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How NOT to Clean Your House:
Five Things You Should Definitely Avoid

While you may rather put off thinking about a truly clean home for another month or two, when it's time for spring cleaning, now is as good a time as any to take stock of what a winter's worth of holiday traffic, snow- and salt-covered boots, and, for some of us, several months without an open window can do to your home.

kitchen sponge

Be sure to replace your existing dish rags and kitchen sponges with PerfectClean terry cloths, as the old common dish rags and sponges are two of the most germ-laden items found in the home, according to recent studies.

Dirty, dusty, germy, stuffy and stinky may all come to mind. But before you don your rubber gloves and grab your pine-fresh cleanser, there are some things you should know.

If you're not careful, cleaning your home could actually be hazardous to your, and your family's, health. Here are the tips you need to NOT do in order to keep your home clean, fresh and toxin-free.

1. Do NOT leave your home smelling like a lemon, an orange, or a pine tree.

Researchers from the University of California-Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analyzed 21 household cleaners and air fresheners and found that many -- especially those with pine, lemon or orange scents -- emit excessive levels of toxic pollutants.

Six of the products contained ethylene-based glycol ethers, which are classified as hazardous air pollutants by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Meanwhile, 12 products contained terpenes, which are found in the pine, lemon and orange oils used to give cleaning products their "clean" smells. Terpenes have been found to react with ozone to produce a variety of toxic substances.

Enviro-Rite Non-Toxic Cleaning Line: Safe Cleaning Products for a Healthy Home

Enviro-Rite Glass & Plexi CleanerUnlike most cleaning solutions on the market that contain harsh detergents, synthetic chemicals and harmful additives, the Enviro-Rite cleaning line is completely safe -- they contain no hazardous ingredients, petrochemicals, perfumes, dyes or animal byproducts.

And, they're incredibly effective for all of your cleaning needs:

  • Enviro-Rite Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner: Intended for use on both carpet and upholstery, EnviroRite Carpet Cleaner is an excellent vegetable-based cleaning concentrate that replaces all petroleum-based formulations.

  • Enviro-Rite Dishwashing Liquid: Kitchen Sink Dishwashing Liquid makes quick work of dirty dishes and contains soy's natural moisturizing qualities to make washing dishes smoothing to your hands!

  • Enviro-Rite Spot Lifter: Spot Lift is an excellent, ready-to-use carpet and upholstery cleaning solution that makes house cleaning easy, effective and hazard-free!

  • Enviro-Rite Glass & Plexi Cleaner: Clearly Clean is a ready-to-use, high performance cleaning solution made with naturally occurring, renewable ingredients.

Check out the entire Enviro-Rite Non-Toxic Cleaning Line Now!

So ditch the fragranced, artificial cleansers: A truly clean home shouldn't smell like anything.

2. Do NOT use dust rags and mops that simply push dirt around.

Most cleaning cloths simply push dirt from one area of your home to another, which is just plain gross, not to mention a waste of your time. Instead, try the PerfectClean line of terry cloths, mops and dusters.

PerfectClean cloths are made of ultramicrofibers that are naturally positively charged, while contaminants are negatively charged. That means that wet or dry, and unlike the old common types of rags that simply spread microscopic contaminants around when you wipe with them, PerfectClean cloths hold fast to everything they pick up!

3. Do NOT use chemical cleaners.

Did you know that using cleaning sprays and air fresheners at least once a week can increase your risk of asthma by 30-50 percent? It can, so why expose yourself to this risk?

Instead, opt for PerfectClean cloths, dusters and mitts for all of your cleaning needs. PerfectClean terry cloths contain patented built-in antimicrobial protection and are made of ultramicrofibers that are only 3 microns in size, which is even smaller than many bacteria. Because of this unique ultramicrofiber construction, you can reduce the amount of chemical cleaners you use, or even eliminate them altogether.

So, unlike ordinary cleaning rags and sponges, you don't need to use chemical cleaners to achieve the deepest clean, which makes them perfect for anyone who's looking to keep toxic cleaners OUT of their home.

lemon fresh

If you want your home to be lemony fresh, ditch the toxic lemon-scented chemical cleansers and pick up a real lemon -- it's a natural deodorizer. Rub them on your cutting boards and put the peels (chopped up into small pieces) into your garbage disposal to freshen it up (you can also use grapefruit, lime or orange peels for this purpose).

If you choose to use cleaning products, you can opt for natural varieties such as Enviro-Rite. Enviro-Rite has an excellent line of safe cleaning products -- they contain no hazardous ingredients, petrochemicals, perfumes, dyes or animal byproducts, and they have products for all of your cleaning needs, from carpet and upholstery cleaner to spot lifters.

4. Do NOT use oven cleaner.

Ethers, ethylene glycol, lye (sodium and potassium hydroxide), methylene chloride, petroleum distillates and pine oil are just some of the toxic ingredients that make up most oven cleaners.

Not only is it hard to avoid breathing in vapors when using oven cleaner, the product is corrosive to your skin and eyes, and, when inhaled, to your internal organs.

Instead of using oven cleaner, your best bet is to opt for a self-cleaning oven so oven cleaners are not necessary. You can cut down on their need also by putting a foil-lined cookie sheet under foods to catch drippings, and cleaning spots right after the oven cools (before baking them on again). If you use oven cleaner, be sure to use heavy rubber gloves, an apron and chemical splash goggles.

Better yet, for a safe oven-cleaning solution, sprinkle baking soda on the dampened oven surface, let sit, then scrub with steel wool.

5. Do NOT underestimate the power of natural cleaning supplies like lemons, baking soda and vinegar.

Check out Nine Tips to Get Rid of Bad Smells in Common Household Locations to find out how to get your home smelling fresh and clean, using all-natural items that you may already have around your house.

Recommended Reading

The Five Key Areas of Illness-Causing Germs & Toxins in Your Home

Groundbreaking New Study Finds Household Cleaners & Air Fresheners Can Pose Serious Health Risks


UC Berkeley News May 22, 2006

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