Green Cleaning Practices for a Safer Indoor Environment

Green Cleaning Practices for a Safer Indoor Environment

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Cleanliness is generally associated with good health; however, many household cleaning products contain chemicals that are hazardous to the health of humans, wildlife, and the environment. Studies have shown that 150 chemicals commonly found in homes and schools are linked with allergies, birth defects, psychological abnormalities, and cancer. Children are especially sensitive to the effects of toxic cleaners. The purpose of green cleaning is to reduce these harmful impacts on people, wildlife, and the environment.

Green Cleaning works by replacing harmful cleaning products with safer products, by using the strength of cleaner needed to get the job done, using less or none of toxic cleaners, and by using items like microfiber cloths or rags, instead of disposable items like paper towels. The obvious benefits of green cleaning are reduced exposure to dangerous chemicals and poisoning, and reduced pollution and harm to the environment and wildlife; however, savings in money and space are added bonuses. There are a multitude of homemade green cleaner recipes available for every need, and a wealth of techniques, strategies, and practices for green cleaning.


  • What Is Green Cleaning? – Some of the benefits of green cleaning in schools are listed here.
  • Going Green at Home (pdf) -The University of Illinois goes over ways to live a green lifestyle, including how to green clean.
  • Green Cleaning (pdf) – This school publication gives a definition of green cleaning and explains why it is so important.
  • Cleaning (pdf) – Reasons to green clean and ways to do it are given here.
  • Cleaning with Non-Toxics – UCLA provides an article detailing harmful ingredients in cleaning products and their effects on health, and lists five green ingredients to replace them with.
  • Toxic Cleaning Supplies – Adverse effects of traditional cleaners on human health, the environment, and wildlife are reviewed here, and ways to green clean are offered.
  • Dangerous Household Chemicals -The American Lung Association states that volatile organic compounds found in common cleaners can cause asthma and respiratory diseases, and provides tips on how to avoid them.
  • Household Hazards (pdf) – This in depth publication details reasons for green cleaning-specific toxins and their effects on health, especially the health of women, are deliberated in these pages.

How It Works

  • Clean and Green (pdf) – Learn how traditional cleaning may not be so good for health after all, and gain knowledge on how green cleaning ingredients work, as well as perusing some green cleaner recipes.
  • Reducing Toxic Product Use – Green cleaning works by reducing or eliminating the use of toxic cleaning products-learn the many ways how green cleaning works in every room of the house.
  • Baking Soda (pdf) – Baking soda and how it works as a green cleaner are covered here, and many examples of how baking soda can be used to clean are given.
  • Natural Household Cleaners (pdf) – A county publication examines the need for green cleaning, the adverse environmental impacts of traditional cleaners, and offers alternative solutions that benefit people and the environment.


  • Green Cleaning for Schools (pdf) – Challenges of green cleaning in schools are considered and a guide to implementing green cleaning practices is given.
  • Green Cleaning in Schools – Learn why green cleaning in schools is important, and take a look at state policies on green cleaning practices for several states.
  • Hazardous cleaners (pdf) – Many green cleaning practices and how people can implement them are taught in this university publication.
  • Good Clean Fun (pdf) – Reasons for green cleaning and green practices such as avoiding hazardous cleaning ingredients and replacing them with healthy alternatives are given in this guide.

Strategies and Techniques

  • 10 Ways to Clean Green – Green American lists reasons to clean green, and then covers ten strategies ingredients to use to do it.
  • Clean and Green (pdf) – Discover how to recycle common household items into cleaning tools, shop green, and make green cleaners.


  • Green Cleaning at Home (pdf) – Take a look at a checklist that identifies characteristics to look for in green cleaning products.
  • Green Household Hints (pdf) – Learn how to save money by using green cleaning supplies.
  • Cleaning? Think Green! – Examine tips on how to save the environment by using baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Top Ten Tips for Greener Cleaning – Ten tips on safer cleaning are offered, including hand washing and safe cleaning techniques.
  • Cleaning Healthy, Cleaning Green (pdf) – Since people spend 90% of their time inside, it is important to cut down on indoor pollution by green cleaning and tips on how to do that are given.

Green Cleaning Recipes

  • Green Cleaning Recipes (pdf) – Recipes for different kinds of homemade green cleaners are given in a format that enables them to be printed out and used like recipe cards.
  • Environmentally Friendly Cleaning (pdf) – Several different green cleaner recipes are offered here, as well as tips on how to safely prepare and store them.
  • Recipes for a Safer Home (pdf) – Ingredients for green cleaning products are listed and how they work is described; additionally, recipes to make homemade cleaners are listed.
  • Eco-Friendly Cleaning Recipes – A large number of techniques for everyday cleaning challenges are given as well as a wealth of homemade green cleaner recipes.


  • Green Cleaning Advice – Read labels to identify hazardous cleaning products.
  • Alternative Cleaners – Read about why green cleaning is important, look at a table of dangerous products that are common in the home, and learn about some safer, alternative products.
  • Reducing Toxicity in the Home (pdf) – Common toxins in household cleaning products are identified and healthier alternatives are given.


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