Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to clean up your spring cleaning routine so that it’s safer for children.
- Purchase greener, less caustic household cleaners. Look for "green" and "nontoxic" cleaners, or products that say "petroleum-free," "biodegradable," "phosphate-free," "VOC-free" or "solvent-free" on the labels.
- Dilute, dilute, dilute. Diluting a cleaner with water is an easy way to make a product less harsh. Many cleaners are still effective, even when watered down a bit.
- Try not to clean when children are in the room. This aids in limiting their exposure to any chemicals you may be using. Make sure to ventilate the room well before allowing children back in.
- Make your own cleaners. Ingredients like baking soda, diluted vinegar and citrus peels are less toxic than many commercially produced cleaners but are also effective.
- Avoid spray-on carpet cleaners when possible. Chemicals in carpet cleaners may become trapped in the carpet. Consider using a steam cleaner with water (no detergent) instead.
- Skip the antibacterial soap. Plain soap and water gets germs off just as well. Antibacterial soap contains unnecessary chemicals and may increase the risk of creating tougher, resistant bacteria.
- Stop dirt at the door. Make it a family rule to wipe feet or take shoes off at the door. It will help to keep dirt and other contaminants outside so that cleaning won’t be required as often.
*Household cleaning products - chemical or natural, purchased or homemade - should always be kept out of the reach of children.