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Make Homemade Cleaners

The best and most logical solution to toxic and/or mislabeled cleaners is to go homemade. Homemade green cleaners aren’t that tough to whip up, are very inexpensive and you can make them as safe as you like. Plus, you can make pretty much every single cleaner you need, from floor cleaners to glass cleaner to mold cleaners and much more. Check out our guide: HOW TO: Make Your Own Eco, Kid-Safe Cleaning Supplies.

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Research Cleaners but Take Information with a HUGE Grain of Salt

As a parent, you should get educated about all the various cleaners and chemicals out there. However, this can be difficult. As noted above, many cleaning products are mislabeled and guides, such as the one by EWG, can simply confuse the matter by suggesting known toxic cleaners over “eco” cleaners. On top of this, you have to be very careful when reading reviews of green cleaners. Some bloggers, for example, will write a GREAT review of a green cleaner, simply because they get it for free, from the company, thus are compelled to say nice things. Find a blogger or website that doesn’t give every single product a high score. TIP: If someone rates every single green cleaner as perfect, you cannot trust their reviews. One excellent site to check out is Safe Mama. Her research is as solid as can be, she’s not the type to rate everything as perfect and she creates easy to use cheat sheets about various products and chemicals. Healthy Child, Healthy World is another trustworthy site packed with information about chemicals and green cleaning.

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Clean Consistently

Spring cleaning is a nice idea, but if you only deep clean once a year, you may need harsher cleaners to get the job done – many layers of dirt and grime are way harder to clean than one layer. Keep up with your household cleaning year-round so that gentle, earth-friendly or homemade cleaners get the job done. It’s easy to set aside time to clean on a weekly basis if you get the whole family involved. In fact a good motto is to clean up as soon as you make a mess! Open your windows frequently to air your home out, wipe everything down often and stay consistent. Read Ten Simple Ways to Clean Green and snag this Daily Quick Cleaning Checklist to help you out.

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Read Labels Diligently

Even though you cannot trust all cleaning product labels, right now, learning to read labels is still one of the best things you can do as a green parent. Teach yourself which chemicals are most important to avoid, make a pocket-sized list and then take it to the store with you. At said store, read your labels, looking for the biggest baddest ingredients to avoid. Below are some guides you can print out or download to your phone.

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Less is More

There are millions of conventional cleaners out there plus a slew of “green” cleaners. Still, just because they exist, doesn’t mean you need them all. Keeping it simple is great advice in most cases, but with cleaners (and body care products) it’s even better advice. Find a few multipurpose, safe cleaners you adore and stick to them. You don’t need a different cleaner for every surface in your home! For example, you can use basic Dr. Bronner’s soap for cleaning tubs, toilets, laundry, counters, floors, some fabric stains and much more. A basic eco-glass cleaner can also be used for counters and stove tops. Most households that buy store-bought products can get by with the following: One laundry soap, one dish soap or dishwasher product, one general cleaner and one glass cleaner. That’s it. The more products you bring into your home, the more you put your family at risk for chemical exposure. Keep it safe and super simple.

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Give Germs Some Loving

If you let germs freak you out too much, it just sets you up to invest in products you really shouldn’t, like bleach, antibacterial cleaners and so forth. Germs aren’t your enemy! Some amount of germs are A-ok and even healthy for green families.  Keep it clean sure, but don’t freak over germs – not to the point where you’re sanitizing your entire house and family.

RELATED | How to Make Your Own Kid-Safe Eco Cleaning Supplies

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