Tips for Cleaning

A few simple cleaning practices can help reduce levels of harmful chemicals in your home.

vacuum cleaningCleaning products often contain volatile and semi-volatile chemicals—substances that evaporate into the air in gas form, and can contribute to indoor air pollution. These products frequently contain fragrances, solvents, and detergents with potential health effects, and their ingredients are often unlabeled. 

Top 10 tips

1. Avoid antibacterial and antimicrobial products.

2. Pick up dust with a damp cloth, vacuum with a HEPA filter.

3. Clean with plain water, baking soda, vinegar, or castile soap when possible.

4. Disinfect with soapy water and scrubbing—use chemical disinfectant only when necessary.

5. Choose fragrance-free products.

6. Avoid cleaning products that promise to protect against stains.

7. Avoid buying cleaning products with "Poison," "Danger," "Caution," or "Warning" on the label.

8. Choose products made from plants—look for plants or organic ingredients in the label.

9. Keep dust down in your car with microfiber cloths and vacuum the interior once a year.

10. Find less-toxic products at EPA Safer Choice or GoodGuide.