When we talk about “clean” in regards to our food or beauty products, we mean that it’s free of pesticides or artificial hormones that could harm us. So when we use cleaning products all around our homes and on the surfaces we interact with every day, why shouldn’t the same rules apply?

Let’s walk through a few guidelines to making your home cleaning routines as clean as possible.

  1. Open the windows

    Air pollution can get trapped inside the home and harm your lungs while cleaning. Opening the windows and doors will ventilate the house and keep you breathing well.

  2. Less is more

    It’s no secret that most cleaning supplies are pretty harsh. Save yourself the exposure to harshness by diluting your cleaning supplies according to instructions and use only what’s needed to get the job done.

  3. Always wear gloves

    Even when you’re using natural cleaning supplies, you’re dealing with products meant to clean products other than your skin. Product your delicate epidermis with protective gloves and other precautions, such as a mask over your face if  you’re dusting.

  4. Be careful with mixing

    Never mix bleach with ammonia, vinegar or other acids. These combinations can produce deadly gases.

  5. Send the kids outside

    Kids are especially vulnerable to toxins in the air or on surfaces when cleaning, and are more likely to get into things. Send them outside to play while cleaning. If they do want to help, provide them simple soap and water rather than harsher cleaners.

  6. Buy certified green products

    Don’t be fooled by labels, which aren’t always true as you know. Look for cleaning supplies certified by Green Seal or EcoLogo.

  7. Opt for natural cleaning alternatives

    Nontoxic options like vinegar, baking soda, or lemon can make for excellent cleaning supplies. Some basic essential oils, like tea tree oil, can be used to make your own natural cleaning supplies as well.

  8. Be careful with pine and citrus oil

    These cleaners can react with ozone to produce cancer-causing formaldehyde on smoggy days, so use them sparingly or only when you must.

  9. Avoid anything “Antibacterial”

    For families that are generally healthy, “antibacterial” products are unnecessary and potentially toxic. Wash your hands with plain soap and water and you’ll be good to go, according to the American Medical Association.

  10. Say no to air fresheners

    They’re filled with fake chemicals that cloud the air you breathe. Instead, opt for open windows and natural scents like an essential oil diffuser.