As a Green builder, I get a lot of questions about how to make an existing home a more healthy living space. Which is good, because it’s a topic I think about quite a bit! A lot of my interest in Green construction deals with creating healthy living environments, and doing so extends beyond the initial home construction process. This is the first in a series I’m starting about how to make your living space more healthy.

Today, let’s talk about cleaning products.

What’s Green?

When we’re talking about Green cleaning products, it’s easier to look at what isn’ Green first. Most household cleaners contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which are potentially toxic to humans and pets. Virginia Tech has a great informational piece on household cleaners that’s worth a read:

How Housing Matters – Fewer Hazardous Products Mean a Healthier Home

So if most traditional cleaning products contain VOCs, what can be done? Well, the good news is that there are a lot of healthy alternatives for regular cleaning. My personal favorite, and the one that I’ve used to replace bleach for most household tasks is vinegar. That’s right, vinegar!



More specifically, distilled white vinegar is my go-to kitchen and general-purpose cleaner. I started using vinegar as a substitution for bleach in cleaning my kitchen countertops, and haven’t looked back since!

Not only is it a great disinfectant, but it also removes stains from coffee cups and other hard-to-clean kitchen items. It’s great to clean your coffeemaker with as well. If you do a quick google search, you’ll see that the potential uses for vinegar in household cleaning are impressively vast. It’s a great introduction to using Green substitutes for your traditional household cleaning supplies.

Baking Soda

Just as versatile as vinegar, baking soda can be used for a wide variety of applications throughout the home. It is better at removing odors, and can be sprinkled on carpets, furniture, and even pets! Just vacuum or brush off the dry baking soda after a little while, and you’ll notice the difference! It’s also better at removing baked-on crud from pots and pans in the kitchen than vinegar, among other uses!

Commercial Green Products

There are now a lot of commercially available ‘Green’ cleaning products on the market. Some of these are better than others, and some aren’t really ‘Green’! Do some research and figure out what the good brands are. If you have any questions or concerns, I’ve bought and tried quite a few over the years, feel free to reach out.

Green is a big passion of mine, and I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others. If you ever have any questions about how to make your home a more healthy living environment, more energy efficient, or anything else related to building and Real Estate, get in touch!

– Lou


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