There’s something distinctly satisfying about having a sparkling clean floor.
Clearing away dust, grit and grime that’s been tracked in from outdoors leaves
your home looking much brighter and smelling great.
It’s also crucial if you have babies and toddlers underfoot — little ones are uniquely
adept at finding any crumb or speck of dirt that may be lingering on the rug, and it’s
likely to go directly into their mouths.
It can be tempting, then, to want to go nuclear on your floors by cracking out the
chemical disinfectants and cleaning products.
Unfortunately, many commercial cleaners are loaded with harmful chemicals.
And maybe that’s okay if they’re being used in a warehouse with professional cleaning
equipment, like an electric floor scrubber and a gas mask.
But that’s the last kind of solution you want to come in contact with you or your family.
Those chemicals can build up in your home over time, which can have a negative effect
on the air quality in your home.
“Many commercial cleaners are loaded
with harmful chemicals.
Chlorine, ammonia and volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) create toxic fumes that can
build up in your home or cause irritations.”
Toxic Chemicals in Your Household Cleaners
Even some of the most common, brand-name household cleaners are made with chemicals
that can be harmful to your health.
Most notably chlorine, ammonia and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) create toxic fumes
that can build up in your home.
Ammonia can burn the skin, and its fumes can cause serious eye and nose irritation, while
chlorine fumes can lead to respiratory problems over time.
VOCs are present in many common household cleaning products, and these compounds stay
in the air for days or weeks, building up over time via a process known as off-gassing.
During off-gassing, even tiny drops of liquid or spray cleaners continue to emit toxic fumes
into the air.
Off-gassing from VOCs causes eye, skin and throat irritation, headaches and nausea.
The harmful effects of chemical cleaners are even more dangerous for small children,
whose developing bodies are more susceptible to irritation and damage from large doses
of chemicals in their environment.
This is especially true for floors, as babies and toddlers have so much direct contact with
these surfaces on a daily basis.
Natural Floor Cleaning Methods
To avoid having your family come into contact with an overload of chemicals, choose a
more natural method to clean your floors.
You can make effective cleaning products with common household pantry items.
Try some of these ideas below to reduce your dependence on chemical cleaners in your house:
Natural Ways to Clean Hard Floors
For sealed hardwood, linoleum and tile surfaces, a mopping solution doesn’t have to be filled
with chemicals to clean and disinfect.
Vinegar is a time-honored cleaning solution for many household purposes.
To mop hard floors, simply add white vinegar to a bucket of warm water — no rinsing
For light cleaning, one cup per gallon works well, but you can fill up to half your bucket
with vinegar for major disinfecting.
The smell dissipates quickly, but if you really hate it, try lemon juice instead.
For wood floors, you can add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your mopping bucket
to help shine up your floorboards.
You can also remove scuff marks by sprinkling some baking soda onto a sponge
and scrubbing the scuff marks away.
Natural Ways to Clean Carpets
Soft rugs and carpets require different cleaning techniques.
After all, you can’t just soak the fibers in your mopping solution to disinfect them.
One of the best natural ways to keep your rugs clean is with regular vacuuming.
This will lift dry dirt and crumbs off the rug and keep them from becoming embedded in the
fibers over time, which in turn will minimize the chance for permanent staining.
Spills do happen, though.
To remove stains from a carpet naturally, try spraying a mixture of equal parts white
vinegar and water with a few drops of clear dish soap directly on the stain.
Blot with a clean cloth until the stain fades.
For greasy spills, try soaking up the oil with a liberal coating of cornstarch or baking soda.
Once the powder has dried, you can vacuum it up and then use the spray outlined above.
For marker or ink stains, rubbing alcohol will often break down the color and allow you to
blot up the dye.
You don’t have to use chemical cleaners to keep your floors shiny and free from dirt and germs.
There are plenty of chemical-free choices to try, and you’ll be keeping your family much healthier
when you opt out of inviting irritating, off-gassing chemicals into your home.
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About the Author
Megan Wild is a home improvement blogger who likes to opt for the environmentally and human-friendly way of sprucing up homes. When she’s not updating her blog, Your Wild Home, you can find her hiking, biking, or reading.
What are your favorite green and natural floor cleaning tips?
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