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What to Watch Out for When You’re Cleaning Green


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What to Watch Out for When You’re Cleaning Green

Typical Mistakes to Avoid in Eco-Friendly Cleaning

When it comes to housework, you already know to shun harmful chemicals found in many typical cleaning products. But the following “natural cleaning” mistakes should be on your radar, too!

1 Believing “natural” products won’t damage fabrics and/or surfaces.

Even if a product is labeled “nontoxic,” the ingredients in it can still react with the material or surface it’s applied to. Always check the label for usage instructions. And be sure to test any product you want to use on a delicate surface (like natural stone, for example) in an inconspicuous place first.

2 Using bleach or other chlorine products.

While associating that familiar chlorine smell with “clean” may be tempting, it would be better to replace that thought with “deadly.” Chlorine can kill germs it’s true, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s dangerous for all living cells, and can burn skin and eyes.

3 Using disposable wipes and paper towels.

Using a high-quality microfiber cloth and water to tackle your household chores not only saves you money over time, it’s much more planet-friendly. For example, did you know that up to 51,000 trees a day are used to manufacture the amount of paper towels discarded in the U.S. alone in just one day? Or that the antibacterial alcohol in disposable wipes also kills the bacteria and enzymes that break down solid waste in landfill sites and septic tanks? In addition, the combination of plastics, wood pulp and cotton in disposable mop pads and wipes resists breaking down and can remain in the sewers and seas for years.

4 Not being aware of the “hazards of homemade.”

Creating your own cleaning products from ingredients you have on hand—say in your pantry or your cupboards—can be a great money-saver and also help reduce your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals found in typical cleaning products. However, there are some things to be aware if you decide to create your own cleaners:

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  • Failure to dilute lemon juice, vinegar, or other natural cleaners as directed can increase the risk of damage to a surface. Most cleaning jobs call for only a very dilute solution to work. If you’re making your own cleaning products, make sure you trust the source of the recipe.
  • Making too much. While many natural cleaning solutions will be effective for a whole month, some ingredients, like hydrogen peroxide, can lose their potency quickly. To be sure your formula is effective, mix up just enough for a single use.
  • Be careful when mixing products or ingredients. Combining incompatible products or ingredients can produce dangerous gases or render the solution inert and ineffective. It’s best to use just one—the most gentle—product for the job.
comment_2How about you? Have you ever created your own cleaning products? Do you have tips to share? We’d love to hear them. Just leave us a comment below!

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Have you ever used a homemade cleaning product?

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Natalie Jenkins-Rice
Natalie Jenkins-Rice
5 years ago

I am going to make part of my New Years Resolution to really start using my reusable produce and grocery store bags. Just got through reading this blog and watching Washed Ashore! Yikes!!

Sherrie Michaels
Sherrie Michaels
5 years ago

Great article to share.

Suzi
Suzi
5 years ago

Also the fact that when using lemon juice you’re smearing sugar over the counters and only increasing bacteria growth. ..
3. Also using cheap microfiber with a loose weave where strands snap and ends up in the water ways..
4. Please give examples of the last point. Which ingredients cancel out eachother. E.g. vinegar and bicarb!

Kristie Zemlicka
Kristie Zemlicka
5 years ago

“…up to 51,000 trees a day are used to manufacture the amount of paper towels discarded in the U.S. alone in just one day” I try to limit disposable use in my home but paper towels are our Achilles heel. This fact will definitely cross my mind next time I grab for a paper towel. By the way, instead of paper towels for draining bacon, we use a cereal box turned inside out.

Sadiemae Smith
Sadiemae Smith
5 years ago

That’s a great idea!! We hear with wood and use all our cereal boxes for fire starter but I’ll remember this!

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi
5 years ago

I loved these tips! The one I’ve never thought about was how natural ingredients can lose their potency. Great tip to only make enough for a single use (and motivation to just use my envirocloth). 🙂

Katherine Miller
Katherine Miller
5 years ago

Toxic fumes are created when combining ammonia and bleach. My friend’s grandmother got sick by combining those. I don’t know if that’s a hazard of homemade, but it’s something to avoid. I was also interested that bleach can burn skin. I have a mystery spot on my thumb where the skin came off and I was using bleach to try to clean the mold on my caulking in my shower. It didn’t work anyway. Any ideas, aside from replacing the caulking, on how to get that clean?

Stacy Lapso
Stacy Lapso
5 years ago

This part- “the antibacterial alcohol in disposable wipes also kills the bacteria and enzymes that break down solid waste in landfill sites and septic tanks” blew my mind. It never occurred to me!

Sadiemae Smith
Sadiemae Smith
5 years ago

It’s so hard when people are used to that “bleach ” smell associated to clean! A nursing friend of mine wants to try Norwex but is so attached to feeling like clothes are cleaned when they smell “chlorine” I’m encouraging her to be brave and try the real “clean” smell! Lol – no chemicals!!

Jennifer Major
Jennifer Major
5 years ago

I’m so glad I’ve found Norwex! It has totally changed the way I clean now. I was buying and using gallons of white vinegar that came in, you guessed it, plastic jugs to clean everything. Cleaning smelled bad and irritated my hands. I have tried a ton of homemade cleaners but I was always less than thrilled with their results. Norwex’s microfiber products are amazing! I can totally feel that things are clean now. No residue left behind. Thankfully, my family is moving to a new state. I saved all my boxes and packing material to reuse!

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
5 years ago
Reply to  Jennifer Major

Thanks for your comment, Jennifer. And congrats on making such positive differences for your family—and the environment! Good luck with your move!

Samantha Rose
Samantha Rose
5 years ago

Wow! Reading this makes me glad we gave up paper towels. I also fall into the camp of “a little is good, so alot must be better.” Great perspcetive on sticking to the recipes and just plain following the directions.

I used to spend time making homemade laundry soap and cleaners, but I found Norwex. I save myself time and frustration now. Love my Norwex!

Jo Buchanan
Jo Buchanan
5 years ago

Wow, I can’t believe how many trees versus paper towel!!!!! That’s crazy!

Jennifer Rottman
Jennifer Rottman
4 years ago

I have used vinegar for cleaning.

Leigh-Ann Ross
Leigh-Ann Ross
4 years ago

Norwex has completely changed the way I clean- and I couldn’t be happier!

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
4 years ago
Reply to  Leigh-Ann Ross

We’re so glad to hear it, Leigh-Ann! We couldn’t be happier for you!

Christina Calhoun
Christina Calhoun
4 years ago

YES! I make my own toilet bowl cleaner out of Castile soap, baking soda, tea tree oil & pine oil (for scent)

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
4 years ago

I typically use homemade cleaning solutions… but now I am using Norwex and find that microfiber replaces most of my cleaning needs!

Regina
Regina
2 years ago

Hello, I recently bouth the bathroom cleaner from Norwex. I was disappointed when I realized that I am not supposed to use it on natural stone. If I used it on natural stone what would happen? Why does Norwex recommend against the use on marble, granite, travertine, etc.?

Moderator
Admin
Moderator
2 years ago
Reply to  Regina

Regina, thank you for your inquiry about Norwex products. Norwex Movement is a separate division of Norwex that exists to help people create safer havens in their homes by raising awareness about planetary issues that affect us all. Our policy is to direct all Norwex-specific inquiries to Customer Care.

In the U.S., please contact 1-866-450-7499. In Canada, please contact 1-877-766-7939. In Australia, the number to call for product inquiries/clarification is: 07 3204 9444.