Spring is finally here—what better time to roll up your sleeves and get your home looking its best? But more than just looking its best, today we’ll dig a little deeper to help ensure your cleaning choices can also make your home safer, healthier and Earth-friendlier (if that’s even a word). Let’s get started!
1. Open the windows. Did you know that the air inside your home can be polluted? In fact, the U.S. EPA estimates that levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be 10 times higher indoors than outdoors. VOCs can have a wide array of minor to severe health impacts and are released from common household items like air fresheners and aerosol sprays, among others. Whenever possible, skip the scented aerosols and opt for clean, fresh air.
2. Dust everything. Not only is dust unsightly, it’s a common trigger of year-round allergies and it can harbor up to 45 different chemicals. But instead of chemical-laden aerosol sprays (see #1 above) or sticky waxes that attract more dust, allow the static charge of our super-plush Dusting Mitt to attract and hold onto dust, helping you keep surfaces cleaner longer.
3. Skip the spray cleaners. They could literally be making you sick. A long-term study showed that regular use of typical cleaning sprays caused declined lung function, decreased lung capacity and increased asthma rates among the women who used them. Why not shun the sprays and use Norwex® Microfiber and water to clean mechanically? Together, they can remove up to 99% of bacteria from a surface when following the (easy) proper care and use instructions. Bonus: Because our microfiber is super-durable, you won’t need to keep purchasing it over and over again.
4. Avoid bleach. It’s not good for you, your family or the planet. A European study found that using liquid bleach just once a week can increase your risk of COPD by up to 32%. And bleach in waterways can be toxic to fish and plant life. Just one ounce of household bleach requires 2,337 gallons of water to be safe for fish. Besides, there’s really no need for bleach with safe, effective Norwex laundry products in your laundry room.
5. Beware of hidden chemicals. They’re literally everywhere. From corrosive chemicals in oven cleaners and acids in toilet bowl cleaners, to the “fragrance” included in odor-masking products, chemicals can sneak in and do damage to your health. In 2000, cleaning products were responsible for almost 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers and the numbers have risen, especially during the pandemic. Keep caustic chemicals out of your oven and get it sparkling again with our Oven & Grill Cleaner. Use our Bathroom Cleaner to further reduce harmful chemicals. And instead of masking unpleasant smells with synthetic fragrance, allow the essential oils in our Toilet Spray to stop odors before they begin.
6. Choose reusable. Just the amount of waste generated by single-use wipes alone is staggering. It would take 9,000 18-wheelers to hold all the dry and wet mop pads, scrubbing tub/shower pads, disinfecting wipes, furniture wipes, leather wipes, microwave wipes, granite wipes and stainless steel wipes (not to mention personal cleansing wipes) used by North Americans in just one year. These wipes are not readily biodegradable and usually require transportation over long distances to be disposed of. Instead, rely on reusable, high-quality products like our Superior Mop Starter System, Stainless Steel Cloth, Kitchen Towel and Cloth Set, Bathroom Scrub Mitt and Makeup Removal Cloth Set to clean more sustainably with water alone—no harmful chemicals and zero single-use waste.
Harmful chemicals and waste are enormous problems with far-reaching impacts, affecting not only our health but the health of our planet. It can seem a little overwhelming at times, keeping your family safe from their effects and doing your part for the planet. On behalf of all of us, thank you for every step you take toward a healthier, safer, more Earth-friendly way of life.
EPA: Volatile Organic Compounds' Impact on Indoor Air Quality
ATS Journals: Cleaning at Home and at Work in Relation to Lung Function Decline and Airway Obstruction
EurekAlert!: Nurses' regular use of disinfectants is associated with developing COPD
EPA: Prevent Chemicals, Garbage and Other Debris from Winding Up on the Local Beach
Organic Consumers Association: How Toxic Are Your Household Cleaning Supplies?
Contemporary Pediatrics: Poison control centers report surge in accidental poisonings from cleaning products