We all need to clean our homes, so why not make this process as healthy as possible for everyone involved? Not only do environmentally friendly cleaning methods release fewer toxins back into nature, but they also help maintain the health of you and your family. This is why many homeowners are turning their efforts toward finding alternative cleaning practices that offer additional benefits. These are a few ways to make cleaning your home environmentally friendly as well as healthier in the process.

Toss Your Aerosol Air Fresheners

While your air freshener sprays might make the room smell good, their scents are quickly fleeting and they actually worsen the air quality in the home. As such, if you want to better purify your air and maintain refreshing natural scents, it’s recommended that you bring in a few houseplants. The greenery can both absorb any lingering household odors and add a touch of color to the surrounding home design. Given a bit of time, this can even increase the overall indoor air quality and ease your indoor allergy symptoms.

Use Healthier Cleaning Products

It’s common knowledge that many of our standard cleaning products contain harsh chemicals and dangerous toxins. However, many of us still use them because we aren’t familiar with other methods that have the same effect. Fortunately, there are a series of more natural options to choose from—such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon. Switching out your chemical-based cleaning products for natural ones is particularly useful in rooms such as the kitchen, where you don’t want chemicals near your food and utensils, and the nursery, where you don’t want chemicals anywhere near your baby.

Occasionally Break out the Dust Pan

Starting up the vacuum for every small spill can reduce the air quality of the home as well as use electricity that could best be used another way. Because of this, many homeowners have taken to using an old-fashioned dust pan and brush for these smaller messes. Not only does this get the job done with less effort, but you’re also using less energy, saving money, and living more sustainably.

Handwash Your Clothes

Likewise, washing certain clothing items by hand can also help you both conserve water and save a bit of cash in the process. As convenient as our washers are, they tend to use far more water and energy than they actually need. So, while handwashing might not be realistic for all loads, even washing a few things separately can have a large impact on the amount of resources you’re using, making this is a very environmentally friendly way to clean.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.