Are you looking for ways to transition to clean living? The first step is to embrace the principles of a green home, to build a foundation so that your home is naturally healthier and cleaner. This post includes several tips to help you get started on your way to a clean home!
Of course, using natural ingredients and eco-friendly products can be a great way to reduce the number of chemicals in your home. Did you know that green, eco-friendly cleaning products were once considered ineffective?
How Can I Make My Home Healthy?
With that said, there are many other simple principles you can follow that will help you create a healthier home for you & your family. It can also save you money in the long run!
Keep reading for more tips on how to make your cleaning process healthier and more manageable.
We will start with simple ways to make your home healthier.
12 Simple Steps to a Cleaner, Healthier Home
#1 – Take Your Shoes Off at the Door
One way to make your home more environmentally friendly is to take your shoes off at the door. This simple habit can significantly impact you since it reduces the amount of dirt and grime tracked into your house. Not only does this save you time on cleaning, but it also helps to prolong the life of your floors.
In addition, taking your shoes off at the door helps prevent spreading harmful bacteria and other allergens. So kick off your shoes and help green your home next time you come home!
#2 – Open Your Windows
Keeping your windows open allows your home to air out often. Simple, right? Keeping airflow moving helps keep your home healthy. Fresh air works wonders for so many reasons. So open your windows to clean and keep harmful bacteria out of your home!
#3 – Buy an Air Monitor
When creating a healthy home, few things are more important than air quality. One way to further improve air quality is to buy an air monitor. Air monitors can test for various pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide, and particulate matter.
Using an air monitor, you can identify any potential sources of pollution and take steps to address them. In addition, an air monitor can be a valuable tool for monitoring your home’s air quality over time.
You don’t need to spend much money on an air monitor. Amazon offers this inexpensive yet effective air monitor for the home. This first step is about educating yourself. So, do your homework with an air monitor to understand the air around you.
#4 – Invest in a High-Quality Air Purifier
Many people are familiar with the standard air purifier that uses filters to remove particles from the air. However, there are now air purifiers on the market that use green cleaning technologies to clean the air without producing harmful emissions.
These green air purifiers use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses and use photocatalytic oxidation to break down volatile organic compounds. As a result, they are much more effective at cleaning the air than traditional air purifiers.
In addition, green air purifiers are much better for the environment because they do not produce harmful emissions. If you are looking for an air purifier that is both effective and environmentally friendly, then you should invest in a green air purifier.
#5 – Avoid Heavily Scented Candles, Plug-Ins, Diffusers, and Air Sprays
Get real flowers and house plants! Flowers add a beautiful natural lovely scent, while house plants naturally clean toxins from the air. Choose big-leaf plants if your goal is cleaning the air. I love candles, but choosing soy-based candles will go a long way in making your home healthier.
Be sure to keep reading! #6 below expands on the importance of choosing plant-based products.
#6 – Choose Plant-Based Unscented Products
One way to green your home is to choose plant-based unscented products. This can include anything from laundry detergent and air fresheners to candles and shampoo. Plant-based ingredients are derived from renewable resources and are biodegradable, meaning they won’t harm the environment when washed down the drain or disposed of in the trash.
Moreover, unscented products don’t contain synthetic fragrances, which can be a source of indoor air pollution. Not only is it better for the planet to choose plant-based unscented products, but it’s also better for your health. Synthetic fragrances can trigger allergies and asthmatic reactions in some people, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.
When shopping for household products, look for those labeled “unscented” or “fragrance-free.” This simple switch can help green your home and improve your indoor air quality simultaneously.
#7 – Use Essential Oils Sparingly
Using essential oils is a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to green your home. Essential oils are naturally occurring, have a wide range of benefits, and can be used in various ways. However, it’s important to use them sparingly. Overusing essential oils can cause skin irritation, headaches, and other health problems.
When used correctly, essential oils can help you achieve a healthier, more sustainable home. When using essential oils, dilute them properly and always test them on a small skin area first. So start with a few drops and enjoy the benefits of these unique natural products.
#8 – Ask about Off-Gassing from Your Furniture
When furnishing your green home, knowing and asking about off-gassing is essential. Off-gassing occurs when chemicals from the furniture, usually found in the glue or finishes, are released into the air. These chemicals can harm your health, especially if exposed to them regularly.
Fortunately, many furniture manufacturers use low-emitting materials and construction methods to minimize off-gassing. By asking about off-gassing, you can help ensure that your furniture is safe for you and your family.
#9 – Opt for VOC free of low VOC paint and varnishes
Always choose VOC-free or low-VOC options when choosing paint and varnishes for your green home. VOCs, volatile organic compounds, are chemicals released into the air as the paint or varnish dries.
These chemicals can be damaging to both your health and the environment. Look for brands that advertise their products as VOC-free or low VOC. You may pay a bit more upfront, but it will be worth it in the long run.
What is a Volatile Organic Compound [VOC]?
Volatile organic compounds, more commonly known as VOCs, are chemicals released into the air as gases. They are found in various household products, including paint, cleaning supplies, and air fresheners.
Some VOCs are relatively harmless, while others can have serious health effects. Short-term exposure to high VOC levels can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Long-term exposure has been linked to cancer and liver damage.
As a result, it is essential to choose green cleaning products that do not contain VOCs. These products may cost a bit more upfront, but they will help to keep your family safe and healthy in the long run.
Which Products Contain VOCs?
VOCs are found in many everyday household products, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and scented candles. They can also be released into the air from new carpeting or paint.
Fortunately, green cleaning products are now available that do not contain VOCs. These products are just as effective as traditional cleaners but much safer for people and the environment.
#10 – Don’t Dry Clean
Green living is about making choices that are good for the environment. And when it comes to laundry, there are plenty of green options. However, one of the most important things you can do is to avoid dry cleaning.
Dry cleaning uses energy and chemicals, which can harm the environment. Additionally, dry cleaning can be expensive, so it’s not the most budget-friendly option. If you must dry clean, look for a green dry cleaner that uses environmentally friendly practices like “wet cleaning.”
Using green laundry detergents, you can also try laundering your clothes at home [see below]. By making green choices for laundry, you can help protect the environment and save money simultaneously.
#11 – Choose an Unscented Liquid Laundry Detergent
Choosing an unscented liquid laundry detergent is a great place to start if you want to green your home. Conventional powder laundry detergents are loaded with harmful chemicals that can end up in our waterways and cause significant environmental damage.
In contrast, unscented liquid laundry detergents use natural ingredients that are safe for the environment and your family. Additionally, unscented laundry detergents are just as effective at cleaning clothes as their scented counterparts. So, if you’re looking to make your home more eco-friendly, ditch the toxic chemicals and switch to an unscented liquid laundry detergent.
Also, try to avoid dryer sheets and drying synthetic clothes with cotton. Try wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets, and think about ways to dry your clothes outside.
#12 – Invest in a Good Vacuum
For many people, the vacuum is one of the most critical tools in the battle against dirt and dust. It can help keep your floors clean and can also be used to clean upholstery, draperies, and even ceiling fans.
However, not all vacuums are created equal. Investing in a high-quality energy-efficient green vacuum is vital to get the most out of your vacuum. Look for features like multiple suction settings, a HEPA filter, and a detachable hose. These features will help ensure that your vacuum can tackle any cleaning challenge and will also help prolong the machine’s life.
In addition, look for a vacuum certified by a green home organization. This will ensure that your vacuum is not contributing to indoor air pollution. With some research, you can find a quality vacuum that will provide years of reliable service.
#13 – Avoid Use Powders & Sprays
Did you know that powder carpet fresheners stay around for weeks and months? Imagine your pets and kids crawling around the rug breathing in these particles. That goes for washing detergents, too, as noted above.
A good rule of thumb is that a liquid cleaning product is best. Even a mixture of warm water & white vinegar is quite effective. Adding baking soda works wonders, too. Castille soaps are the best and do the job well.