Safe Cleaning Tips For Families

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Safe Cleaning Tips For Families

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For many homeowners, cleaning falls low on the list of enjoyable tasks. Unfortunately, failing to clean a home, apartment, condominium, or other residence can lead to the build-up of germs and bacteria, which can often be bad for young children and those with a weakened immune system. In some cases, the products used to keep a home clean can also lead to serious health consequences. In fact, those used when cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, furniture, and floor appear to be especially toxic. To ensure a clean house and the on-going health of all family members, parents should be sure to keep some basic safe cleaning tips in mind.

Bathroom

The bathroom is considered by many experts to be one of the dirtiest rooms of the house. Specifically, the toilet is a magnet and breeding ground for dirt, germs, bacteria, and other parasites that cause serious health consequences. Applying liberal amounts of white vinegar to the toilet bowl has been found to be highly effective at removing toxins and killing dangerous particles. In addition, scrubbing a toilet with baking soda can be a great, non-toxic way of removing stubborn, stuck on stains. Finally, hydrogen peroxide has been proven quite successful at the removal of bathroom tile mold and mildew. Individuals who are interested in maintaining safety while cleaning their bathroom should avoid the use of bleach or other manufactured products, which often contain chemicals hazardous to respiratory health.

Kitchen

Like the bathroom, the kitchen is also a top spot for dirt, debris, bacteria, and parasites—and since most homeowners spend quite a bit of time in this room, it is of no surprise that maintaining its cleanliness is essential. When it comes to the kitchen, one of the hardest jobs involves cleaning the oven. And while aerosol oven cleaners can be quite effective, they have also been found to lead to the development of certain types of cancer. Instead of using these products, homeowners can achieve similar results by sprinkling the bottom of the oven with a small amount of baking soda, and spraying the area with water to keep the soda moist. After a few hours, individuals will be able to remove the debris on the bottom of the oven with a moist sponge. Similarly, a mixture of vinegar and water can be used to keep grease build-up on the stove and hood at bay. Salt and baking soda are also effective abrasives that can be used to keep a stovetop clean.

Furniture

There is no two ways about it—furniture is expensive. Keeping it looking its best, while still maintaining the health of all family members, is therefore a priority for many savvy homeowners. Though hot water is known for setting stains in clothing and furniture, when applied with a soft sponge or brush, cold water can be successful in the removal of non-oily stains. Similarly, stains that are oil-based can be removed with a small amount of baby shampoo and cold water. Finally, three percent hydrogen peroxide can be used to remove especially stubborn stains and damage. Unlike the other suggestions listed above, hydrogen peroxide should never be rinsed after application, as this can result in more serious damage. While these techniques may be timelier and require increased physical labor, they are highly preferable to Chem-Dry and other similar furniture cleaners that feature “dry cleaning” technology.

Floors

Children—especially those under the age of three—spend the majority of their time on the floor. While keeping the other parts of the house clean is important, maintaining a sanitary floor is crucial. In most cases, wood floors can be cleaned with clean, cool water and a small amount of dish-washing liquid. Dish-washing liquid can also provide effective results when cleaning tile, though baking soda has been found to be useful for more stubborn stains and grime. Finally, steam cleaning—which requires only the use of water—can be an effective way of lifting stains and spots from carpets and rugs. Homeowners and parents who are dedicated to ensuring the health of their families should avoid the use of bleach, chemical-based shampoos, and floor detergents, as these products often contain ingredients that can be toxic when ingested.

Other Safe Cleaning Tips

Obviously, choosing products that are safe for use in a home occupied by infants and children is of utmost importance. In most cases, parents can determine whether a product is safe by reading the label. Cleaners that contain ingredients that are unrecognizable—or which feature obvious warning labels—should never be used. For example, while Windex and other similar products can be effective at cleaning windows, the ingredients found within the product have been linked to respiratory failure and cardiovascular damage. Instead, windows can usually be easily cleaned with clean water, a sponge, and a dry towel. Window dirt and debris that cannot be removed with water and elbow grease may require heavier-duty products, such as white vinegar or lemon juice.

Last modified: May 31, 2017