sprays, make your own DIY room deodorizer. Mix dry baking soda with a few drops of essential oil, then place it in a spray bottle and fill it halfway with water. Nothing smells better than green.
Of course, a truly green home starts at the very beginning, with eco-friendly construction and features. At Paradisa Homes, all of our houses are built with energy efficiency in mind: high-performance HVAC systems, low-E windows, and tankless water heaters are just a few of the green features we use in our construction. Contact us today to schedule a tour, and see for yourself how Paradisa Homes can help you live a happier, greener life.